Mid-summer means…your pre-teen has already made a disaster of the kitchen, been too lazy for their own good, and straight up annoyed you. Basically: you’re ready for your kid to go back to school.
So how can you take advantage of this time off to prepare them with skills for adulthood? Check out these ideas:
- Start talking about the future. What does your child believe her interests and talents are? What careers has she considered? What do you think about those same questions? Listen closely to the answers, and find ways to help your child get involved in an activity that will help them do more of what they like. This early exploration will help your child to find a career path.
- Learn how to do laundry, make easy meals, and other household chores. Pre-teens can handle basic skills now. You may even consider adding a few loads of laundry to their weekly chore list, or making the family a simple meal one night a week.
- Get money smart. Middle school is the perfect time to start talking money. Have them watch you pay bills. Start talking out loud regarding financial decisions you’re making, i.e., “I better take my lunch today instead of eating out because I want to buy a new pair of shoes later this month.” Encourage your child to consider how they could start earning some money (yardwork around the neighborhood, babysitting, etc.) and then make a plan about how much your child will save (for a phone, a car, even college) and spend.
- Will you or anyone in the family pay for college?
- How much will they (the student) have to cover themselves?
- How can they start saving money for college now?
- Where can they find scholarships? And how can they prepare now to earn scholarships?
- What are student loans, how do they work and should they get them?
- Make reading a family routine. Identify one hour one night a week where everyone reads – books are preferred, but it could be a magazine. Try to avoid an e-book, unless you’re positive they (and you) won’t venture onto social media. Put out fun snacks and prepare for this time by making sure everyone has something they are looking forward to reading.
- Visit ParentToolkit.com. This resource will give you great strategies to help your child develop into a confident adult by offering tips on academics, social and emotional development, and health and wellness. I follow them on Twitter to see up-to-date blogs.
Also, start talking about paying for college. Start with these questions from thepennyhoarder.com:
What other tips do you have to prepare your pre-teen for adulthood?