You know whatâ€™s so great about being a parent? The job never ends, it just changes. Even as your children grow up and become more independent, they still need you, even if they donâ€™t know it.
Itâ€™s up to you to help them to grow and develop, whether theyâ€™re helpless infants or almost equally helpless teens and even into adulthood. Here are some ways that you can keep teaching your children throughout their lives.
Playing and Interacting with Your Kids
Young children primarily learn through play. This is great, because trying to formally educate a toddler is a lesson in frustration. They pick up a surprising amount through having fun.
As their parent, you still want to guide their playtime and learning. Resist the urge to keep your child distracted with a tablet all the time, as youâ€™re creating a rod for your own back. Instead, talk to them, play with them, and interact with them as much as you can.Â
You can teach them to speak, socialize, and even spell through play. If you use cute, plush forms of single letters of the alphabet, you can find a fun way to teach them very basic spelling and literacy skills.
Itâ€™s also important to let your kids play independently or with other children. Different forms of play teach different skills, so give them the opportunity to experiment and explore.
Teaching Basic Life Skills
Once your children get older, they will benefit from formal education. But whether you homeschool your children or send them to school, you still need to give them some less formal, more practical education.Â
Teach them how to cook, clean, and how to be responsible for themselves. As they get older, assign age-appropriate chores and get them involved in the day-to-day running of the household.Â
You should also involve them in your hobbies and skills. This isnâ€™t all to give yourself a helping hand around the house (although that isnâ€™t a bad thing), but it gives your child the skills they will need as they grow up and become independent. Nobody wants to be the kid in college who doesnâ€™t know how to use a washing machine.
Another important life skill to teach your child is financial literacy. There are a variety of ways to do this, but even basic money lessons will set them up for success in early adulthood. Life is becoming more and more expensive, so they will need all the help they can get.
Supporting Adult Children
Even when your children grow up and leave your home, theyâ€™re still your kids. They donâ€™t need the same support as before, and you might find that they support you more often than not, but you can still help them.
Your relationship will and should change. You can finally be more of a friend than a parent. The difference is that you have a wealth of experience at your side, and you can still offer advice and support as they navigate life as an adult.
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