There’s no definite handbook or guidelines on adulting. Most people are just winging it, but you can help your child make a smooth transition into adulthood.
Adulting is hard, and once you get into the throws of it, you feel like no one fully prepared you for the new changes. You probably remember what it was like the first time you discovered that you’re officially on your own now. If you want to help your kids avoid that “oh no” moment, check out these tips to help your children transition into adulthood.
Treat Them Like Adults
This might seem like the most obvious point, but parents often overlook this one. It’s so easy to still address your child as a child because that’s the role you’ve known them in the most. However, adulthood creeps up on them the same way it creeps up on you.
To help them make the transition, start finding small ways to treat them like an adult. In doing this, you remind them of the new phase in their life that’s about to approach. Have them contribute to a few expenses around the house so that you give them a small taste of what it will be like when they’re on their own.
Teach Money Management Skills
Unless they are finance majors, understanding money management might come as a surprise to them. They don’t learn things like budgeting, saving, and investing in elementary or high school. One day, they’ll wake up and have to know all that stuff.
Give them a crash course on managing their finances. Set up a savings account and encourage them to place 10 percent of their check inside their savings. Over time, they’ll see a nice accumulation and have enough money saved for a rainy day.
Explore Housing Options
Real estate is a tricky market, and it takes a minute to get a full grasp on it. Think about what it was like when you bought your first home. Think back to all the mistakes you made and home buying tips you wish you knew. Share those with your kids and go with them when they start looking at houses to help them become homeowners.
Pass on any wisdom you can to make the process easier for them. Tell them about utility bills, storage options, furniture buying, and property taxes. Even if they’re renting an apartment, you still should help them through the process.
Plan for Health Care
When they have to get their own health-care plan at 26, disappointment and surprise will set in. You can’t live without health care, and it’s important for your children to know all their options. If their job offers health insurance, look through the different benefits packages with them. Help them choose one that works best with their budget.
Health insurance is not the only thing in that benefits package. Explain the ins and outs of a 401k option as well. This ties back in the money management tip, but it’s setting them up for the distant future instead.
Being an adult holds a lot of responsibility, and without some guidance, your kids could face big problems. Help them make the transition into adulthood so that everything doesn’t come as a surprise.