after graduationHave you thought about preparing your children for life after graduation?  Living in the real world that is.  I’m not a parent but I do remember what it was like after I got out of school, sort of.  My memory isn’t that good these days but not all of it has completely faded away.

After graduating from high school, not everyone goes on to college. Many do but many others get a job if they don’t already have one.  They may stay at home until they save enough to get their first apartment, perhaps with a roommate or two. At that time, they begin to learn what life after graduation and living in the real world really means.

For those that do go on to college, they get their first taste of living on their own, away from their parents. That’s a good way to ease into life on their own, but as you know, there are many other factors to living as an adult responsible for yourself.

Parents of all species teach their children things from birth.  The list of teaching opportunities during their growing years is too numerous to go into. The parents learn things along the way as well.  They get their academic needs met by moving through the school system, private or public, but what about practical needs like living on their own?

I’m not sure if the school systems teach the practical lessons required to move away from home to live life as an adult.  They did have some home economic classes available when I was in school. Those classes were basic cooking and sewing classes which were important, but not all-inclusive on how to set up and manage a household.

There are also other practical things such as, learning about insurance of all flavors, investing for the future, credit scores and managing money, what to do if you’re in a car accident, doing laundry properly & cleaning and organizing the house, to name a few.  It was up to our parents to teach us about all that, and in my generation, they just didn’t really talk about those things.  We were pretty much left to figure things out on our own.

This subject is probably something you’ve thought about at some point being a parent. Most likely as you send them off to college.  You know that they will graduate and then they will begin their own life away from home.  It may not happen right away, but at some time after graduation it will, and you want them to be prepared.

In order to ease them into life after graduation, you can begin to teach them the practical things for living on their own as they move along their teenage years. I recently read an article from a NAPO colleague of mine that is a parent, Seana Turner. It’s a checklist of things to teach your kids before they leave home, you can read it here.

She listed a lot of things that I wish I had known prior to moving out on my own.  It may not include everything but it’s comprehensive and probably has things that you may not have thought about.  If you have kids getting ready to go off to college, or getting ready to graduate, I encourage you to think about the things you wished you would have known before you moved away from home.