Thursday, September 8, 2011

when you are 18 and leave home...

Ive created a new "nag". In order for me to get my children to embrace learning how to do household chores these are the words that "fell" out of my mouth... "You need to learn how to do the dishes...so that when you are 18 and move out of home, you'll know how to look after yourself."
Oh yeah that's right...when they are 18 they'll be grown up and moving on their merry way. I am mortified at the growing trend of teenagers who decide living at home, where they have it so good, beats growing up and moving on.

I celebrated the day I left home as a an almost 18 year old. I was out at the beach with some friends when I was suddenly hit with the wave of freedom. I realised I no longer needed to phone home to let anyone where I was. I felt free. Now my home life wasn't horrible but my parents did have high expectations of good children...and anything out of line meant discipline by humiliation.  The entire extended family and family friends would know if this good girl  stepped a foot out line. So I relished the new found freedom.
Apprehensively I moved into a flat with two others. Thankfully I knew how to cook so we didn't go hungry. I had to do my own washing, keep our place clean and learn how to do the entire weeks worth of shopping. I learnt to be responsible with the very little student allowance I received during my degree and found myself a part time job for more income. I learnt to be independent and self sufficient, something I would never have been able to do if I were still at home.

I want this for my kids. I want them to be empowered, independent and self sufficient. I want them to know how to change a tire and oil, know how to cook a three course meal, sew on a button.I want them to have the tools to be great adults.I want them to experience life in the real world before they get married. I want them know how to look after themselves and others. So I'm starting early. I'm going to drum into them that they need to learn how do these things so they can move out at 18 and be a responsible grown up.

But mostly this nag is for me. Its going to take me 18 years  to let them go into the big wide world. This mother who is so protective I don't even let them play at the park by themselves without an eagle eye watching. So I'm thinking if I start psyching myself up starting now...maybe when its time to kick my little chicks out of the nest I will actually let go.

6 comments:

Sima J said...

I love it. SO true .. I share your theory on this - it's so good for kids to learn to be responsible! Their future spouses will thank us ;-)

Elizabeth said...

Yep - with you on that one, I also left home at 18 and won't be encouraging the off-spring to hang around until they're OLD!!!!!

I also agree with Sima - preparing them to be responsible adults will bear fruit later on when they chose to marry :-)!

PaisleyJade said...

Sounds good to me - oh no, I only have about 6 years to get J sorted!!

Cat said...

ahhh I left home at 26.
My husband and I had been living at home together since we were engaged and had saved for our wedding and honeymoon, 6 months after we were married we brought our first home and moved out. I'm thankful to my mother for giving us this opportunity.
HOWEVER I am also grateful to my MIL who taught my husband to be a self sufficient fully capable male who left home at 16.

Sammy said...

HAHA!!! I am the opposite! I really want the kids at home when they study as I was. I don't even want them to go to a varsity away from Auckland. I left home to get married. Life in South Africa is very different...!
Oh well, I think the kids will let me know what they want. I may be that mother weeping and holding onto the car as they drive down the road, HA!

kendylsPlace said...

Good for you - I agree with you! People should have the basics down before they leave home - shopping, budgeting, cooking, sewing on a button, changing a tyre. And its the parents job to teach it. (Says the girl with no kids!) My husband is amazing around the house and in the kitchen, and its thanks to his Mum who taught him!