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Adult Behaviors Your Kids Should Adopt Now

Granted, there is a long list of adult behaviors we want to keep our kids from adopting as long as humanly possible. They don’t merit mention here, but rest assured, they’ll show up on the radar all too soon. But there are some adult behaviors that would serve your kids to know and experience earlier rather than later, some of them are little things we take for granted, but nonetheless things that can teach your kids competence and confidence in ways that will embolden them as they encounter an ever-increasing wave of challenges ahead.

Teaching your kids self-sufficiency and confidence is among the highest callings of parenthood. Ancient cultures turned their young boys over to the harshness of nature at an early age, with little mentoring and support. While exposing your child to risk is certainly not the intention here - indeed, risk-taking is something better observed than experienced, at least until the child is old enough for this to be appropriate - exposing them to challenges can serve them well. The simple act of asking them to do the little things we, as adults, take for granted, and to vest them with the responsibility of doing it right, quickly teaches them a breadth of skills and truths. They learn how to listen, they being to understand the mechanics of the real world, and the dynamics of human interaction. And, they learn that spending time with you is never boring or predictable.

Show your kids how to operate an ATM and then have them conduct your transactions. Show them how to pump your gas, have them install software on the family PC, invite them to help you with the lawn equipment. Have them place the family dinner order the next time you eat out. Take them to the bank and explain what a check is, what it represents and what to do with it. Share the little experiences of daily life, from the dry cleaners to the grocery store, and challenge them to show their competence and understanding.

They’ll make mistakes and they may not get it right away, but be patient and stick with it. By showing your trust and extending your willingness to teach, your children will embrace life without fear and be more likely to assume leadership roles at school and with friends. Model competence, invite participation and acknowledge success. If you do, you’ll add a dimension to their childhood experience that they – and you – will consider to be great fun, yet one that you know is really much more than that.

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