Preparing Your Child to Leave the Nest
You've probably assigned chores to your child at home, so she should already be familiar with housekeeping practices. Teach her to think about the big picture and keep track of a whole household. Make sure your child knows:
- How often to clean different areas of the apartment (bathroom, kitchen, etc.).
- What cleaning products to buy.
- How to clean appliances (oven, refrigerator, toaster, etc.).
- How to use a washing machine and dryer.
- How to avoid pest infestations.
- What days trash and recycling are picked up at her future address.
- How to keep down household energy costs.
- All about household safety practices.
Your child will also need to know how to shop for groceries and prepare meals for herself. When she first moves into her new place, she'll need to spend some extra money to stock her pantry with kitchen essentials. Make sure she knows how to find the best prices on food items and how to read nutrition labels to help her maintain a healthy diet. Food safety is another important topic to cover.
If your child hasn't had much experience cooking meals, show her how to make a few of your favorite, simple recipes. Here are some easy recipe suggestions:
- Blueberry Muffins
- Sweet Onion Soup
- Simmered Carrots
- All-American Meatballs
- Chicken Cacciatore
- Shrimp & Pepper Stir-Fry
- Spanish Rice, Beans, & Sausage
- Cream Cheese Marble Brownies
- Baked Apples
A big finish, a new beginning
The day your child moves out of your house is likely to be a day of both joy and sorrow. You should congratulate yourself for all you've done to enable her to live on her own. It's a big job. At the same time, you'll probably feel great loss as she moves on to another stage of her life, one in which you'll have a less direct role. Try to focus on the fact that this is what you've been working toward as a parent. Your daughter isn't going out of your life -- just out of your house.