What we want them to know five years from now needs to be part of our conversation with them today.
Wow... now I have heard something very similar in the past but as I read this I immediately saw my children's future!
Kate in five years will be on the verge of turning 17.
Matt will be 15.
Emily will be 12 1/2.
I feel that in a tiny way I am having THAT conversation with them... I mean we talk about character, we talk about modesty, we talk about respectfulness.... I am training them daily to be the person God would have them to be. I might not be GOOD at it but I try! We do talk and train and work on this...
But at 17 Kaitlin should be:
-- a little more than midway though high school (we are NOT a start college courses when you are 14 kind of family... in fact I plan on 5 year high school plan.)
--- She could be working in some capacity, whether it is babysitting, a part time job, at the church, volunteer situation or heavy into a sport I guess. (this is dependant on a lot of things...)
--- She would most likely be driving (16 is not a guarantee in this family).
---she should realistically be able to run our household (not that this will be her responsibility but that she has the skills too)
---she will hopefully not be dating ( we
---she should financially be paying for a fair amount of wants and some needs. She should be financially aware of how things work and be able to take care of all her banking needs, keep a checkbook, keep a budget etc.
So how is my conversation today dealing with the above items:
school--Well we are schooling--- I do know pretty much what maths, histories, sciences that we will focus on for the next few years so I guess we are good on that.
work---we are volunteering at the church and she is starting to learn about meeting expectations, completing responsibilities, honest, respectfulness. We will volunteer outside the church and home also but a lot of the positions are age 12 or up.
places I am looking into for her volunteering:
Bird sanctuary _feeding baby birds
The Children's Museum
Driving--- not broaching this of course, but at age 15 we will begin drivers Ed and go from there. I will say that she has driven at Garner (we do this every year) and she can back up nicely and park. I don't believe in allowing kids to drive JUST because they turn 16 so we will only allow them if they are able to show good judgment not only in the drivers seat but also in general life situation.
running a household-- we are a little behind on this in my opinion. Kate only began chores and household responsibilities at age 8 and really only started any serious training last year. Emily began chores at age 4 and can handle many areas of the house for the most part. So it is slower going with Kaitlin but as she learns each area she is handling it pretty well (minus the forgetfulness) when ON TASK she does a good job. I just have to find a way to keep her ON TASK. :)
this year we are stepping up laundry and cooking.
Dating--- this has been dealt with, number one she clearly understand that this is not allowed at her age. besides the obvious we are not dating right now... we have begun the conversation about dating. I however focus MORE on relationships in general than I do solely on a boy. Kaitlin has always had some issues with social skills. I mean she is sweet and kind and loves people, but she misses a lot of social clues and is not always aware of certain situation. So once we established a few cemented rules about dating... we really began focusing on social issues.
What her body is doing and how to take care of it...
How to be a Christian girl in this society...
Mean girls and that whole situation...
Kindness.. friendliness... grace.... honesty....what is acceptable....appropriateness.... modesty.... trust issues
Finances--- Kaitlin is given an allowance and expected to not only tithe off it but to also save. Saving, debt and finances are a huge conversation here. Our kids KNOW and understand that we don't use credit and the very basics of why. That have for the most part grown up with this and it has been a huge topic of conversation for us... we hope they take after us and that we have been a good example to them both in our mistakes and our life style. We are willing to talk about these issues where a lot of parents feel that Money is a tabu subject... we do not feel this way. We want our kids to understand, it is an issue they CANNOT get away from!
SOOO I guess I am having the conversation for the most part.. I do need to step it up in some areas! But mostly I guess we cant prepare them for everything but we do need to have a plan and try our best to teach them
#1- to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and to put HIM in the center of all their plans and actions and to look for HIS will in their life.
#2- we need to get them ready to live in the real world as much as possible, this happens by talking and dealing with "real" life as it happens and preparing them for what can happen. Also to give them a strong family to lean on and again push the relationship with Jesus Christ.
#3- to love them and share with them and let them know that they can talk to you about anything so that THEY can be part of the conversation. Also so you will hopefully KNOW what is going on in their lives!
I would personally rather them stay young... is that an option?