As a parent, your natural instinct will be to protect your child at all costs. How this desire manifests in a teenager’s home life is different in every family. At The Hurst Campus, we appreciate the effort, love and best intentions of all our student’s parents, but we also know that preparing them for the “real world” and giving them a sense of independence is crucial to their success.

In part one of this series we looked at practical ways to help foster independence in your child, as a parent. Here we explore some of the milestones they’ll need to reach in order to be ready for a career in the culinary arts or hospitality sector, as well as what interpersonal skills and personal attributes will prepare them for adulthood.

Major milestones: Is your teen ready for the real world?

1. Raise confident speakers: All 18 year olds should be confident enough to speak to strangers – this needs to include professors, lecturers, campus staff, landlords, the bank, new doctors and the mechanic when their car breaks down, for example. The problem here is that parents usually warn their children about the danger of strangers instead of teaching them how to pick up the nuances and behavior of the few bad ones from the actions and reactions of the mostly good ones.

2. Teach your child how to approach a stranger: They should be respectful, greet new people with a handshake and hold eye contact while they ask for the help and guidance they’re looking for. An 18 year old also needs be able to find their way around the new town they’re living in. Moms and dads drive their kids everywhere so they aren’t used to navigating new routes, booking an Uber and resolving small issues, like arranging for their car to be serviced or making an appointment with the doctor.

3. Make sure they know their personal information: Your children need to know who their new recommended local doctor and dentist is, how to book an appointment, what their medical aid number is. They should also be able to communicate directly with their campus to explain why they are unable to attend classes and when they expect to be back.

4.Let them take on personal responsibility: They should be able to liaise with their landlord directly and know what to do in the event of an electrical or plumbing or structural crises. They need to know who the local car mechanic will be, when their car will need a service, how to change a tyre and refuel their car (petrol or diesel), watch the tyre pressure and to react to warning lights on the car dashboard. They should also know how to book a plane or bus ticket home for the school holiday before the end of term.
This may seem like a lot to take on all at once, but these skills and knowledge sets will help keep them safe, happy and successful when embarking on their educational journey away from home.

Join us next month for more practical tips for parents and students or contact us for more information on the Hurst Campus syllabus.

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