Your kids are growing more independent each day. The process of maturity is gradual so you may not notice the changes in their attitude and behavior, but the signs are surely there. Before you know it, the kids you once carried in your arms are already adults who can take care of themselves. They’ll go to college and ask for the ultimate freedom: to live on their own. As a parent, it may be tough to see your children go. But it’s often for the best to let them take the leap when they think they’re ready. Let them be independent once and for all. Let them go to a university far from home, to experience condo living by themselves, to keep house, manage their expenses, control their indulgences, and achieve their personal goals. After all, they’re growing up and they’re growing older.
Then again, adulthood is not defined by age. It’s how mature your kids are that will determine if they’re ready for what’s ahead. They may be on their late teens or early 20s but that’s not enough reason to let them pack their bags and venture into the unknown. Condo living in the Philippines may have a good reputation, but that doesn’t mean your kids will not have their fair share of problems when they’re left to themselves. For your kids’ best interests and for your own peace of mind, you should gauge if they’re ready to pay for their independence. It would be less nerve-wracking for you if you knew that you’ve done your best in preparing them to beat the odds and take care of themselves in the process. You should start looking for the following signs that will tell you when your children are ready to fare on their own and start their journey to independence.
1. Mature outlook and responsible behavior
There’s a saying that goes, “Adults are just kids with responsibilities.” While that is true in every sense, it omits one important aspect of adulthood. It’s not how many responsibilities you have that makes you an adult, it’s how many of those responsibilities you fulfill. You can immediately sense how responsible your kids are. If they think independently, work cooperatively, and take accountability for their actions, you know they’re mature enough to deal with their own lives. But it doesn’t end there. Your kids should also be able to make sound decisions—conscious choices that will not compromise their virtues or reputation.
2. Financial wisdom and self-control
For centuries, independence has been portrayed as a romantic concept that culminates to an all-inclusive freedom. But reality is not that sweet. If your children go out there into the world without financial restraint, they’ll realize a lot sooner that it’s not easy being free. For instance, if they’ll be attending a prestigious school, they’ll have to learn to prioritize school expenses before their own indulgences. If they’ll be living in a condo, they’ll have to budget their allowance to pay for rent and utility bills. They need to learn how to live within their means and not acquire a taste for things that they can’t afford. Make sure your kids are able to delay gratification and sacrifice small indulgences to achieve financial security.
3. Self-confidence and social readiness
Are you confident about your kids’ social skills? Are they confident about their own skills? They should be. Otherwise, they’re not cut out for the independent life yet. Your kids need to build a network of people they can rely on and reach out to in difficult times. Of course, you’ll never cease to be their ultimate support system but they need to develop new relationships if they want to survive in a place far away from home. It’s a good thing that one of the benefits of condo living is the sense of community among tenants. Your kids will not have a hard time forming new circles because neighbors are just literally on the other side of the wall.
4. Health and general well-being
As parents, you have taught your kids the importance of self-care early in their childhood. You can’t let them live on their own if they don’t fully understand why they need to take care of themselves and look after their physical health. Whether you like it or not, your kids will be cast into harm’s way. You can’t protect them from the temptations of living independently. You can only hope that their upbringing will keep them on the right path and stop them in their tracks when they’re tempted to go astray.
5. Self-direction and sense of exploration
Your kids will soon realize that one of the benefits of living in a condo away from home is having the freedom to do whatever they want whenever they want. Of course, this has its own perks and drawbacks. On the plus side, your kids will be able to explore the world around them and discover new things. But if they’re not self-directed, they will lose sight of their priorities and start to exploit their independence. Your kids should know their limits. Make sure they can manage on their own before agreeing to let them live on their own. It may help to find a study-friendly condominium to make sure that your kids have an access to a venue that’s conducive for learning. But if your kids are self-motivated enough, they’ll find a way to get by in their studies and life in general even when resources are not readily available to them.
6. Self-help skills and task completion
Hopefully, you taught your kids how to do chores when they were still younger. Now that they’re almost adults, they’ll need the self-help skills you taught them in order to survive alone. Do your kids know how to cook and do the laundry? Is making the bed an automatic part of their morning routine? Remember, your kids can’t rely on you to keep their condo space clean anymore. If they want a sanitary home, they need to make one themselves.
7. Personal hygiene and wholesomeness
Another important aspect you need to consider about your kids is personal hygiene. This may sound like a no-brainer but teenagers and young adults sometimes neglect good grooming. Make sure your kids care enough about hygiene that they bathe at least once a day, brush their teeth twice or thrice a day, and wear clean undergarments all the time. Just don’t be intrusive about their personal space. They should be old enough to know all these things. Observe and re-educate them from a safe, parental distance.
8. Time management skills and sense of priority
Time is an extremely important commodity. Once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Your kids should know this truth before they demand for independence. They need to be organized and disciplined enough to manage their time and set their priorities right. Once they’re on their own, they’ll be responsible for paying their tuition fees, rent, and utility bills right on schedule. They should know when to enroll in auto-debt or e-banking so they can save time and use it for more important things.
9. Realistic view and enthusiastic approach to life
Reality will hit your kids hard in the head once they leave the home that had protected them for so long. They’ll learn just how ugly things can get for people who are clueless about how things really work. This is why it’s important that your kids develop a healthy mindset about life before they leave the nest. They need to have a glimpse of the real world so they won’t be taken aback once they’re out there on their own. If your kids have a realistic but enthusiastic take on things, they will grow into adults who understand the importance of seizing the day and making an impact.
10. Emotional adjustment and resilience
Perhaps the most important sign that you should look for is emotional strength. There’s no denying that your kids will face a slew of challenges on their quest for independence. Studies, finances, peer pressure, loneliness, and basically all of the stress and frustration that the real world can offer will take a toll on your kids’ sanity if they’re not emotionally ready. Regardless of individual circumstances, condo living for college kids is still a new concept, so make sure you’re there to help them make the transition. However, if you feel that your kids are really not ready to take the next step to adulthood, you’ll be doing them a favor if you postpone their independence so they can develop a resilient mind before they set out into the world.
One or two signs are not enough to say that your kids are ready for a life on their own. They should have all these traits and skills so they can make it in the real world. Help them build their self-esteem by giving them college and condo living tips. Once you’re confident in their preparedness, give them their well-deserved independence, but couple that with the knowledge that you’ll be there for them through it all. Be their willing guide and friend who will urge them to move forward when their fears scream louder than their determination to succeed.