18 Things Your Daughter Needs To Know Before She Turns 18
The Barbie household has hit a huge milestone this month.
I now find myself parenting an adult child, with Miss M finally turning 18!
It’s a scary concept watching a child make the transition into adulthood.
These days when teenagers are turning 18 they are still completing high school, therefore it is still this familiarity and routine dominating their lives each day. Essentially there is minimal change, however in my case it has been a huge year so far for Miss M.
She graduated high school last year and started has two university degrees this year, jumping out of a very small pond and into a much larger and deeper pond than she has ever encountered before.
This transition thankfully seems to have gone rather smoothly with her slotting into “Uni” life and absolutely thriving, she loves it!
Along with these changes, I have also seen a noticeable change in her quest for independence.
I have found myself battling to keep up.
Miss M has said, she has always felt like she has meant to be an adult, even from a young age.
I kind of skipped over the teenage years with her. One minute she was a little girl playing dress ups and dolls with her sister and the next she was an adult in a teenagers body.
She has always been mature and responsible way beyond her years. In fact the first words that my mother spoke to her as a newborn, on the day she was born were, “Oh my…. You have definitely been here before”…..
How can we prepare our teens to become adults and how can we make sure that they know everything they need to know to survive before that time comes.
Honestly do we really think they will ever be ready to leave the nest?
Things your daughter needs to know before she turns 18.
- Teach her that she should never ever pluck above her eyebrows. She should also never interfere with the natural line of her brow. Better yet, help her find a good beautician.
- Teach her how to use all household appliances. Teach her how to use the washing machine. Highlight the fact that “whites go with whites”! Teach her that woollens, definitely do not go in the dryer. Teach her that actually scraping and rinsing a plate before it goes in the dishwasher is beneficial for achieving that sparkling clean and better for the dishwasher too.
- Teach her how to change a tire and use jumper cables. You don’t want her to be left stranded by the side of the road, dependent on anyone that just drives past.
- Teach her to respect alcohol. Yes this is the big scary one. Now that your teenager is 18 they can legally drink alcohol. In the years preceding this milestone, we did everything in household to encourage responsible drinking in front of our kids. They know that while alcohol is something to be enjoyed, it is also something to have in moderation. I’m not going to live in denial, I know I will possibly get that drunk phone call. You know the one… “Can you come and get me mum?” However I would much rather get that drunk phone call, put numerous vomit bags in the car and go and get her, than for her to try and make her own way home or perhaps get into a car with someone she shouldn’t. I know she will call me, because I won’t judge her, hell we have all been there and if she is that drunk, then the next morning could very well be punishment enough. If you have taught your teenager responsible drinking habits then hopefully these incidents are far and few between.
- Following on from the above point. Teach her to never, ever accept a drink from someone she doesn’t know. Never leave a drink unattended EVER. Drink spiking is prevalent and it is such a scary thing. If someone offers to buy her a drink tell her to ask for an unopened bottle or go to the bar with them. It’s a shame that girls have to think like this, but unfortunately it’s the reality of the world we live in.
- Teach her how to manage money. Hopefully by now your teenager has a part time job and is at least helping fund her own busy social life, along with saving for those all important “wants”. If not now is the time to teach her the value of money. Where it comes from and how to manage it. She needs to learn how to budget and realise that money definitely doesn’t grow on trees.
- Teach her how to cook. This is not only important for long term survival, but I am also of the firm belief that all members of the household need to contribute and that includes helping with the cooking. It shouldn’t always be left to Mum to prepare the nightly dinner.
- Make sure she has registered to vote before she turns 18. You never know when an election may be called and if she isn’t on the electoral roll, then she can’t vote. This is also a legal requirement and of course you don’t want her to miss out on exercising her democratic right. You’d be surprised just how many teenagers can’t wait to have their say. Make sure she is well informed and has weighed up all the options, also remember that this is her vote, not yours. Make sure she knows how to complete the ballot paper correctly, you would hate for her first election experience to be in vain.
- Teach her that having a boyfriend is not the be all and end all. Teach her that any partner has to treat her with respect and kindness above all else. If they don’t then give them the flick…. fast.
- Teach her that scissors should never ever be used to cut anything other than paper, or material and definitely not her own hair.
- Teach her to hang onto to good friends. Friends that are honest with her. Friends that will tell her that her ass looks big in those jeans and friends that will tell her that her boyfriend is cheating on her are keepers. Good friends are hard to find. A glass of wine and a Netflix movie night with the girls can work wonders when all seems wrong with the world.
- Teach her that she doesn’t have to make a final decision about her career and life now. Most people go through about 10 careers in their lifetime. She doesn’t have to have it sorted yet.
- Teach her to exercise regularly, which is beneficial for her physical and mental health. Find a good doctor, especially for all her female bits and to start having regular check ups if she hasn’t already. Get her skin checked annually and encourage her to also check it herself regularly, noting any unusual lumps and bumps. Her body is her temple.
- Find a good hairdresser. This is a really tricky one. In my experience just when you have found the stylist of your dreams, they pack up and move on. If she is lucky enough to find one for the long haul, tell her to stick with them.
- Teach her that her sisters are her best friends (or maybe her brothers). They are her blood, they are the ones who “get” her. They are the ones who have seen her at your worst and have seen her at her best. They are with her for the long haul. They depend on each other and help each other through the hard times and celebrate the good times.
- Teach her that knowledge is power. It’s important that she learns things for herself and not to believe everything she hears. She should arm herself with an opinion, but make sure it is well informed and not ignorant. Teach her to respect the opinions of others, even if she doesn’t agree with them. Teach her to never stop learning.
- Teach her to learn to trust her instincts. If something feels “off”, then it generally is. Women’s intuition is a powerful thing, help her to harness hers.
- Teach her that if she decides to do something, then to follow through with her decision. Never let anyone tell her, that she “can’t”. Teach her to never give up on her dreams. They are her dreams, no one else’s. This is her life, she needs to get out there and grasp it with both hands and don’t let go.
What other things do you think is important for our girls to know before they reach adulthood?