Children who experience trauma can learn at different rates than children who haven’t experienced trauma. It may be beneficial to start teaching adult skills early to teens to set them up for success in their adult years. Parenting your Adopted Teenager, from the Child Welfare Information Gateway, gives practical ideas on preparing youth with the future in mind.
Teaching successful skills to teens can be a vital part of transitioning into adulthood. These skills may include laundry, money management, making appointments, filling prescriptions, and meal prepping/cooking. The skill can be part of the youth’s weekly routine, so it may easily be carried over as your teen transitions to live independently. If deemed that there are some tasks your child may not be able to do, look into assistance available in your community. Your child may be eligible to receive services that include having someone help with independent living skills. If you don’t know of an agency in your area that provides this type of service, contact your Post Adopt Coordinator near you to help locate this service.
Parents can also promote healthy relationships and activities. Conversing about who good role models in the community are can make a difference as well. While in high school, these folks may include a youth’s drama club leader, basketball coach, or youth leader. Some of these important people may remain mentors, playing a different role in your growing teen’s life. In contrast, teens may need encouragement for other healthy relationships. Parents may notice that as their child ages, the relationship between parent and youth changes. Parents may fill the role of a friend, mentor, or advocate as their child enters adulthood. Mentors can be a supportive as your child continues to gain more independence, whether it be with moving and setting up a new apartment, dropping by to say hello, or simply being an encouragement to your kiddo. Promoting healthy activities can be beneficial for teens. Activities might include football Sundays, baking, physical exercise, or finding a play to attend.
Like mentioned earlier, look into available services. Suppose your child does receive special education services when they’re 16. In this case, the school provides a plan for the teen’s future, whether with furthering their education, obtaining employment, or living independently. Also, look into community resources that may support your teen’s needs, whether it be with helping meet educational, employment, or extracurricular needs. Vocational Rehab and Freedom Resource Center maybe resources to look into to assist your teen transitioning towards independence.
This blog post was written by Post Adopt Coordinator, Darcy Solem, LBSW