Is Your Child Ready to Leave Home? (page 2)
Willingness to take responsibility and social and emotional maturity have much to do with success in adult life as academic skills. Young adults whose self-management skills are good in most of the areas listed below are probably ready for independent living. (Note that even the best prepared youngsters will not start out functioning well in all areas.) Those who lack ability in many areas may need a sheltered environment after high school until their skills improve.
Mature young adults:
- can set reasonable short-term goals and make plans to achieve them. (Can plan a social engagement or make a realistic list of chores for the day, for example.)
- can stick to their principles and stand up to peer pressure.
- have reasonable impulse control; can delay gratification when appropriate. (They can bal-ance “what I want to do” and “what I need to do” most of the time, for example.)
- understand their own strengths and limitations; can identify situation/setting/modifications that make it possible for them to do their best.
- can manage day-to-day personal finances (make deposits, write checks, pay bills, keep simple accounts, keep spending within budget guidelines).
- can stick to a schedule (get up and to get at reasonable hours; get to work/meals/class on time).
- have developed “memory methods” for keeping track of appointments, assignments, chores and other obligations.
- can shop for and prepare simple meals.
- have good health and grooming habits: dress appropriately for the weather, know how to keep selves, clothing, and living spaces clean; are reliable about following doctors’ orders (including taking medications on time); under-stand the consequences of drug and alcohol abuse and the important of practicing safe sex.
- can drive or use public transportation safely.
- can monitor their own behavior (are usually aware of the impact their behavior has on others; can identify when their behavior has been irresponsible, inappropriate or offensive).
- are accountable for their own actions; take pride in their successes and responsibility for their mistakes.
- can respond appropriately to emergencies (know what to do in case of injury or medical emergency, fire, power failure, etc.).
- can ask for help and locate appropriate sources of support when needed.
- can accept supervision and constructive criticism.
- can follow directions and work independently for reasonable periods of time (do not have an excessive need for praise, monitoring or other forms of attention).
- usually interact courteously with supervisors, teachers, co-workers, service providers.
- can initiate and maintain appropriate social relationships with peers.
- know and practice healthy methods of reduc-ing stress (such as exercise, talking problems over with others, meditation, hobbies, sports and other recreational activities).
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