We continue our discussion of independent living skills with the fifth item—the ability to go places on their own. Sure, they may need our chauffeuring services for a while, but the goal is for them to make this happen without us.
I remember going bowling with my son when he was little. Then taking him to the bowling alley and watching while he bowled with friends. Eventually I was able to drop him off at the door. Of course, this doesn’t happen overnight—in some cases it’ll take years until the child is ready to be cut loose–but plenty of preparation results in lasting benefits.
SKILL #5– Teach your child to go places independently.
Certainly we don’t want our child to be afraid of exploring his or her own community. Starting when they’re young makes it easier so you can build on mastered skills. Gradually you’ll want to extend the distances. Trust me, your child will be ready for this far before you will be!
Child: Get the mail, walk to a neighbor’s
Pre-teen: Walk to and from school, a friend’s
house, park, library, post office, rec
Teen: Learn how to use public
– Be familiar with routes and
– Know what the fare is and how
to pay it
– Know how to buy a pass and
request/use a transfer
Walk to a nearby store, library,
restaurant, cinema, after-school
The ultimate goal is to create a comfort zone of mobility within the community for your child. Starting early will set you both on the path to success.
“Dyslexic kids are creative, ‘outside-the-box’ thinkers. They have to be, because they don’t see or solve problems the same way other kids do. In school, unfortunately, they are sometimes written off as lazy, unmotivated, rude or even stupid. They aren’t. Making Percy dyslexic was my way of honoring the potential of all the kids I’ve known who have those conditions. It’s not a bad thing to be different. Sometimes, it’s the mark of being very, very talented.”
― Rick Riordan, author of the Percy Jackson series. RickRiordan.com