Leaving school is one of the biggest transitions we will face in our lives. For fourteen years, a child will have experienced nothing but a structured, educative environment. Learning to use their time, to set themselves their own deadlines, to negotiate adult roles, to manage finances, to direct one’s own priorities and become independent from home are hugely significant challenges. There is some evidence today that adolescence, as a phase, is being extended well into one’s twenties, as young people defer adulthood through a mix of financial, social, professional and emotional pressures. Parenting should be increasingly understood as a journey accompanying young people for much longer than previous generations.
Children who show impulsivity and deflecting behaviours may need help to adjust to the self-discipline and self-management required beyond the school campus. Parents should give these young adults a realistic expectation that adult life is often boring and tedious; that professors and employers will expect reliability and diligence; that self-organisation skills need to be developed; that routines and habits of work, planning and self-care will be essential to manage beyond school.
Children who show attention-indifference and self-assured behaviours may need help not to be too self-reliant upon leaving school. Parents should help these young adults anticipate problems for which they will need to seek the support of others; they should provide practical guidance about where, who and how they can access help. Independence should not be confused with self-reliance.
Most young adults will need specific help managing finances, planning their time, anticipating bills, meeting deadlines and presenting themselves for work.
- SEARCH THE TAG CLOUD for articles which deal specifically with LEAVING SCHOOL issues.
- The articles on this page support children with patterns of behaviour which are known to be particularly associated with problems with leaving school.