February 2 Newsletter 

Hi, Family Leader,

So, we just saw this item come up on Facebook about a new UC Berkeley course on "adulting," and we wanted to share some thoughts with you on it ASAP … while it’s still fresh.  

>> Watch the news clip here

While this course is not much different than the many such courses being taught in higher education around the country, this one made recent news because instructors had to turn hundreds of kids away due to it’s popularity


First, this isn't new.

The term "adulting" first emerged on Twitter around 2008. It’s stratospheric growth as a meme-theme and blogger topic, though, on top of the mounting numbers of college courses that are earnestly attempting to teach young people the specifics of how to be a successful adult (e.g., how to mail a letter) made us realize that too many parents are missing the boat here.

When you were a kid, didn’t you think to yourself "I can’t WAIT to be an adult, so I can do anything I want!" We certainly did! Being an adult was going to be the best thing ever … an adventure, an opportunity, a gift.

But all of this generational anxiety around being a grown-up suddenly feels like families are really struggling with how to convey life lessons to their children.

The joy of being a grown-up has been replaced by fear.


Empower your kids while they're still at home.

Here's a simple list of activities you can do with your young children or teens while they’re at home. That way, when they leave the nest, you don't have to rely on a college or university (or the "school of hard knocks") to teach your children how to be adults. 

Finances – Next time you pay your bills or balance your bank account, ask your child to join you. You can help them learn about:

  • budgeting
  • checking and savings (how to open accounts at the bank)
  • mortgage and car payments (contracts, interest payments, insurance)
  • the cost of groceries (coupons, sales, where to shop)
  • credit (how credit cards work, how to get one, how to pay off the balance)
  • taxes (how they work, what they're for)
  • whatever else is important in your family

Nutrition – This is a great discussion at the dinner table. No doubt fast food saves time and most times taste great, but the nutritional benefits between a home cooked vs. fast-food meal are vastly different. You can discuss topics like:

  • portion control
  • organic vs regular (when it's worth buying which)
  • fruit, vegetable, grain, or carbohydrate and what each does for our bodies
  • how exercise and nutrition work together
  • metabolism
  • processed vs whole foods
  • whatever else is important in your family

Transportation – Next time you need to go somewhere, let your teen figure out how to get there or look at a map with your younger child and work it out together. When it comes to personal vehicle maintenance, take your child with you when getting repairs or doing upkeep on the car. You can also talk about:

  • rules to using Uber/Lyft
  • how to read a subway/bus/train map (and how to buy a ticket/pass)
  • where to go for help (AAA or another service)
  • whatever is important in your family

(Take a look at our free Personal Responsibility giveaway or take our Family Leadership 101 minicourse for more inspiration!)


Ultimately ...

The best preparation for "adulting" comes from the modeling you do as a parent, the actions you take to engage them in thinking about their future, and the environments you expose them to where they can make decisions whilst in your care.

If you can do that successfully then "adulting" on their own won’t be nearly so overwhelming and they can save college for classes in underwater basket weaving and/or organic chemistry … what college is really for.

It’s exciting to watch your children transform into capable and engaged adults,Family Leader! 

Birth2Work is about supporting you. Let’s do this together.




The Birth2Work Family

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P.S. Skipped to the bottom? Kids shouldn’t have to wait for a college class to learn the fundamentals of being an independent person. Engaging kids in discussions, and having them work with us, on household finances, food prep, and maintenance will prepare them to leave home with confidence.

Our quick list of ideas above, in addition to our free Personal Responsibility giveaway and Family Leadership 101 minicourse can help. Check out our new blogs this week and follow us on Facebook or Instagram to join the Family Bonding Challenge. We just started week 5! (Find the first 4 on our new archive page.)