The change from boy to man can be difficult, especially if there isn’t a guiding hand available, from someone who has years of experience to bestow. This transition isn’t as cut-throat as it used to be when the rite of passage was getting your first kill, or surviving your first night alone in the wilderness. However, bad advice or misconceptions of how the world works can be damaging later in life.
Learning to Shave
This period in a boy’s life could come as early as 11-years-old, up to the age of 18 in some cases and can often cause embarrassment amongst peers. Even with a small amount of stubble or ‘bumfluff’, you can help to set the wheels in motion to a smooth, shaven face.
The best way to teach is by example - Giving top tips that you have learned the hard way should make the path to a hair-free face much smoother. For example, explain to go with the grain when shaving to reduce irritation, take time to avoid nicks (and the embarrassment of tiny pieces of tissue on your face) and be sure to encourage moisturising.
A mirror is a must for this and one with an electricity source for the shaver (if going electric) is important too. Consider investing in a bathroom cabinet with light and shaver socket (Bella Bathrooms have a decent range) to give a barber look and feel to your home.
If you’re feeling brave, you could even let them have a go at shaving your face (for men), as long as you trust that they have a steady hand!
Behind the Steering Wheel
Although this comes naturally to a lucky few, learning to drive can be the hardest thing to accomplish. Driving tests are designed to challenge and unnerve you, so it is vital that your child is ready to face the scrutiny. So, do you think you’re ready to be a driving instructor?
If you have the time, the patience and the ‘drive’ to teach your child how to drive then it can save you a small fortune! As well as building lasting memories of an important rite of passage. This guidance from Driver Active gives practical advice on how to teach your children correctly when they get behind the wheel - Keeping you prepared for whatever may come your way.
Other helpful tips are to give a basic understanding of how a car works, how to keep the car in good condition (maintenance tips) and basic rules of the road - including being polite to other drivers. Learning the cost of owning and running a vehicle will also be an eye-opener too, as well as factoring in insurance, petrol, MOT and servicing. The aim is not to scare them into thinking owning a car isn’t feasible, but making them aware of the realistic costs involved.
The Value of Money
Until you have worked for a living, there is no way to understand the value of money. Whether your child picks up a weekend job serving customers or stacking shelves in a local store or restaurant, to even basic chores around the home such as washing dishes or cleaning - It can help your child to learn to be appreciative of money. And to understand what it takes to earn a living and manage your own money, which is key to paying for all of the essentials.
Creating jobs around the house is a great way to offer the opportunity for your child to extra pocket money, be it gardening tasks, general cleaning or even babysitting of younger siblings. And then once they get used to helping out and earning a bit of money, they’ll be chomping at the bit to get themselves a proper job come 16-years-old.
Getting your first job is a special moment, especially when the first pay packet comes in! Be sure to instil in your child the importance of a good attitude, respecting management, making a good impression and being polite and helpful.
Another great way to help your boy in becoming a good man is with voluntary work. There are so many projects across the UK that they’ll be spoiled for choice. Helping the elderly, other young people, working with animals or even helping in a local charity shop are excellent for building customer service skills, empathy and being selfless.
Organisations like vinspired are great for finding local opportunities. It’s aimed at 14 to 25 year olds and helps young people to make a mark on the causes they care about - promoting teamwork and problem-solving skills.