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Preparing to Leave Home


Lifeafterballet?
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It may seem a bit early to some, but I know we are going to need all the time we have to prepare DD for leaving home to start college in September!

 

Cooking lessons start tonight based on the fact she burnt tinned soup last week - in fairness she didn't burn it on purpose .... She forgot she had put it on the hob and walked off to check her facebook!

 

Washing and sewing pointe shoes etc will have to wait - I can only handle one thing at a time and her survival seems top of the priority list!

 

I know I have "made my bed" as it is too easy just to get on with it myself than deal with consequences of her trying! Just wondered if any experienced mums had any top tips ..... Or a magic wand!!!

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Well it is good to be prepared of course.

But Life is a wonderful teacher too! So when you really actually have to do it (or starve) its amazing usually how quickly you can learn!!

 

Nevertheless I was grateful for a few cookery tips and recipes which then became "my recipes" initially until I got the old Sainsburys cookbooks and just taught myself!!

I also,had a couple of amazing Indonesian recipes from an aunt who used to live there to pull out of the bag for a special occasion!! And this was in the early seventies when foreign food in UK was much rarer!!

 

A lot of younger people I know just go on the Internet for recipes and even exactly how to do them......the digital age has its uses!!!

 

This time next year hopefully she may be teaching you the odd dish or two! :)

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I can recommend George Foreman grills.  Both my nieces got one and have been singing their praises so I got one too.  It is very easy to use and the fat drains out so they provide healthy dishes too.

 

I like to know my nieces can get in touch with me so mobile phones are essential, preferably with a good deal on texts at the least.  A lot of youngsters don't seem to even bother with land lines these days (yes I know most people have mobiles these days but I think it's important that they always have ways of making outgoing calls or texts).

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My advice is probably contrary to what you would expect and that is to not worry about it or talk about it with your DD for the moment.  Whether she is 16 or 18 and going off to college she has a busy 5-6 months ahead of her still with school and exams, let her concentrate on them as the reality of going away won't sink in for her until they are over and she has her long summer holidays ahead of her.  In the meantime you can write down instructions, oven temps etc for meals that you know you DD enjoys and would be able to make.  For me it was a non DS going away and self catering as DD went to live with a landlady and still had meals cooked for her.  Once they were on summer holidays I casually mentioned that I expected more help around the home now they were less busy.  Both started helping in the kitchen and even cooking the odd family meal, showing an interest as the realisation that knowing how to cook was going to be essential.  A shopping trip to buy the essential kitchen equipment also helps.

I found that when I stepped back and let mine do more of the household jobs I considered mine (they always had their own chores but some jobs I always did) they were actually quite capable.  I had a few phonecalls from DS in the first few weeks - about temperatures and cooking times, which is why I say you can write down some of the basics for DD - but he managed well with food, washing, cleaning etc and I am sure your DD will too.

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I remember when I went to Urdang when I was 16 and was staying at ST.Dorothy`s in Hampstead. Don`t think I had ever loaded the washing machine at home before,so I didn`t know any better and just shoved everything into the machine at once. Needless to say,the whole wash turned out pink.Thanks for teaching me mum,NOT.!!!!!

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I agree with 2dancersmum. There is plenty of time after public exams are over to teach your daughter to cook a few basic meals, wash and iron her clothes and manage her money. She will learn through doing as well (once she is at college). It's interesting that some children have to be shown/taught things whereas others seem to just pick things up simply by living in the same house as you. I have a child in each category.

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We are preparing our dd as well. She won't be leaving for a year or so but we are already putting several things in place.

 

Teaching her about finances. Access cards.

She puts the wash on and helps hang it out.

She knows how to clean bathroom. Toilets. Just the mundane stuff.

Cooking. She helps me prepare foods. And has a small array of foods she can cook.

We know she'll need to go away to a full time ballet school so it's I portent she knows the basics.

 

She'll have to stumble and get it wrong but hopefully by then she knows enough to be confident to care for her food and her clothing etc.

 

So I think it's important. Exams or not, there is always time to pass on our knowledge and help them along

 

Just my thoughts.

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I take your point aussieballetmum, but Lifeafterballet?'s daughter is taking her GCSEs in a few months time. I assume that you live in Australia and perhaps you are unaware of how tough they are - if you want to get good grades that is.

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My kids have always helped out at home with a variety of jobs depending on their ages and how busy they are. But there is a big difference between helping out and having the responsibility of doing the jobs all the time. Mine did not really need teaching how to do things as such for the most part because they do pick things up by living in the same house and by helping out as they grow up. There was the reminder for washing and checking labels/dark colours. but DS did not shrink or discolour anything in his first year away. He always brings a case of dirty washing home with him at the end of term but still does it himself. I found it was more things in the cooking process - he could make lasagne for example but was then unsure of how long to cook it for and what temperature. Similar with boiling an egg - how long until it is hardboiled? Finances and budgeting definitely need discussing though. But as I said before , with exams looming, teenagers have too much on at the moment and leaving home is just an exciting event way ahead in the future. After the exams, leaving becomes more real and they have a better mindset.

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Guest Autumn days

have BTUK offered any places already? Swanprincess/Lifeafterballet - did you get in?  :)  I hope you have some good news to share!

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No BTUK auditions have been postponed due to work at their new studios. Auditions are now 23 March or 6 April. No news on their accreditation yet either :( . Will let you know when we hear anything.

 

Thank you Swanprincess for the very kind offer - DD has a "steep learning curve" but we also habve time on our side. We did cook pasta together last night but if I said her catering teacher recommended she took woodwork you may understand where I'm coming from!!!!

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 Something simple, like pasta and a sauce, might be a good start. I have a friend with a microwave cookbook from the seventies and the recipes in that seem decent and easy to follow, also you can't forget about stuff in a microwave and burn the house down. Stuff that's done on the cooker rather than in the oven is often easier as you can see it much more easily, making it easier to monitor. 

 

  I don't know what you're doing in terms of money for living but money management is a useful skill as a lot of my friends, and myself I must admit, felt rather rich when we saw our first lump sum of money from student finance, but it runs out much quicker than we thought it would. That said, I think budgeting is one of those things you're either good at or you learn the hard way. 

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No sorry Mum in a spin- I've not had an offer or audition at BTUK yet either, but I live about 5mins away from the school so will be able to live at home if I get in :D

Hehe yes Lifeafterballet my speciality is burning pasta (put it on the hob, switch the gas ring on but forget to put any water in the pan. Go and check Facebook. Get yelled at, scrub pan clean and try again- and ".... Do not walk away!!!!" Lol) but I think I'd be even more dangerous in a Woodwork class ;)

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I think younger dd is more capable than older dd....younger dd is doing GCSE Food Tech and can cook really well (roast dinners, amazing yorkies, pasta dishes, cakes etc) but being tidy is NOT her forte! Older dd's friends refuse to let her cook as she's more likely to get stuck in a book and forget that she's cooking (has burnt several pizzas!) - she refuses to clean ('the vacuum cleaner doesn't like me') so it will be really interesting if she gets a place! Both have their own bank accounts and are really good at sorting out their savings accounts and current accounts (older dd is very savvy with her money and rarely buys anything!).  

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On a general level, it did surprise me when I went away to uni that so many of my fellow students did not know how to cook a thing.

 

My mother gave me a few basic recipes, but the one that remains with me to this day is the one pot casserole.  If you can peel and soften an onion, and open and add a tin of tomatoes, you can thow in just about anything you like and have a low cost, easy and healthy meal in no time. 

 

And I have to say that Delia Smith's Basic Cookery book is the single most useful book in my collection.  She really does teach the basics - including how long to boil an egg for the various degrees of softness. 

Edited by Fonty
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