There was a time when middle and high students were required to take courses about basic life skills. Increasingly, schools are dropping these classes, leaving parents to help guide their child through these important practices. At times, parents find it hard with their busy schedules to teach their teen basic life skills. Here are 5 everyday life skills that every teenager should learn.
In today’s world of easy credit and financial marketing, it’s important to teach your teen how to budget and manage money. There are many different ways you can teach your adolescent this very important skill. If your teen has a job, have them break down monthly expenses and work out a plan on how they will budget until their next pay check. If your teen does not have a job, create a mock scenario or have your teen do chores around the house to earn money. Also, teach them how to save money for unexpected expenses. Helping them understand how bank accounts, credit cards, loans, and interest work can prepare them for the challenges of adulthood.
Cooking and Making Healthy Food Choices
As they get older, your teen will need to be able to cook on their own and make healthy food choices. Every teenager should know the very basics when it comes to cooking, but you will also need to teach them how to use the oven, stovetop, and microwave properly and safely. As your adolescent becomes more comfortable with being in the kitchen, have them help you cook whole meals. Finally, teach them how to prepare some of their favorite meals from start to finish. One fun activity is to let your teenager make you a meal all by themselves with little or no help. If they gain confidence in the kitchen, have them make a meal once a week for the entire family. Be sure to explain to your teen how to make healthy food choices and how to plan meals ahead of time.
A teenager needs to know how to clean every room in the house. Perhaps your adolescent is used to picking up his or her room, but how about house? Have your teen clean a different part of the house every week along with their room. Teach them what to use and how to clean properly. In addition, make your teen responsible for doing their own laundry every week and teach them the proper way to use the machines. When your teenager moves out, they will at least know how what needs to be done to keep up a home. Whether they do it or not is a different issue.
Another life skill you should teach your teenager is how to manage their time and plan ahead. It’s important to begin developing this life skill by middle school. This will help your teenager get organized, prioritize what need to get done, and prepare academically and for their future. Having time management skills will help your teen build self- reliance and reduce stress.
The final life skill you should teach your teenager is basic home maintenance skills. Teaching your teen how to turn off the main water supply, unclog a sink or toilet, check the electrical breaker, what to do in an emergency situation, and how to properly use the fire extinguisher is essential for upkeep and safety. It’s also helpful to go over the use of tools and basic woodworking skills.
Preparing for adulthood is more than finishing school and embarking on a job. It’s also about learning how to live independently and managing your life successfully. As a parent, you can help make the transition to adulthood successful by helping your child develop these skills well before they leave the house.