Teen Series: Critical Life Skills To Know Before They Fly The Coop

When you have a toddler, your brain is on overdrive trying to figure out what to teach them and when. I’m sorry to break it to ya, but it doesn’t stop there. You are now in charge of raising a whole person and helping guide them into becoming productive members of society. 

No pressure. 

There are numerous life skills that are critical for a teenager to learn before they leave home to live independently. (I know you don’t want to think about this yet, but it’s going to happen!) Don’t leave them in the dust and start teaching them this stuff early so they’re not cramming for the test of adulthood, or calling you to boil water. As mom (or dad), I’m sure most of this will seem second nature and you don’t need a list, but just in case, here are some essential ones:

Teens should know how to prepare a few simple, healthy meals on their own. Read More.

They should understand how to sort clothes, what water temperature to use, and how to iron. Read More.

Understanding how to manage money, create a budget, save, and avoid debt are crucial life skills. Read More.

Knowledge of basic cleaning skills like how to clean a bathroom, kitchen, and how to vacuum and dust properly is important. Read More.

Teens should know how to balance work, study, and leisure time effectively. Read More.

Basic first aid skills could be life-saving. Teens should also know when and how to seek medical help. Read More.

This includes brushing and flossing properly, skincare, and general body cleanliness. Read More.

Whether it’s understanding bus routes or scheduling an Uber, teens should feel comfortable using public transit. Read More.

Basic skills might include changing a tire, checking oil and other fluid levels, and understanding what different lights on the dashboard mean. Read More.

This includes planning meals, making a shopping list, comparing prices, and understanding nutritional labels. Read More.

Writing a resume, a cover letter, and communicating professionally via email are important skills for job hunting. Read More.

Whether it’s a lease agreement or a new phone contract, understanding the basics of contract law can save them from future issues. Read More.

Home Maintenance

Simple tasks like resetting a tripped circuit breaker, unclogging a drain, or patching a hole in the wall can come in handy.

Self Care and Mental Health

Recognizing the signs of stress and depression, knowing when to take a break, and understanding when to reach out for help are crucial for maintaining mental health.

Voting and Civic Responsibility

Understanding how to register to vote, why it’s important, and the basics of local and national government systems can contribute to their sense of civic duty.

Remember, it’s okay if they don’t master all these skills right away. Learning is a process, and everyone develops these abilities at their own pace, including your child. But keep these in mind as you are nearing the older teen years. 

If they have a solid grasp of these things before leaving your home and going to live on their own, I can assure you, you are doing them a huge service by preparing them for the world without you. Parenting isn’t for the weak. You can do this! They’re counting on you.

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