Basic Life Skills For Teenagers
One of the most significant aspects of parenting is preparing your children for an independent life in the real world. Yet, what do they absolutely need to know? Before your teen sets out on their own, here are some concrete skills that they need to master.
Cooking and Meal Prep
For many teenagers, going off to college means living off of fast food and ramen. Because this isn’t a healthy diet, it’s important that your teenager know how to cook some basic meals that require minimal preparation and can be made on the fly. Such meals could be eggs, chicken breasts and pasta.
However, it would be a good idea for him or her to know how to make a few simple casseroles—such as a bierock casserole or a baked burrito casserole. This way, you can ensure that your teen, and perhaps even inherently their roommates, are eating a variety of foods.
Basic Car Care
Issues with cars can arise at the most inopportune times. By teaching your teen the basics of car care, you will have peace of mind when they’re out on the road. It’s important that your teen understands, and keeps up with, the car’s preventative maintenance schedule. Staying on top of the recommended oil changes, tire rotations and tune-ups will stave off many problems down the line.
Your teen should be able to check tires for signs of wear, and make certain that proper tire pressure is maintained. They should also know which stores, like Discount Tire Centers, that they can go to where they can get a spare tire if they need to.
Along with that, teach them to check the oil, transmission, brake and wiper fluid levels and show the proper procedure on how to fill each. Lastly, your teen should also be able to jump start their car’s battery, and they should know what to do in case of an emergency.
Your teen likely learned some financial lessons during their high school coursework. However, they’ll need to understand a bit more than how to budget as young adults.
Essential financial lessons include understanding credit card debt, student loan debt and simple vs. compound interest. Make sure that they grasp the true cost of borrowed money. Teach them to be savvy borrowers and to avoid getting in over their heads. This is especially important in considering the cost of college.
In 2016, the average college student graduated with $37,000 in student loan debt. They’ll be paying about $350 per month for 10 years; adding $5,000 or more of interest over the life of the loan! If your teenager doesn’t fully understand what all that means, then they could end up digging themselves into a deep pit of debt.
For most teens, they begin their foray into the workforce working part-time retail or fast food jobs. Teach them to draft a working resume that will highlight their achievements and accomplishments, allowing them to stand out from the crowd. Have them focus on the transferable skills learned vs. the basic tasks of the job. And don’t discount valuable experiences gained from team sports, clubs, and other extra-curricular activities.
With these skills under their belts, your teen will begin the journey into young adulthood with ease. Years from now, you’ll see how the skills that you have taught him or her will have made them who they have become.