Whether they are going off to college or moving in with a friend, teens may think they know it all before leaving home, but oftentimes this is far from true. Many young men and women move out of their parents’ house and quickly become overwhelmed because they realize they don’t know how to do laundry or cook even the most basic meal. Make sure that your teenager is reading for “solo living” by addressing these six life skills this summer that teens need before they leave home.
1. Money budgeting skills. Teach your teen how to live on a budget. Moving out for the first time can be financially stressful, but knowing how to save money and spend responsibly can be extremely helpful in the long run. Also be sure to point out the potential pitfalls that can arise from using credit cards and money loans incorrectly.
2. Basic cooking skills. When your teen moves out on their own, the last thing that you want is them visiting their favorite fast-food restaurant every night. Make sure that they are able to prepare economical and healthy dishes, because eating out can destroy a waistline and a budget. Your teen and their stomach will be grateful you taught them how to cook.
3. Auto maintenance skills. In case of an emergency, your teen should know how to jump a car, how to change a tire, and how to change a car’s oil. Additionally, they should also know when a car needs to be serviced to prevent any issues from arising.
4. Essential household skills. They don’t need to be a professional handyman or maid, but they should know how to perform basic cleaning tasks, how to do laundry, and how to handle small emergencies such as a clogged toilet or a burned-out light bulb.
5. Social skills. Social skills are taught at an early age, but you should make sure that they are able to carry on polite conversations with potential employers and college professors. The way they communicate on social media and talk to their friends is not how they should be talking during a job interview or other professional setting.
6. Judge-of-character skills. When a teen moves out, they will be meeting a lot of new people, some not as nice as the others. Teach your teen how to assess people as a good friend who will bring out their best qualities, or a bad apple who will influence them in a negative way. This also applies to relationships. Make sure they are able to tell the difference between feelings of infatuation and love, as it will help protect them from a lot of heartache.
Before your teen moves out of the house, take the time to make sure they are prepared. It will save you from worrying and will prevent them from living a life of stress and struggle. After a few years of living on their own, they will thank you for the everlasting support.