If you’re a caregiver or parent of a teen who you expect to move out in the next year or so, there are some important lessons you may want your teen to know. Perhaps these are tasks you’re already teaching your young adult, but here’s a quick list to lay it all out clearly:
Money Management – Of the five things that are listed here, this is probably the most important. When your teen has a solid financial foundation, he or she is likely going to do well in life. And a financial foundation doesn’t mean having a lot of money; it simply means having the knowledge to be able to make good financial decisions. For instance, let’s say your teen is in college. He or she may be really developing a social life and feel a strong temptation to want to spend time with friends instead of get a job which could support his or her education. Also, having a strong financial foundation might also include knowing how to open a bank account, how to balance a checkbook, how to wisely use credit cards, how to shop for the best quality at the best price, and how to budget and live within that budget. Also, there are many companies and banks that charge unnecessary fees. Learning how to avoid these fees is also incredibly important. In a way, teaching your teen to make the financial system work for him/her and not against him/her is a necessary task in life.
Communicate – Knowing how to communicate is an essential task in order to resolve conflict, have long lasting and fulfilling relationships, and to get personal, emotional and spiritual needs met. It’s true that there are many social skills teens are still developing. On the whole, until they learn to become more empathic, they may continue easily get into arguments with others. They might make assumptions and react based upon those assumptions. However, communication can prevent making assumptions and instead base relationships on what is true. As you might imagine, honest self-expression requires that a teen be empathic with him or herself and with others. For instance, sometimes people who feel hurt might not talk to the person that hurt them for a couple of days. Someone might feel hurt or left out or disappointed without realizing that his or her housemate was very busy and didn’t have time to talk. Honest self-expression requires the ability to express your true feelings, to say that you were hurt despite knowing your housemate was busy. Honest communication is simple and can improve relationships among friends, coworkers, family members, and intimate partners. It can be a life-changing skill for teens to have.
Cooking – Although it’s easy to go out and buy breakfast, lunch, and dinner, it’s not cheap! If a teen were to follow the first suggestion above, he or she might want to learn to cook so that money is not spent on eating out every day. Also, taking the time to cook sends a message to the body that your teen is taking good care of him or herself. Furthermore, if your teen learns how to cook, it can be a handy skill if he or she has a family later in life.
Good Work Ethic – You could say that having a good work ethic is knowing the importance of responsibility, accountability, and commitment. For instance, when an employer hires a teen, he or she is making a commitment to show up to work when expected. He or she will be held accountable to be at work at a certain time, perform his or her responsibilities with high quality, and participate in the work environment with care. Having a good work ethic is not just applicable in the workplace, it’s essential for a teen to learn if he or she wanted to start his or her own business or commit to a social action. Having responsibility, accountability, and commitment can be the foundation for creating a full and meaningful life.
You might already be teaching your teen the above tasks. However, this article might have provided you with some more ideas and inspiration on how to prepare your teen for life on his or her own.