I’m not talking about tying shoelaces here, although that helps! I’m talking about some of the skills that’ll help your child turn into a well-rounded young adult. My son has finished school, and is moving onto the next chapter of his life with college, and starting his first job. Everything is changing for both him and for me. As his mum, I’m finding letting go harder than I thought it would be! But I also know that with the life lessons and skills that I’ve been teaching him as he has grown up, he’ll be able to venture into the big wide world with confidence and the ability to take care of himself, without having to call on mum all the time!
And of course, this will apply to girls too; and from any parent or care giver. I just so happen to be a mum of a teenage boy!
1. Managing their cash
Living costs are quite a hard thing to pin down. Do you only count the essentials here? Or do you include the sundry items that your child likes to buy regularly? Whatever goes onto the budget list, it’s important that they at least have the budget in the first place.They’ll be in for quite a shock when they move out for the first time at just how expensive it can be living on their own. Understanding the importance of putting a little aside each month will be huge help – with their bills and your peace of mind.
2. Learning to drive
It’s always recommended that your son or daughter learns to drive with a qualified instructor. Once they’ve got a few lessons under their belt you can then add them to your car’s insurance cover and let them practise in-between lessons with you. Try not to ‘teach’ as such, instead let them go over what they’ve already learnt in a relaxed environment.
3. Emergency contacts
When something goes wrong, you child’s first instinct is to turn to their parents. But when they’ve just developed their first flat tyre 200 miles away, there’s little you can do on the end of the phone. So making sure they know who to call to get them out of any tight spot is a good idea. And it might be prudent to have the same list of contacts in your own phone.
4. How to do the weekly shop
Open your child’s fridge in their first digs away from home and you’ll likely be greeted by barely recognisable food stuffs. Try as they might, Super Noodles aren’t going to get them through the week. Get them into the habit of preparing a meal once a week – they’ll learn how easy it is to eat healthily and shop efficiently, even if they use an online shopping app.
5. How to answer the phone
Something that’s getting overlooked by today’s texting teens is the basic art of taking a phone call. Your landline probably doesn’t ring nearly as often as it used to and when it does, it’s probably a PPI robot. Still, your child can always practise how to answer clearly and take messages.
6. How to answer the door
Another basic skill kids can learn from a young age, although only when you’re around. The last thing you want them doing is opening the door to strangers. Teach them the benefits of opening the door on the chain and looking for ID if someone says they need to check the gas meter.
Even if they never have to use them, a martial art or some basic self-defence classes will at least give your child the confidence that they can look after themselves should the need ever arise.
8. Doing the laundry
No, that doesn’t mean saving it all up in a pile for you to sort out. Show them what the care labels actually mean to help them preserve their clothes and explain how the different washing cycles can save time and energy.
9. Making appointments
Getting your teen into the habit of making their own GP and dentist appointments will give them a sense of how regularly these things should be scheduled well before they leave home.
10. That it’s okay to turn to you for help
The most important skill you can teach your teen is that no matter how prepared they are for life’s great adventure, it’s never a mistake to turn to you for help or advice whenever they may need to. And if for some reason they feel they can’t come to you, do they have a trustworthy figure to confide in?
These are some of the things you can teach your teens – now see what you can learn from them in this Huffington Post piece. And here are five reasons why chores will turn your kids into better people, from Yahoo.
Disclosure: Collaborative post.