Maybe you’re raising a teen. Or perhaps you have younger siblings, nieces, or nephews who are entering their teen years, and you’re wondering how you can help prepare them for adulthood. Accepting more responsibility for chores and household errands can be valuable for teens. Learning by doing is a great way to pick up new skills!

Many teens enter adulthood lacking the necessary skills they need to live independently. Even teens who are not planning to move away from home to attend college can benefit from mastering certain key skills! Here are a few things that every teen should learn before they enter adulthood.

Household Chores

Your teen should participate in taking care of household chores. You can delegate weekly cleaning chores to them, which could include cleaning the bathroom or kitchen. Teens can also do laundry, vacuum, and learn the ins and outs of yard work on the weekends.

When your teen eventually moves out, they will need to know how to handle all of these tasks on their own. And if they don’t start cleaning themselves, they won’t realize just how much time and effort goes into cleaning and tidying your home.

Grocery Shopping and Cooking

If your teen does not learn how to cook before moving out, they could easily end up wasting lots of money on frozen food, takeout and delivery, or eating out. Additionally, they might reach for convenient foods that may taste good but are devoid of real nutrition. Include your teen in meal planning, grocery shopping, hunting for deals and sales on ingredients, and cooking.

Have your teen help you choose meals around weekly sales and go grocery shopping with you. Cook meals together once or twice per week. Mastering a few tasty recipes will help your teen feel more comfortable in the kitchen.

Time Management

Does your teen tend to procrastinate on homework? Do they put off their chores until the last minute, or forget about their commitments? If this rings true, you’ll need to work with your teen on time management.

This means using a planner or digital scheduling app, learning to say “No” to requests when they are already over-scheduled, and eliminating distractions like social media. You might want to establish “screen-free” hours in your household so that your teen can get homework done without reaching for their phone.

Personal Finance and Budgeting

Personal finance is complicated. If your teen does not learn how to manage their own money and live within their means, they could risk going into debt as an adult. You can encourage your teen to pick up a part-time job on the weekends.

They could also work during the summers. They will get used to spending from their own paychecks and saving a certain portion of their income. Try giving your teen a credit card with a low limit. This can help them get used to this responsibility, without opening them up to the risk of overspending.

Professional Communication

Communicating with future professors, managers, or even coworkers is a learned skill. You can assist your teen when it comes to asking for help or guidance at school, communicating with customers at their very first job, or even reaching out to universities or trade schools that they might be interested in attending.

This means communicating in a timely fashion, learning how to speak confidently and clearly on the phone, and not hesitating to ask questions when they are unsure of something — especially in the workplace!

Is your teen struggling to pick up on important life skills? Working with a therapist can help. Reach out to us to discuss your options for scheduling a session.

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