As our children reach adolescence and teenage years, it is important to prepare them. During these stages, drastic changes happen to them physically, mentally, and emotionally. It is vital that we guide them in their judgments and decision-making because these can highly affect their future.
It is also during these years that we teach them more about certain values like love, spirituality, courtesy, ethics, freedom, and privilege. In a time where they begin nurturing their opinions and forming their own belief systems, it is important to make sure they are equipped with the right values.
However, teach them values alone is not enough. As parents, we also have to prepare them for the real world by teaching them a few important life skills. Teaching life skills is like teaching them how to use a map and a compass. You are not going to explore the world with them, but you are showing them the first few steps on how they could.
Here are five basic life skills that our children need to learn before their high school graduation, before they go to college, and before they go on their first job.
Basic chores include cleaning, laundry, cooking, and a little home maintenance. When they go out to college or start living on their own when they turn eighteen, they need these skills to start their new life. Learning how to clean their own house, wash their own clothes, and cook will help them a lot financially. Home maintenance skills like how to change a light bulb, how to set up their TV, and how to get rid of pests will help them remain composed when such occasions arise.
Once they leave the house, they are expected to fend for themselves. While most of us are loving parents, we should not want to spoil them. Which is why teaching them the importance of saving and how to save money is necessary. They need to start young to make it a habit. Saving will not only help them in the future, but it will also teach them how to value their finances.
Just like saving, this life skill is crucial. Once they learn the importance of saving, it automatically translates to learning where finances should go. Knowing and understanding how to deal with their money will teach them discipline and focusing on what they need rather than what they want.
In the event of an emergency, our children need to learn quick fixes. Learning how to change a tire and jump-start a car are important life skills for teens since this is the age they begin Driver’s Ed. When they get car trouble in the middle of nowhere, they have to do this by themselves. Our sons and daughters need to learn how to get their hands dirty in order to survive.
This is one of the most important things we can teach our children. Once they go out there, they have to learn how to believe in themselves even if no one else will. This will give them the confidence to achieve their dreams and pursue what makes them happy. And support on our part is always appreciated.
As much as we want to be always there for them, showing them what to do, we cannot. The freedom to go out into the world is also a wonderful gift we can give to our children. We can give them the basic tools; but they have to figure things out by themselves, make their own mistakes, and learn from them.
Barnett, Heather. 2016. “15 Life Skills Every Kid Should Know Before They Leave for College.” She Knows, July 18. Accessed October 24, 2017. http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/1093421/life-skills-to-teach-your-kids-before-college.
Niz, Ellen Sturm. n.d. “12 Basic Life Skills Every Kid Should Know by High School.” Parenting. Accessed October 24, 2017. http://www.parenting.com/child/child-development/12-basic-life-skills-every-kid-should-know-high-school.