It’s important to teach your teens essential life skills as they prepare for adulthood. Children need these skills to navigate through life, especially when they are on their own. Remember, they won’t stay under your roof forever. As they near adults, it will be best to know a thing or two about financial management, cooking, and stress management. Spend some quality time with your teens and teach them the following life skills.
1. Manage money
Teaching your kids as they prepare for adulthood how not to overrun their monthly income or allowance is very important. They also need to master some other skills, such as drawing up a budget, calculating interest payments on credit cards and loan installments, comparing the prices of purchases, and filing a tax return.
One way to do this is by giving them a certain amount of money to spend each month and encourage them to make a budget on how they can spend the money. You will quickly see that it will help them effectively manage money.
Also, teach them the difference between wants and needs. Let them understand what needs mean: the basic things of life that we can’t live without, such as food, home, and clothing. Explain why they should prioritize these things. Then, tell them wants, which are the secondary stuff, for example, going for a vacation, buying the latest gadgets, and buying designer clothes.
Ensure you add that wants are not essentials and should be put on the side-line if money is tight. Don’t hesitate to show them how you plan and you manage to keep the family’s finances in order.
2. Cooking skills
Children need to learn how to cook before they leave home as an adult. If They can’t cook for themselves, they will be wasting a lot of money on buying already prepared food outside. Also, they will be more likely to eat less healthy food-processed meals that require fewer cooking skills.
To teach them how to cook, you should start by taking your teen along for grocery shopping and inviting them to help out in the kitchen when preparing dinner for the family. When you cook, they watch you and learn. As time goes on, you can let them try out less complicated foods—for example, cooking spaghetti or cooking white rice.
Also, show them as to use the stove and other kitchen tools and equipment such as knives, cutting board, blender, measuring spoons and cups, etc. They can also help out with mixing ingredients and measuring ingredients from an early age. As their confidence in the kitchen grows, you can start teaching them more complicated cooking methods.
3. Manage stress
Just like in adults, stress is also a normal part of life for teens. There are healthy ways for your teens to cope. One way is developing mindfulness. It will go a long way to help protect your teen from depression and anxiety. Show them how to relax by engaging in physical exercise or while working on a hobby.
For example, for a young teenage girl, the growth spurt of puberty can cause her much stress and anxiety, especially if it started late or early compared to her peers. Other causes of anxiety for teens are social pressure and emotional change.
Another way you can help your teen successfully manage stress is to encourage them to talk it out with a responsible adult or a trusted friend. Talking about stressful situations can help teens to put things in perspective and find solutions.
Explain how they can benefit and unwind by spending time in nature. Researchers have found that people who live in more green spaces have less depression, anxiety, and stress. It is, for a fact, an effective way to relieve stress and helps improve overall well-being.
Studies have also found that writing about positive feelings can help reduce mental distress. Teach your teens how to express their thought in writing. These indispensable life techniques will go a long way to support them as they prepare for adulthood.
4. Eat healthily.
Healthy eating habits are essential life skills everyone needs to learn. Stress the importance of eating a balanced diet rich in vegetables, fruits, and other whole foods. Children aren’t born with a craving for fast foods such as French fries and pizza. These are habits they pick up over time.
If your teen loves eating unhealthy foods, it is possible to reprogram their food preferences to healthy foods like vegetables, legumes, fish, beans, wholegrain, or high cereal fiber varieties. In so doing, they will start craving more nutritious foods instead.
To reprogram their food preference, make healthy foods the default setting for your family’s meals, and get your teens to choose nutritious, tasty options for themselves.
5. Stay safe.
Teach your teenager how they can protect themselves online and off. You can provide them with common-sense warnings such as coming back home before nightfalls, not going out with strangers without telling someone about their movement and always being alert of their surroundings at all times. It will also be best to share your own experiences with them. They can learn a lot from practical examples.
Tell them to be careful about the information they share online about themselves. Also, make sure you tell your teen to be careful not to reveal online more than they should. Untrustworthy individuals can piece together someone’s online activities such as comments and photos to find out personal information such as where he or she lives and goes to school and at what times no one will be at home.
There are no guarantees in life. A person can do all the right things and still have tragedy, but teaching your teen about safety can’t hurt, and it can be of great benefit to them later part of their lives.
6. Live by values and not just rules.
Teach them to be able to discern and distinguish both right and wrong. Appeal to your teenager’s moral sense, show them how to make wise decisions, whether you are there or not, instead of emphasizing rules and punishment as the primary factor for making better decisions.
One way to do this is to be a good role model to your teenager. Teach them by example; they will learn by just imitating you. For instance, when turning down a commitment, be honest about it, even if it means hurting the other person’s feelings. Your teenager will learn that it’s not okay to lie in all cases, no matter what happened.
As your child prepares for adulthood, he or she should be able to consistently demonstrate admirable character traits such as kindness, restraint, tolerance, and inclusiveness. These qualities will help them navigate life’s challenges because they will get tested as time goes on. Teach your teens these life skills early on.
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