Sunday Snippet: Independence in Teens
Just because your teen turns 18 doesn’t mean he’s ready to move out of the house and live on his own. Unless you’ve taught him the life skills necessary to live in the real world, there’s a good chance he’ll struggle to be independent.
In fact, many teens are becoming ‘boomerang kids’ because they lack life skills. They struggle to get by without the financial, physical, and emotional support of their parents.
Here are the basic life skills teens need to gain independence from their parents:
1. Work Skills
Don’t assume that just because your teen made it through school he’ll be able to hold down a job. The rules of the workforce are quite different from the confines of a high school. Teens need to know how to complete a job application, attend an interview, and follow a supervisor’s instructions.
A part-time job during high school or a summer job can prepare your teen for a future career. Additionally, assigning chores and regular household responsibilities can prepare your teen for the working world.
2. Transportation Skills
Just because your teen has a driver’s license doesn’t mean she necessarily has transportation skills. Teens need to know how to get from point A to point B. That may mean knowing how to navigate through rush hour or understanding how to use a GPS.
Of course, not all teens know how to drive nor have a driver’s license. In those cases, it’s important for your teen to know how to use public transportation.
And if there’s a chance your teen may need to travel for work, or she plans to leave the state to go to college, knowing how to navigate an unfamiliar city is important.
3. Goal Setting Skills
Whether your teen wants to lose weight or he’s interested in working his way up the corporate ladder, goal setting skills are essential.
Teach your teen how to establish a goal. Then, talk about how to take action toward reaching those goals. A teen who knows how to track his progress is much more likely to stay motivated.
Work on goal setting skills often. Help your teen identify one thing he wants to achieve and then assist him in making it happen. With each new goal he attains, he’ll gain confidence in his ability to reach even loftier goals in the future.
4. Emotion Regulation Skills
All the academic skills or athletic talent in the world will only get your child so far in life. It’s important for teens to know how to regulate their emotions too.
After all, if your teen can’t control his temper, he won’t handle setbacks well. Or, if he can’t cope with anxiety, he may never step outside his comfort zone.
Teach your teen how to deal with uncomfortable emotions in a healthy way. Over time, he’ll gain confidence in his ability to do hard things.
5. The Ability to Deal With Emergencies
When your team has to deal with an emergency, there will be no time for them to think. Therefore, it is imperative parents take the time to teach their teens how to deal with emergencies while they are at home.
A grease fire, a serious injury, or natural disasters are just a few of the emergencies your teen is likely to encounter at one point or another. Make sure your teen knows what to do when the power is out or the cell phone towers are down too. Kids who have grown up with technology often forget that in times of true emergency, electronics aren’t always available.
6. Basic Household Management
While you may be tempted to let your teen off the hook when it comes to chores, it’s essential that your teen knows how to manage a household. Whether he lives in a dorm room or he rents an apartment, he’ll need to know some basic skills.
Teach your teen basic meal preparation skills. Make sure he knows how to perform simple repairs–as well as when to call in professional help. Additionally, don’t send him on his way until he knows how to do his laundry and sanitize a bathroom.
7. Financial Skills
One of the most important skills you’ll ever teach your teen is how to handle money. Unfortunately, many teens leave the house with no idea how to create a budget or how to balance a checkbook. And many of them get themselves thousands of dollars into debt in no time.
Spend time teaching your teen basic money management skills. Make sure he knows about the dangers of credit card debt and the importance of investing. Teaching those skills early on could make a big difference in your child’s quality of life.
Source: Verywell Family