How many of us had many life skills as a teen before leaving home? We’re going to talk about 16 life skills every teen should know before leaving home. When I grew up and moved out, I did not have life skills that were going to help me as an adult. I had hardly ever done my own laundry, and had never cooked. My first meal that I “cooked” was spaghetti. I opened a jar of spaghetti sauce, heated it up, and poured it overcooked noodles. It was gross.
Our kids are going to have a hard enough time being out on their own just dealing with all the other adult things they’ll be responsible for. I want my kids to have basic stuff down before they leave my home.
16 Life Skills for Teens
- Say, “Please” and “Thank You”, being polite
- Learn to Cook: Cheaper and healthier than eating out
- Give out compliments often
- Avoid the trap of credit cards
- Use a budget and stay out of debt
- Saving for retirement
- Learn to properly clean a house
- Life is not fair, it never will be
- Learn to apologize
- Have an automatic savings account
- Learn how to tip service workers
- Learn to speak to strangers
- Know how to do laundry
- Be respectful of others
- How to nicely say “No”
- Stay in shape: Fitness.
Since my daughter has been young, she’s spent many hours in the kitchen with me learning how to cook. She’s now a teenager, and is just about preparing dinner on her own. I’m around to guide her and answer questions, but by the time she moves out of our home, she’ll be an awesome cook! Another important aspect of cooking is finding a recipe, making a grocery list, and keeping your grocery budget in mind.
Credit Card Debt
This is an important one! When I was young, I got into credit card debt. It seemed to happen overnight, and I didn’t know what to do. It seemed so overwhelming seeing that bill. I don’t want that for my children. I want them to know how to responsibly use a credit card and debt card. Check your bank account often to make sure you’re not spending more than you’re making. I use a Ledger to track my spending and savings, and I’m teaching her to do the same thing.
Teens need to know how to communicate out in the world with strangers. They need to learn how to be polite, ask questions, resolve conflicts, and make others feel better. They need to know how to behave in an interview, and how to conduct themselves properly at work.
I know it’s a pain sometimes to take the time to show them several times how to properly do laundry, however, it’s important. My kids fold all their laundry, and now we are working on how to separate them, wash and dry them.
Another life skill teens need to know before leaving home is to keep a clean house. Keep things organized. I know this can be a pain having a teen cleaning, and you may have to touch up, but they need to learn. Teach them what products are good for wood, countertops, bathrooms, etc.
You want to be proud of them when you travel to visit, and their home is clean, and they can prepare a wonderful dinner for you. It’ll mean you did a great job, and they will be on their way to adulthood!