Skills Your Teen Should Learn Before Moving Out

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It’s much better to start training children on independence at a young age, especially in their formative years. This way, the habits and skills that they’d need as adults will be well integrated into their character as individuals well before they reach the day they move out. Adult skills can be daunting to a child, but they don’t have to do everything on their own at a very young age.

The simple skill of agency, the ability to make their own decisions without having to seek their parents’ affirmation or validation, is in itself a very useful ability that can be taught as early as their toddler years. Knowing that your child is growing up to be independent can also give you confidence in their ability to take care of themselves without your help. Nevertheless, here is a checklist of skills your teenager should know before they leave the nest.

Personal Care

Personal Hygiene. You’ll be surprised with how many young professionals are simply beginning to just learn about personal hygiene. Some people don’t exactly have the tidiest parents, and thus have a very skewed idea of personal hygiene. Teaching your child how to smell good, look presentable, and keep themselves clean will help them in many aspects of their life: from personal social interactions to find a better career progression.

Go to the Doctor. It’s not uncommon to see kids and adults have an unhealthy fear of the doctor. They often associate going to the doctor with either going through painful surgery or spending exorbitant amounts on medical care. But, going to the dentist, doctor, or any health professional is part of being an adult. Teaching your child to represent themselves in front of the doctor, and to answer their questions honestly, is a good way to remove the fear of doctors, and will teach your child the importance of going to one should any health problems arise.

Financial Skills

Make and Manage a Budget. Instead of giving your teens a daily allowance or a large chunk in one go, mimic the schedule of a salary and send it every two weeks or so. This will teach them to budget their money per day, analyze how much they spend in a week, and even learn how to save money. Learning this early on will be something they’ll thank you for the rest of their life.

Manage their credit card. Many parents who give their children credit cards often just tell them to not go over the credit line. But responsible parenting calls for more than that. While putting your kids on your credit card is fine, they should also learn how to manage it on their own. Teach them to learn how to spend under a limit, and to do their best to save up money to cover the cost of that. Other people would say that this is difficult for the child, but it actually teaches great responsibility and budgeting skills.

Teach Them Bank Transactions. Knowing how to go to the bank and what to do there is something that feels so basic and easy if you’ve done it a couple of times. But not when you’re trying to be independent for the first time in your life. That’s why as parents, you need to bring your kid with you when going to the bank- let them know what you’re doing and what you’re asking the bankers and accountants. This will help them when they eventually apply for their first home loan or car loan.

Home Chores

Equipment/ Appliance Use and Maintenance. Not everyone knows how to operate a washing machine, and sadly, they often get to the age where they’re afraid to ask. This results in badly washed clothing, which can severely affect how they navigate their daily life. Don’t let this happen to your children and teach them how to use necessary equipment like an iron, a washing machine, a dishwasher, and more- they will be using them once they’ve moved out so make sure to start them young.

Maintaining Cleanliness in the Dorm/ Apartment/ House. Needless to say, moving out on your own requires knowing how to maintain the place you’re staying. Parents already teach their children how to do basic chores, but it’s about time that you intently teach your kids. Show them ways to make cleaning more efficient, and to not make it too much of a hassle for them. 

Cooking. Finally, a skill that many often ignore because you can simply eat out anyway- cooking is still a very important ability to have. It’s a great skill to have when trying to save on money, and helps you eat healthier foods as well. Regardless, cooking is a very useful skill, one that everyone should learn.

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