There are dozens of life skills that our teenagers need to learn before heading off to college and being on their own for the first time. The more you teach your teen before heading off for school, the more prepared she’ll be.
Make the transition to college easier for your teen by teaching some basic living-away-from-home skills.
Here’s a short list of essential skills to get you started:
Mastering laundry skills is one of the most basic things your teen’ll need to conquer. She should learn separating colors, reading labels, and yes – ironing.
I found it really easy to motivate my own girls to start doing on their own in high school: I just simply stopped doing their laundry. So once they ran out of clean underwear, they kind of didn’t have a choice unless they bought more.
Don’t forget to teach your teen wash her own linens and towels on a regular schedule, too!
Our teens tend to all know one thing about money: How to spend it. But, of course, there’s a slew of things your teen should know about managing money before leaving the nest in order to make good decisions.
Here’s a short list of teachables:
- Getting by on a limited budget
- Paying for things with cash, not credit
- Having long-term savings goals
- Repaying loans
Google “teach teens about money” for some great tactics to help pass along the important stuff.
Teenagers should be taught how to identify and use basic kitchen tools and to follow a simple recipe. And they should understand that if they’re hungry for something in particular, they probably can make it themselves.
Ramen noodles and pizza might be rite-of-passage staples in your teen’s diet when she goes to college, but there’s no reason why she can’t occasionally make healthier choices.
Arm your teenager with basic cooking skills and pass along easy recipes for things like scrambled eggs, soups, basic meat dishes, chili and salads.
Taking care of themselves when they’re sick
It’s important for teenagers to know what to do when they’re under the weather and Mom’s not around. Discussing this before your teen leaves home and calls you with a fever and hacking cough is key.
Make sure you send your freshman to school with a first-aid kit for the dorm. Pack bandaids, ibuprofen, acetaminophen, itch cream, cough syrup. Have her enter emergency numbers for student health services into her phone (she can call for medical advice), and talk about having a friend get him to the doctor if he needs it. Discuss situations that would constitute emergencies, and explain how to contact emergency services.
What else is necessary for teens to know before leaving the nest? You know there are a multitude of things I’m missing…. Share in the comments below!
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