Being a teenager is always tough, no matter where you live or what your background is. All those hormones flying around and big decisions to be made about future plans and exam results. There are key skills that all young people should have before they leave home and go out into the big wide world. Being able to quote Shakespeare is all well and good but what does your son or daughter do if their car breaks down or they lose their bank card? Here are some essential life skills you should teach your teens:
How to cope with money
Teaching your young adult about how interest works, how to check their balance online and the way credit cards operate are all really important skills for later life. Make sure you explain the real-life situation with debt and how it can affect credit scores and the ability to get financial help in the future. Start them off with a budget, for new clothes for example, and get them to make a list of what they need, where they will get them from and how much it will cost. Create a hypothetical scenario and ask them to budget for a month, factoring in rent, food and other expenditure.
At some point, your son or daughter will have to feed themselves and if you don’t want them living on fast food and toast then some help in the kitchen will be required. Get your child into the kitchen and teach them about basic necessary ingredients, where to buy them and make sure they know how to safely use all kitchen appliances. How to store food and food hygiene are also very important. Some basic recipes to try out will set your child in good stead for the future. Ask them to research their own recipes that they’d like to try out.
How to take of yourself is one of the most important life skills that anybody can possess. Recognising an ailment, what to buy from the pharmacy and when to visit a GP are vital tools for taking care of ourselves. Getting plenty of nutritious food, staying well-hydrated and simple hygiene rules at home will go a long way in insuring they remain fit and healthy for their new adventures. Ask your teen if they would like to attend a first aid skills course. This also includes looking after their sexual health and may include not only discussing the importance of safe sex with them but also how to contact organisations such as www.checkurself.org.uk/plus/home_sti_kits/ who provide STI Testing London way, or one close to your location.
One of the biggest shocks to the system about leaving home is the amount of organisation that you’re now responsible for. Teach them about the importance of keeping things tidy so they don’t lose things and end up having poor time management skills. If they need to be at work or class for 9am then teach them the importance of having clothes ironed etc the night before to avoid a full-blown panic at 8.30am! Make sure they have a good alarm clock and highlight the importance of structure and pre-planning in order to make things run a lot smoother.