If you want your teenager to grow as a mature and responsible adult, you better make sure you are teaching him life skills. These are skills that are necessary in dealing with ordinary life situations. While some life skills are naturally acquired, most have to be instilled in the teenagers. Life skills can help make the teenagers ready for the real life in the real world, especially when they move out of their parents’ house. Life skills fall under different categories, but the following are some of the most common skills that teens should learn.
- Decision-making. Decision-making is not the strongest suit of most adults, and this is probably because they were not given the chance to decide for themselves when they were younger. This is why you have to allow and train your teenager to make decisions. Let him start with simple and minor matters like the color of his room, the brand of his rubber shoes, or the summer job he will take on. You and your spouse must still decide everything that is major and the things that will have a big impact on his life. Make sure to guide your teenager as he decides. Explain to him the benefits and the consequences of his decisions. And let him experience the results—good or bad.
- Time management. Although he has plenty of time in his hands, your teenager must be trained how to effectively manage his time. This can be done by allowing your teenager to make a daily, weekly, and/or monthly schedule and encouraging him to stick to it. Instruct him how to spread his activities into his available time. If he can’t follow his own schedule, you can tell him to adjust his activities and perhaps drop some that don’t meet his priorities.
- Earning money. Whenever he is capable of working, encourage your teenager to have a summer or part-time job. He can walk dogs, assist in stores, baby sit, or do some online selling. Any job that fits his talents and skills must be considered. When he already earns, teach your teenager the value of money by showing him how to save and spend it wisely.
- Money management. Open a bank account for your teenager. Teach him how to use the account in saving and keeping his money. Let him manage his own money, but make sure to guide him along the way. Although it is good to have the account in his name, it is much more practical if you keep it in your name so you can have a look at things whenever necessary. Make sure to train your teenager to be frugal, especially when shopping. Don’t train him to go for branded products. Instead, explain to him that even low-end brands are a good buy.
Modeling is the best way to teach your teenager. Therefore, make sure to always walk your talk. If the teenager sees that you yourself are doing what you are teaching him to do, it will be more natural for him to follow suit.