Teaching teenagers life skills prepares them for their futures. Learning the skills they need prevents them from calling you every time they need to wash laundry or change a flat tire. It gives teens an advantage to know how to budget their money wisely and saves them money by knowing how to do basic maintenance skills. When a teenager knows basic life skills, he is more self-sufficient and adjusts better to adult responsibility.
Set up savings and checking accounts with debit card for your teen. The bank may want to add you to the account. Show the teenager how to balance a checkbook and keep track of her accounts. Most banks offer online services that help with tracking spending.
Find or make a simple monthly budget. Make your teenager responsible for everything she spends. You can add her lunch money, gas money, clothes money and other expenses you pay for to her checking account and make her responsible for paying for those things. If she goes over budget, she should pay it from her own funds.
Help the teen find a part-time job in a field he may want to consider for a career. Require him to place a specified percentage of his earnings into a savings account. Teach him the difference between things he wants and things he needs so that he doesn’t spend excessively.
Household and Cars
Schedule a dinner once a week or month as the teen’s responsibility. He has to plan the meal, do the grocery shopping within a budget and prepare the food. You might need to assist at first, help him find recipes, clip coupons and check the pantry for ingredients. Require the teen to also do the clean-up after the meal so he learns the whole process.
Give your teenager responsibility for his laundry. Make sure he knows how to use the washer and dryer, read clothing labels for instructions and sort clothing properly. Teach some simple sewing skills for quick repairs on loose seams and buttons.
Provide cleaners and require that the bedrooms and bathrooms stay clean. Give the teen a list of chores he has to do daily and weekly. Show teenagers how to organize their belongings following the Benjamin Franklin rule, “A place for everything; everything in its place.”
Teach teenagers basic home repair and maintenance skills. Have them work with you anytime you do work to your home, such as changing the furnace filter and turning on and off circuit breakers and water supply lines. If you know how to do other home repairs and improvements, such as painting or installing a faucet, pass on the knowledge.
Instruct teens on basic car maintenance. Teach them to change a tire, put air in a tire, check the oil and pump gas. If you know how or are willing to learn, show them how to change the oil, change bulbs in the lights and change the air filter.
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