As overwhelming at it may have felt at times, parenting was relatively easy when your child was a baby. All they needed was some food, love, sleep and a clean diaper. But as you watch your teen grow up, you realize how much more you need to teach them before they can become a self-sufficient adult.
While you can likely think of numerous life lessons to impart on your teen, here are four basic skills that will help them grow and mature over time.
1. Routine Car Maintenance
By the time your child learns how to drive, they should also know about the routine maintenance required to keep their car running smoothly. First off, review your car’s manual with them to find out the recommended maintenance schedule for oil changes and other updates.
Knowing the importance of proper maintenance, you should also teach your teen how to inspect their tire tread using a quarter and then explain how to buy the right tires to fit the vehicle’s make and model.
But that’s not all. Make sure your teen also knows how to handle emergency situations before you hand over the keys. For example, teach them how to safely change a tire and use jumper cables. Finally, keep your teen prepared and safe on the road by stocking a small emergency kit with some essential tools so they can easily handle any roadside trouble.
2. Simple Cooking Techniques
Cooking is an essential life skill that a shocking amount of people are able to get by without. However, your child will have a much easier time being independent, saving money, and maintaining a healthy diet if they understand the basics of food preparation. Once you understand the basics, it’s really just as simple as following the proper instructions.
To start, review the fundamentals of cooking jargon by explaining the difference between mincing and chopping as well as sauteing and roasting. Additionally, show your teen how to safely use a chef’s knife and explain the uses of other cutlery in your knife block.
To make sure you’re teaching your teen the most relevant information, have them select the recipes for a few of their favorite dishes and then allow them to cook something with your guidance. Indeed, this is a great way to put your cooking lessons into practice and identify any additional topics for your teen to feel comfortable and confident in the kitchen.
3. Basic Money Management
Teaching your child to manage their money is probably one of life’s more important lessons. The way a child learns to think of money at a young age stays with them throughout life, so stress the importance of saving and living within your means from an early age. After all, you’re essentially teaching your child about money management with every purchase you make, so make sure you’re setting an example that aligns with your intended message.
Two financial basics that any teen should understand include how to budget their money and how to save for a large purchase. Along with your own life lessons, use an app like Mint to show your teen how to analyze their spending and better budget their money, so they can set aside some cash each month in a savings account.
While teaching your child or teen how to manage their money with a weekly allowance is possible, these lessons often resonate more when they have to work for it. With that in mind, encourage your teen to get a part-time job around the time they turn 16 years old.
4. Easy Home Repairs
There are a few basic home repairs everyone should know how to remedy. To set them up for success later in life, make sure to teach your teen how to safely:
- Change a light bulb
- Plunge a toilet
- Replace an air filter
- Unclog a drain
- Shut off any water lines
Beyond these basic fixes, teach your teen to have a can-do attitude when it comes to home repairs. Remaining positive under adversity and pressure will teach your teen how to find the answers when they’re unsure. And, if all else fails, you can learn anything related to home improvement by watching a few YouTube videos.