Skills Every Teen Should Learn
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Home Schooled1 of 10
Teens need more than educational training and a twin extra-long comforter to get them ready for college life. We love these tips, which can help you prepare your university-bound kids for life away from home. —Glo
Cleaning2 of 10
By Melissa Gaskill for Woman’s Day
If your teens are like mine, they think kitchens and bathrooms magically clean themselves. Before you foist this delusional thinking on future roommates (and eventual spouses!), introduce your teens to the broom, dustpan, mop and toilet bowl brush. Their weekly chores should involve each one.
Doing Chores3 of 10
Just remember that knowing a skill and using it in their own domain are two different things. While every kid should have chores, don’t spend the high school years waging war over your teen’s messy room. Better to close your eyes to a little chaos in there (as long as she’s pulling her weight with her other chores around the house) and keep the lines of communication open for more important issues.
Car Maintenance4 of 10
Boys today are more likely to spend time texting friends than hunched over a car engine. But teens (girls included) need to know the basics of caring for their ride: how to check the oil and tire pressure, and follow a basic maintenance schedule. Melissa Mieras of San Antonio says her husband, Tom, taught their three sons by doing those things — and explaining it all as he went along — with the boys around.
Oil Change5 of 10
With your teen in tow, head to your garage and pop the hood. First, pull out the dipstick, then demonstrate how to wipe it off, replace it, pull it out again and read the oil level. Locate the reservoir for wiper fluid and where to check other engine fluids. Whip out the manual and have your teen look up the recommended oil change intervals and which type of oil to use.
Laundry6 of 10
Find a way to get your teens and their dirty clothes into the laundry room (if you have to bribe them with a movie, so be it). Now go over the basics: how to read labels, how to sort clothes by color and temperature, which detergent to use and how much, how to make sense of washer/dryer settings. Of course, the best way for teens to acquire this, or any skill, for that matter, is practice.
Making Appointments7 of 10
Give your teen a simple appointment calendar with the names and numbers of doctors, dentists and other important providers recorded in the address book section (or posted on a bulletin board). Be sure to remind him that he can’t be in two places at once, and to allow time for travel to and from appointments.
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Travel Tutorial8 of 10
Austin, TX mom MaryPat Baringer says her kids made their own travel arrangements for college visits. This helped them learn good communication skills, and gave them experience in managing minor difficulties such as long layovers and missed connections. “Kids learn more when things don’t go smoothly,” says MaryPat.
Cooking9 of 10
Along with a few basics — perhaps scrambling eggs and making pasta — teach your teen to prepare a few of his favorite meals. Have him pick a menu and make a list of needed ingredients, then take him shopping. Back at home, coach him through the preparation from start to finish. Don’t forget to include cleanup and safe storage of leftovers.
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Managing Money10 of 10
If your teens don’t have a bank account, make sure they open one. Then help them add up their expenses — from the slice of pizza they grab after school to movies on the weekend to prom fees — and determine a monthly budget they can stick with.
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