Kids grow unimaginably fast! Remember your little princess that loved to twirl in ball dresses and flare skirts, is now a young adult wearing skinny jeans and crop tops. In a few months, she might be graduating, getting into the university, driving, getting a job, or even demanding to move out of your house…get yourself ready for this!
It’s every teen’s dream to live freely, away from their parents, being able to take decisions on their own and explore. Well, life can be full of surprises; there will be good times and bad times…doesn’t it bother you how they will be able to manage both times on their own?
Come to think of it, can your teen live on his/her own? Can she cook? Do you trust her to make the right decisions? Pay bills or even understand finance? Before your kids turn 18, teach them the following valuable life skills to prepare them for Adulthood:
Surely, your kids won’t start working immediately they get away from home. They will be getting their allowance from you monthly or weekly. Have they learnt how to manage their finances and spend on what’s important and urgent? Do they understand budgeting and how to save for rainy days? Do they understand the value of things and avoid wastage?
Finance skills should be taught from home even if you are from a wealthy home so your kids don’t end up going into debt. Life is not a bed of roses and things wouldn’t always be good.
Cleanliness and Personal Hygiene
Hygiene is one of the most important things to be taught at home. This is because your teen has attained puberty and will need to be at his/her neatest. No one wants a friend with mouth odour or body odour. Teach your kids basic cleaning skills so they can always keep themselves and their surroundings clean. At school, they might have roommates or have to stay alone, they shouldn’t turn their rooms into a dungeon or look untidy to class. Basic skills like dusting the furniture, cleaning off cobwebs, sweeping, mopping the tiles, clearing off the garbage and cleaning the toilets should be something every teen can do on their own.
Communication skills are important everywhere you find yourself. It is mostly talked about in the corporate world but it’s also important in our everyday lives. Communication skill is needed at school, at work and with your peers. Come to think of it, your teenager will be meeting thousands of people at school, people from different backgrounds, countries, with different behaviors. Won’t they need to understand that people are different and how you communicate with people will be different? There are different levels of understanding and some people are more temperamental and emotional than others. Listening skills are also important in communication, you need to listen carefully to understand a person’s point of view. The same way you want to be heard is the same way others want to be heard too. Other communication skills include sending emails, speaking on the phone, writing letters, and non-verbal communications.
Attitude is everything and your kids will excel beyond imagination with a positive attitude. Having a good character shows you are well behaved and you are from a good home, people will always want to be your friend if you have a good personality. Help your teen develop good behavior by teaching them how to apologize when sorry and admit when they are wrong. Most kids have pride and wouldn’t apologize to anyone. Teach them to be polite and have good morals. Also, teach them to appreciate little efforts, say “thank you” and “please” when they need help.
Managing time is one of the most important skills for a teenager. Your teen will be bombarded with classes, tutorials, several assignments, projects and of course parties at the same time in school and they’ve got just 24hours in a day to do all of these without a parent’s guidance. Too much freedom can cause distractions and distractions can cause failure. Teach them to manage their time using a reminder if they easily forget things. They can have a note to jot down things that need to be done in order of priority. While they schedule things, they should also remember to stick to plans because time waits for no man. If you are that parent that is very clumsy or disorganized at home, your kids will learn the same.
Have you ever allowed your kids to take decisions on their own? I mean trusting them to make the right decisions without you being present. Well, your teen will be away from you for a long time at school and time will come to you when they need to make serious decisions. You can’t control the kind of people they will meet in their lifetime…they might be pressured to doing things unlawful. The first step to teaching your teen how to make good decisions is to stop making decisions for them. Watch them choose what they want or what they feel is right before correcting them or judging them for their actions. Rather than make decisions for them, give them choices to choose from. Also, ensure they are aware that every decision they make has a consequence and they should be ready to take responsibility for their actions.
How to stand up for themselves
Kids are better able to stand up for themselves when they have good self-esteem. Kids with an inferiority complex are easily bullied and tend to be less sociable. If your child is very emotional, you will have to do a lot of work in getting him/her to be very assertive and be able to stand up for themselves. We should note that being assertive and being aggressive are two separate things. They are situations when they need to react and when they need to stay calm.
How to accept failure
Everyone wants success, everyone wants to be the best, the greatest, the winner especially when so much work has been done. Not every child can handle failure; some swear to never try again. Kids that have always had success find it hard to cope with failure as an adult. The best way to help is to give instances of how you coped with failure at some point in your life. Ensure they understand that they can always try again and more opportunities, even better ones will show up. It’s never too late to start all over.
Before your teen begins the journey of becoming an adult, discuss things they should expect from life or people and changes that could occur in life and their bodies. Using examples from your experience as a teen will be more exciting. Paint a picture of what lies ahead of them and make sure your teen can withstand peer pressure, failure or freedom.