Life Skills Your Teenage Son Needs to Know


As your teenager approaches adulthood and lives on their own, you may start to worry that they are not ready. You’ve been there for your child for every milestone, preparing them for the way that life changes when they begin to walk, start school, or learn to drive. Ensuring that your teenage son is ready for what he will face as he takes on the responsibilities and duties of adulthood has never been more important.

While at 18, your son may be old enough to live independently, he may not yet be adequately equipped for life as an adult. Can he do the basics? Cook dinner? Wash dishes? Change out a lightbulb or even a tire on his car?

Do yourself and your troubled teen a favor, and take the steps needed so that they can learn the valuable life skills that will allow them to thrive in the world on their own.

11 Lifeskills your teen should know before they move out of the house

1. Handling finances

Does your teenager have a bank account?

If not, it’s a good idea for them to open up a bank account. Along with having a bank account, they should learn how to bank online and know what options are available for banking in person.

Your teen should also learn how to create and stick to a monthly budget. Ensuring that they can keep track of their spending, pay their bills and live within their realistic means is essential.

Since they are likely always attached to their phones, they can download both their bank app and a free budgeting app. Many of these apps have bill reminders that can alert them when their phone bill or electric bill is due.

Financial management is something that so few learn in early adulthood, so it can make a world of difference for your teenage son as he enters into the adult world.

2. Time management skills

If your teenage son is already great at managing his time, he has the foundation needed for good time management skills. Having the basic time management skills mastered will serve your teenage son well as he enters college and the world of a working professional.

Some things that factor into time management include the following.

  • Prioritizing commitments
  • Getting and staying organized
  • Establishing a schedule
  • Working through the urge to procrastinate

3. The value of goal setting

Goal setting is so important at every stage of life. Goals can help direct you and your behavior and ensure that you have a good direction in life. Remember that goals should be specif, measurable, and realistic. Depending on their age, you can work on setting goals with your children long before they reach their teen years to set a foundation for success into early adulthood.

4. Grocery shopping and cooking healthy meals

Whether your teenage son is moving into a dorm room or an apartment on his own, he should have a good idea as to what it takes to shop for and prepare meals. Certainly, it’s fairly simple to nuke frozen meals, crack open a can of soup or boil pasta and rice. But it’s a good life skill to learn how to cook basic meals that will taste good and possibly impress future roommates.

5. Handling medical and dental needs

Once your teenager turns 18, parents won’t necessarily have access to all of the medical and dental information for their adult child. Being able to schedule their appointments or checkups is an important part of being an adult. Your teen son should feel comfortable making a call to a doctor or clinic to ask questions. It is also vital that your child be aware of his medical history, any surgical procedures are done, and any allergies.

It’s just as essential that your teen be aware of medications he may need, such as asthma medications. He should know how to get help for any medical conditions without needing first to call a parent.

6. The job application process

Many teens get a part-time job when they are legally able. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the process of filling out a job application and creating a resume. Being able to craft a good cover letter and resume is such an important life skill to have.

Prepare your teen for interviews with mock questions and the opportunity to learn more about what the interview process may be like.

7. Driving, car ownership, and more

A meaningful life skill for your teenager is to understand every responsibility that comes with driving. If your teen son already has his driver’s license, be sure to walk him through the process of renewing it.

Your son should also know how to ensure his car is registered correctly and insured to meet state requirements. Car care basics should also be learned from checking tire pressure, putting air in tires, changing a flat, refilling washer fluid, replacing wiper blades, and getting the oil changed on time.

8. Learning CPR and first aid

Almost all of us will need to turn to the first aid kit at some point. Your teenager must understand just how important it is to use emergency supplies for things like deep cuts, burns, or other injuries. Encourage your teenager to keep a first aid kit at home and in the car.
A quick CPR course can also be a good idea to enroll in. Many of these courses can be completed online. It may also be worth having them learn how to use a fire extinguisher or other emergency skills.

9. Taking care of laundry

Can your teen do his laundry?

It’s never too soon to learn how to read the labels on garments, sort by fabric or color, and complete a load of laundry from start to finish.

The good news is that if you get your teenager doing his laundry like a pro, it just means one less load of laundry for you to do every week, and he will be prepared once he lives on his own.

10. The voting process

Help your teen register to vote once they are of voting age. Explain the voting process itself may vary between states and voting locations.

They should understand that having an active role in the voting process is an important life skill for any young adult to learn more about and participate in for every election.

11. Learn how to ask for help

Living away from home for the first time can potentially lead to depression, anxiety, and other mental health concerns. Your teenage son should understand how to recognize when he needs help, and he should know the best ways to reach out when necessary.

This could be reaching out to counselors on campus or picking up the phone to tell a parent that he’s struggling. Whatever the case may be, your son should feel confident that his voice will be heard when he needs it to be.

A troubled teen should feel supported in all ways that allow for a positive future and independent living. If you have a troubled boy facing an unsteady future, whether due to school concerns or mental health concerns, reach out to us at Liahona Treatment Center. We can work with you to find the right resources to help your teenage son before he steps independently into the world on his own.

Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help your troubled teen and your family get through phases that prove to be challenging.

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