Becoming an independent teenager is not something that happens by chance. Parents must be intentional in their efforts to bring out the best in teenagers and prepare them for the real world. It isn’t something that happens overnight – it takes years of practicing good habits to get teenagers to a certain level of independence that will prepare them for adulthood.
So how can parents get their kids to be independent and ready for adulthood? We have listed some practical ways below:
Once a teen has a part-time job, they can learn to manage how they spend by setting aside money for spending and saving. They can also learn ways to boost their savings and invest as a teenager. For example, setting up a custodial IRA account can help a teenager save towards retirement as soon as they start earning some income. Getting teenagers ready for retirement is a win-win and will help set them up for life. Lastly, seeking out information about investments for teenagers will help them learn about stock trading in a practical way that is easy to follow.
By the time a child is a teenager, they should have learned how to cook basic meals for themselves. This is especially important as they will soon be heading off to college. If they cannot cook by the time they leave home for college, they might end up blowing their money on unnecessary fast-food orders.
Parents can teach their teenagers how to cook by baking and to make their favourite meals together. Cooking together as a family could also be a fun bonding activity.
Every child should learn to do house chores, such as washing plates, taking out the bins and vacuuming the house. House chores should be an essential part of their life at home. These chores also teach kids to value and look after their home environment.
In addition, parents can also teach their teenagers the value of hard work by rewarding them with pocket money for doing their house chores. Then they can use their hard-earned cash to buy extra things they would have asked their parents to buy for them and feel great about being able to do these things for themselves.
No matter how much we don’t want it to occur, emergencies will happen. Parents and school teachers will need to teach their children from a young age how to react when an emergency occurs.
A teenager should know the following things:
- Who and when to call in the event of an emergency
- The basics of first aid
- Why it’s important to act fast during an emergency.
Emotional intelligence cannot be taught; it should have been reared over time. Parents heavily influence how their teenagers learn to manage their emotions. Parents with low emotional intelligence will struggle to raise children who are the opposite.
However, teenagers constantly adapt and can learn to improve their emotional intelligence by mastering the following things;
- The coping mechanisms for controlling their anger such as breathing exercises to calm themselves down.
- How to communicate with someone they trust about a complex emotion.
- How to stand up for themselves and be assertive without being aggressive.
Most kids can use a mobile phone before they age ten and play games for hours on end on their numerous gaming devices. However, with all this being said, there are essential technology skills that every teenager should know before they head off to college.
For example, every teenager should understand the following things;
- How to use a Word Processor
- How to use Excel for budgeting
- How to use the internet for research.
Time management is an essential part of life. By the time a teenager turns 18, they should understand that effective time management could be the thing that gets them the best grade for a challenging subject rather than scraping a pass.
Parents can encourage teenagers to get better at time management by doing the following things:
- Encouraging them to create a study timetable that they stick to
- Incorporating a schedule for daily activities right from a young so that by the time the child becomes a teen having a plan for things will be like second nature.
Every teenager should understand the basics of self-care. Parents and teachers should encourage teenagers to learn how to look after themselves. This is not limited to basic hygiene, getting enough sleep and enough exercise.
Teenagers can also improve their self-care by learning the following things:
- How to journal daily and reflect.
- How to meditate so it can help them deal with challenging situations.
- How to get into a routine that optimizes their efforts for self-improvement.
By the time a child becomes a teenager, they should know the basics about looking after themselves. Teenagers must be encouraged to seek independence by learning how to cook, do household chores, manage money, and even save for their future. Once a teenager can master these life skills, they will be well on their way to becoming responsible.