5 Skills Every Teen Needs To Learn To Take Care Of Themselves

5 Skills Every Teen Needs To Learn To Take Care Of Themselves

There comes a point in every parent’s life when they get a little fed up with doing everyday tasks for their teenagers. Making them their lunch and cutting it up for them in bite size pieces was fine when they were four, but enough is enough and it’s time for your teenager to start becoming a little more independent. Here are five skills that every teen needs to learn to take care of themselves.


1. Doing The Laundry

Nobody enjoys doing the laundry, first you have to go through all the work of separating your dirty clothes into the right colors, then you have to devote a good portion of your day to washing and drying them, and just when you think you’re done, you have a mountain of clean clothes to fold. No sane person, would enjoy that. This is why teaching your teen to do their own laundry should be a top priority, if they’re smart enough to run an Xbox, computer or tablet, then they are definitely capable of doing their own laundry. Have your teen watch you do a load of laundry in each color so they know which temperature water they should use as well as how much soap. Maybe even write them out a little cheat-sheet and tape it up next to the washer so they will always have a reference if they’re unsure of something. Teaching your child to do their own laundry will not only make your load lighter, but it is a step in preparing them for their future, you’ll never have to worry about them having clean clothes in college because you taught them young.


2. Basic Meal Preparation

If you took all of the boxed macaroni and cheese and cans of Chef Boyardee out of your house and then left your teenager alone for the evening, what would they eat for dinner? If your answer was either a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a bowl of cereal, then you definitely need to teach your teen some basic meal preparation. There are plenty of recipes that are easy to make and that your teen will actually enjoy eating. A good way to implement this instruction into your routine is to have your teen help you prepare one simple meal a week, as they become more proficient, your recipes can get more difficult. This will also be a great bonding opportunity for you and your teen.


3. Keeping House

While teenagers are notorious for being sloppy, and you probably won’t be able to turn them into a neat-freak after a few tutorials, you can teach them how to keep house by having them do household chores. The National Mental Health and Education Center claims that “accomplishment of chores are especially important for teens because they teach basic domestic “survival skills” that will help the teens to successfully and competently live separately from their parents when that time comes.” Even though they may claim you’re the”meanest parent ever” for making them do a few household chores, one day they’ll appreciate knowing how to clean a toilet and scrub down the tub.


4. Budgeting

Not enough parents are taking the time to teach their teenagers how to budget their money. Teenagers who don’t know how to budget properly turn into adults that are deeply in debt. Whether your teen earns money from an allowance, or has their own job, it’s essential that you sit down with them and teach them how to budget. Don’t make a budget for them, allow them to choose what it is they want to spend their money on and then give helpful guidance when necessary. Include at least one long-term goal into their budget, like saving for a car. Having long-term saving goals teaches your teen to have both patience and determination. You will notice that once you’ve made a budget with your teen, they will become more conscientious of their spending habits and that responsibility may become apparent in other aspects of their life as well.


5. Healthy Lifestyle

You want your child to live a long and healthy life, and this can only be accomplished if you teach them how to care for themselves early on. This is most effectively accomplished by leading from example, you can’t tell your teen to choose a healthy snack right after you’ve eaten a Twinkie. Here are five things that you can do to make your family healthier:

  1. Turn off the Tablet– give your teen a “screen time” limit, don’t allow them to waste their entire day staring at a screen.
  2. Get Rid of the Soda– It’s astounding the amount of sugar that is found within a can of soda or juice, stress to your teen how water is the best thing for your body.
  3. Eat More Produce– Try to incorporate at least one fruit and vegetable into each meal. This will give your family the necessary vitamins and minerals they need to keep them healthy and strong.
  4. Choose a Healthier Snack– Encourage your teen to eat an apple instead of a bag of chips when they come home from school.
  5. Do something active– Encourage your teen to try school sports, or go on walks with them in the evenings Just make sure they do something active every day.

Well there is undoubtedly more that you will need to teach your teen to make them self-sufficient, these five skills are an amazing place to start.

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