Despite your fervent hopes that they will always remain an adorable toddler, children grow up. Soon, your baby is going to be a college student, well on the way to becoming a fully grown and wonderful adult on their own terms. Your love and care, and parenting are what will guide them in the new and exciting world in which they will soon find themselves.
It will also help them figure out the confusing or stressful situations that are sure to come along. There are some life skills that you have to specifically make sure that your teen has to manage their daily lives. Some of them can be fairly obvious and important, and you may already have plans to help them with these.
Learning how to budget money, joining an online course to study for a driving license learner’s permit, knowing the difference when laundering different types of clothes. These are all necessary and useful skills, but there are many others in which you may want to ensure that your teen has at least basic knowledge.
Money Management and Housing
Your teen may already have a job and a bank account and be managing their money well. But it never hurts to sit them down and go over their budgeting plans. They may need some guidance in changing their money management plans to apply to college. Having to pay rent after living at home can be a bit of a culture shock, so talk them through the processes involved.
Utilities, move-in etiquette, move out etiquette, and having everything in writing when it comes to agreements involving money will help your teen to keep themselves safe in any financial situation.
Improve Their Cooking Skills
Even if your teen knows how to cook, there is a world of difference between having various groceries available in a well-stocked pantry and college students’ meager fridge. Take the time to teach your teen how to make simple meals with few ingredients and incorporate healthy options such as fruit and vegetables into their diet.
If you do not emphasize the importance of balanced nutrition in meals and which foods are worth the extra expenditure, your teen could end up eating nothing but ramen or junk food. They need to know that this can lead to severe health complications that can be avoided.
Does your teen know how to take their temperature? Do they know how to make an appointment with their primary health care physician? Would they be able to identify when they need to see a doctor and when they need to hydrate and sleep?
Your teen must understand how to use their healthcare options from contacting a doctor to correct the use of medical insurance benefits. They also need to know how to collect over-the-counter medication and which symptoms those medications treat.
Car Maintenance and Basic Repair
You can help your teen find a mechanic with a good reputation close to their college. But you must emphasize the importance of proper auto-maintenance to your teen. If they take proper care of their vehicle, they will not need to make expensive visits to the mechanic.
Teach them how to apply for vehicle insurance, repair insurance, and how to negotiate for better prices on repairs. Give them a toolkit for their car that includes a power bank jump starter for their battery and show them how to use it. Make sure they know where the car manual is and that they understand how to read it.
Home and Self Organization
Being away from home comes with a feeling of freedom that can sometimes translate into letting go of all the rules they had to follow at home. You must take the time to explain to your teen that this is fine. College is a time and place where they form new rules for their own lives.
But eventually, they are going to want to be organized. Being organized in the home will help them to keep it clean and find things easily. The self-organization will allow them to be a good student, stay up-to-date on assignments, and maintain a healthy social life while keeping up with schoolwork.
Most importantly, make sure that your child knows how to admit their faults, apologize sincerely, and ask for help. Knowing how to ask for help and when it is best to ask is a life skill that can come in handy.
College is a big step and a big place. Helping them be the best version of themselves is a good way to ensure that they do not get overwhelmed. You are helping your teen to make the best out of the most exciting phase of their lives.