One thing I know: They need life skills! I've had eight teenagers grow up in my house. Four of them have moved out on their own, and two of these are married with children. Even after all that experience, I still have a long way to go with instilling life skills in my remaining kids! I've got some serious work to do here. I am thankful that it's not all up to me. My husband has taught them a lot, and so have mentors and other teachers.
Just a few thoughts...
Education is not just about stuffing information into the brain. We need to know what to do with it, how to apply it in daily life. No matter what careers our children choose and no matter how technology changes, they will need some basic life skills. Occupations may come and go, but in my opinion there are certain work skills that will never become totally obsolete. They are applicable for both men and women in almost any life pursuit. We must teach them to our children, largely by our own example, but also by specific instruction. Let’s train them well!
General Life Management: how to manage time, set goals, evaluate options, make decisions, plan details, use discernment, organize resources and space, control impulses
Communication and Leadership: how to converse pleasantly and effectively, use proper body language, write clear correspondence and reports, give oral presentations with visual aids, debate logically and persuasively, offer direction to colleagues and subordinates, and appeal to those in authority.
Finances: how to earn money, budget, manage a checking or savings account, make wise purchases, avoid scams, stay out of debt, stretch and conserve resources, interpret financial and economic data, make wise investments, do personal and/or business bookkeeping, and most importantly, maintain contentment in a materialistic society.
Study Habits & Computer Skills: how to master comprehension skills, find a quiet study environment, organize study time, take tests effectively, use highlighters and flash cards, do word processing and spreadsheets, send e-mail, locate reliable information on the Internet, study in a group, participate in a group presentation, submit on-line assignments, back up information to a flash drive, design a blog or web site
Job Skills: how to fill out an application, write a resume, go for an interview, make an appeal to a supervisor, know what kind of behavior and conversations are appropriate in various kinds of work settings, assess strengths and weaknesses, explore long-term career options
Home Care: how to perform basic household chores that they will need now to contribute to the family and in the future to care for themselves: cooking, laundry, dishes, cleaning, organizing, lawn mowing, gardening, household repair
Transportation: how to take a public bus, drive safely, understand traffic rules, read a map, plan a route, fill a car with gas, add air or change a tire, check and add fluids, call for roadside assistance, perform basic auto repairs
Health Care: nutrition, exercise, sleep habits, personal hygiene, body change, avoiding substance abuse, mental health awareness, taking medications, monitoring health symptoms, basic first aid and nursing skills, caring for young children
- Life Skills for Kids book by Christine Field
- Ten Life Skills for Teens article
- Life Skills Your Teen Needs to Be Independent
I'd love to hear what you are doing to help your teens develop life skills!