Let’s face it homeschooling moms, our babies are getting bigger. In the blink of an eye, we’re looking into the eyes of a tween. Then suddenly, as in my case, some of us are looking up at our high schooler. All things considered, we’ve taught a lot of life skills along the way. In the long run, we need to continue doing so. But what life skills do your teens need to learn? You might be surprised that there are some basic like skills for teens that you may have missed.
Basic Life Skills for Teens
In reality, the world is different enough, thanks to technology, that some basic life skills aren’t taught. For the most part, we’ve done well to teach basic life skills to our kids when they’re younger. Like how to tie their shoes. And all about brushing and flossing their teeth properly. But somewhere along the way, we may drop the ball with teaching other basic life skills. Maybe it’s because some of us have younger children that need us in other demanding ways. Or maybe we’re so used to the routine of our role as moms, that we aren’t as intentional. To be sure, let’s go over some basic life skills for teens that we don’t want to miss.
Taking Care of Flooring
Surprisingly, not all twenty-year-old people know how to prepare a mop bucket and mop. Consequently, your children may undergo some personal feelings of embarrassment when given the task somewhere if they don’t know how. Therefore, it’s important to teach the basic like skill of how to prepare a mop bucket, how to mop, and how to wring the mop afterward.
If you use natural products in your home, that’s great. But also keep in mind that your kids may not be dealing with the same products at a job. For this reason, it’s important to educate them on how to safely use commercial cleaning products. And what to avoid mixing together.
Also, not all flooring is right for mopping. In this case, your children need to learn somewhat about flooring types. Under those circumstances, they need to know what to use for wood flooring, bamboo flooring, laminate flooring, etc.
Look, it happens to the best of us. For one reason or another, toilets clog. While your hands may be otherwise occupied, conveniently or not, your kids need to learn this skill. In fact, they need to also learn what to do when that plunger turns inside out. Surely, I’m not the only one who has experience with this issue.
To begin with, it’s beneficial for teens to learn how to keep up curb appeal. Mowing the lawn is the primary skill your children need to learn. But take it further and teach them how to weed and feed the lawn. In due time, teach them when and how to prune bushes and trees. This skill set can help save a lot of time and money in the long run because it helps to keep bushes and trees healthy. And if you have any of them near your home, it’ll help protect your siding and roof from damage. And we’re not even addressing the money-making possibilities teens who master these skills can realize.
Changing Light Bulbs
Once in a while, this turns into a real life scenario of “how many people does it take to…” Eventually, a light bulb breaks away from its base when unscrewing it to replace the thing. Will your children know what to do? Teaching them this skill will make them shine brightly in this area.
Changing a Car Tire
A few months ago, as Ben and I pulled out of our church parking lot, I realized I had a flat tire. As I grabbed my phone (to call my husband), Ben asked me what I was doing. When I told him I was calling Dad, he rolled his eyes at me and said, “Mom, I can change the flat tire; you don’t need to call Dad.” I failed to remember that every time my husband does maintenance on our cars, he has Ben out there learning how to rotate tires and change the oil. Making sure your sons (and daughters) can change a tire will save them (and maybe you) both time and money.
Checking the Oil
Along with learning to change a tire, learning to check the the car engine oil should be at the top of the basic life skills list for car stuff. Speaking from experience, this comes in very handy as a mom traveling alone with her son. Ben has had plenty of practice in both checking the oil and adding a quart when needed. It’s a skill he will be using for the rest of his life.
Sewing on a Button
Truth be told, my husband is better at sewing than I am. I’m not sure who taught him how to sew on a button and hem pants, but he does it well. There will be times your child will need to at least know how to sew on a button at the last minute before an important event or appointment. Don’t miss passing down this important basic life skill.
Whatever your skills are with this, it’ll benefit your children. Maybe they’ll help prepare a BBQ for your family, a special lunch you host, or to help out with a church BBQ. At the very least, they’ll be ready for it when they’re adults. And don’t just stop with the gas grill either. Learning how to grill with charcoal is a skill that will set your griller apart from rest.
The Pantry and Finances
Our children need to learn how to organize the pantry and how to make a shopping list of what needs replacing. This is as much a budgeting and finance skill as a kitchen one. In addition, it’s important that they come along our side and learn how to meal plan, budget and shop for groceries, and keep track of the spending.
Utilizing Help Teaching Basic Life Skills
Really, the list can go on. For most, practicing basic life skills is more than about forming good habits than anything else. There are so many basic life skills our teens need to learn (and some can begin pretty early in childhood), and of course, so much is taught just by doing and having our kids walking along beside us. But, the above skills are some I think we need to be more intentional about teaching, lest they fall by the wayside.
Admittedly, some of us don’t have some of the skills down ourselves. And if dad isn’t around to help out or also is lacking in his own skills, it can feel intimidating to us to give it a try. For some, the thought of it may bring on feelings of overwhelm. Aren’t you doing as much as you can already with a full plate? There are some options for you.
First, utilize close family members, good neighbors, or friends at church to help teach your children the skills you feel the least competent doing yourself. There’s no shame in “outsourcing” the teaching of some skills. An older man or woman in your life may even appreciate being able to pass down their knowledge to your teens.
If that’s not possible or there are a still a few skills you need help with, there’s Skill Trek to come along your side. With Skill Trek, your children have a personal file where you keep track of skills they develop. In addition, there are skill set videos to help them learn how to prepare for and how to do any given skill. And there’s a corresponding lesson and list to print out for them. Then, when they’re ready to start, they come get you. As your children master each skill, you supervise and encourage them.
If you’d love help making sure your children develop essential life skills, Skill Trek may be a perfect fit for you. As you build a closer relationship with your child, he will build essential skills, confidence, and good habits. Skill Trek is also designed to build character, a good moral compass, and common sense. It’s a win-win not only for your teen, but for your family and anyone who will employ him in the future.
In any case, teaching stewardship and self-government to your teens will bless them and others for a lifetime.