Sunday , 22 April 2018

What Every Teenager Should Learn Before Leaving Home – Part 3

Welcome back again! This will conclude the six vital life skills that every teenager should learn before leaving home. If you have enjoyed this, and would like to read other parent/child related content, please email us at with what questions and other information you would like us to post.

In case you missed part one and two, I will review the first four life skills.

Skill #1: Money Management – Budgeting monthly expenses, needs versus wants, savings, future planning, paying bills, and balancing accounts.

Skill #2: Life Organization – Daily schedules, time management, balancing school/work/activities, goal setting, and home orderliness and cleaning.

Skill #3: Appearances and Laundry – What clothes and shoes to own and wear for certain occasions, proper presentation, and how to do all types of laundry.

Skill #4: Cooking – How to work all appliances, learn how to cook favorite meals and grocery shop, and proper dining etiquette.

Skill #5:    Getting and Keeping a job: Resumes, interviewing process, proper exits, and being a valuable employee. 

In most high schools, the students are taught how to construct a resume and cover letter, but not any other pertinent information needed for successful independence and future. Teenagers typically do not understand how the decisions they make today can affect their future. For example, burning bridges with employers doesn’t provide the character references needed for the dream job she will be wanting years later. All jobs worked, favorites and non-favorites, are learning steps to provide us with the experiences needed for our future endeavors.

Last but not least…

Skill #6:    Choosing the perfect roommate and living space: How to select the right living space, interviewing potential roommates, sharing expenses, respecting privacy and boundaries, and preventing and resolving conflicts.

I chose my first roommate by our similar interests, and how well we got along. Those qualities were such a small part of the big picture. I expected everything else to easily fall into place. I never asked her how she was going to pay her half of the expenses, her expectations, or make any written agreements. She had come from a home where her parents did and paid for everything, and she had never learned any life skills. It didn’t make her a bad person, just an irresponsible roommate, which led to many frustrations.

What I should have done was interview her with questions regarding a successful partnership. Then upon selecting, had a written and signed agreement to hold us both accountable for our actions. The living space can become extremely small and uncomfortable when there are unresolved conflicts. It can also affect your schoolwork and employment.

The best thing you can do for your child is to teach him or her life skills, and let him learn by doing not just listening. I know sometimes it is easier and quicker to do things yourself rather than explain to someone else how to do it. Find times when it is less stressful for both of you, and teach one thing at a time. It takes repetition and consistency for new tasks to be fully grasped. I recall in Marketing 101, we were told someone has to see or hear your name at least seven times before they remember. It is kind-of the same concept when learning and mastering a new task. I recommend creating cheat sheets that can be placed in a notebook or binder, for your child to access when needed. When out on their own, it will provide comfort in what could be a stressful time.


You are not a bad parent if you don’t practice some of the listed skills yourself. You do not have to be the only person teaching your child life skills. It’s not as important who teaches the skills as much as it is that your child learns them. If needed, solicit assistance from other trusted individuals and enroll your child in a life skills class. 

Unfortunately, most kids are going to listen to others more than their parents when it comes to learning new things. Take advantage of the life skills classes in your area to help you reinforce skills and guide your child down a successful life path.

There are great “Preparing for a Career & Moving Out on Your Own” life skills classes and summer camps offered for teens ages 12-18 years old in Frisco and McKinney, to assist in teaching these vital life management skills. They are very affordable and comprehensive. If interested, you can check the Frisco Fun Activity Guide online at (Summer Camp Class Code 14738) and the McKinney Parks Activity Guide online at (Summer Camp Class Code 132471) for upcoming dates and times available. Registrations for classes are offered online, phone, or in-person. Space is limited and classes fill up quickly, so I recommend enrolling as soon as possible.

Another extremely useful class offered for children ages 4-16 years is the “Etiquette & Life Skills” summer camps and classes. They are located at the same locations as the “Preparing for a Career & Moving Out on Your Own” classes. Both programs provide the necessary tools your child needs for success in today and on into their future.

For questions, upcoming class dates, feedback, and information, contact

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