Basic Life Skills

| February 17, 2017

Adulting is the gradual process teens go through as they step into their role as adults. Like learning to read or ride a bike, the age kids grow into their adult shoes can vary. Emotional maturity is not the only factor. More likely, it is the hand off … the confidence teens have gained in their ability to handle situations without us.

Surprisingly, many students leave the nest without learning some basic life skills because they have always relied on parents for these things. Parents, frankly, we just might not have thought about some of these skills as needing to be taught. Doesn’t everyone just learn them at some point? Perhaps. However, one of the ways to help our students launch successfully into a career or college is by helping them gain confidence in their adulting skills so they see themselves as contributors. There is a natural transition between confidence in adulting skills and launching with determination and direction.

basic life skills

What’s on Your Life-Skills List?

This list isn’t comprehensive. It’s just a start to inspire you to add to it. Don’t tackle everything at once. Highlight a few for a season and be intentional about building teaching opportunities into your student’s day. Make sure both dad and mom contribute to the list. Our ideas of what makes the list is usually a tad different.

Home Care and Repair
• How to use all the kitchen appliances
• Familiarity with home systems – heating, electrical, plumbing
• Painting rooms, patching drywall, using tools, basic construction
• Maintain smoke and CO detectors
• Minor plumbing and electrical repairs

Money Management
• Budgeting, responsible use of credit cards, investments, and retirement
• Maintain and organize financial records
• Organize all passwords, accounts, and important documents in a safe place for reference
• When and how to pay taxes
• How to select, negotiate, and pay cash for a car
• Rental agreements, insurance

Professional Skills
• Write a resume, cover letter, conduct a job search, leverage LinkedIn
• Networking, career guidance
• Professionally formatted communications

Transportation Savvy
• Read a map
• Basic car maintenance including changing a tire, oil, and checking fluids
• Make mechanic appointments
• Bike maintenance
• Utilize and navigate public transit and taxi services

Personal Well-being
• Healthy cooking, lifestyle, exercise, and gardening
• Emergency preparedness, First aid, CPR
• Awareness of your surroundings
• Recognizing potentially dangerous situation and solutions
• Record personal medical information and keep up with appointments
• Cyber security and safe online practices
• Child and elder care
• Grit: How to fail fast, fail often, and move on. Curious? Take this GRIT Test. Millions have watched this TED talk.

Responsible Citizenship
• Identify and engage with your governmental representatives
• Responsible civic engagement
• How to evaluate media and news sources
• Expressing your opinion respectfully and effectively

One of my favorite resources to guide learning and life-application projects: Life Prep by Barbara Frank


Please share this article with friends and introduce them to Credits Before College. Course guides, how-to book, and one-to-one counseling available.

Copyright©2017 Cheri Frame – All Rights Reserved.

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