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Adulting 101: How to Teach Teen Life Skills

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Life prep happens everywhere! When you’re trying to focus on life skills for teens, it’s important to make sure that all of those critical skills are addressed. Here are some ways to do that!

Adulting 101 - Life Skills for Teens

I have been compensated for my time writing this article. All opinions are my own. Affiliate links have been included for products that may make your job as a parent and teacher easier.

Teaching Life Skills for Teens

When I was in school many moons ago there were classes in sewing, woodshop, photography, cooking, and typing (yes, on typewriters). While all of those classes are great, there were a lot of important life skills that were missing.

Financial literacy? Forget it.

College planning? The one lesson from the guidance counselor wasn’t enough.

Goal setting? I don’t think it was ever even mentioned.

So, when my kids reached 13 we took a more proactive approach to life skills instruction. Parenting teens is hard, but parenting teens who don’t know basic life skills is even harder.

Thankfully, there are ways to teach life skills that don’t involve a ton of prep or a lot of expense.

The best part? You can use these tips and tricks if you’re homeschooling or if your child attends high school outside of the home!

Adulting 101 - Teaching Teens Life Skills

3 Ways That Work to Teach High School Life Skills

1 – Set Them on a Life Skills Voyage

As much as I love my three teens, I know that sometimes they learn better when I am not the one teaching them. That’s especially true when it comes to things like college prep and financial responsibility.

Voyage, a teen life skills program by Thrive Academics, takes the struggle out of teaching those skills kids need to learn before heading off to college or into the working world.

Voyage Life Skills Program for Teens

The program is broken down into five easy-to-follow modules:

  • Who I Am – learn about your strengths and purpose to set goals
  • Career Planning – discover career ideas and ways to persue those careers
  • College Planning – get a step-by-step guide to planning for, applying to, and paying for college
  • Financial Responsibility – learn basic financial concepts to make better decisions about money and the future
  • Everyday Living – from car repair to traveling to personal health, there are lessons for daily life

The modules are engaging and my kids reported not only that they learned the skills they needed to, but that the course gave them a new perspective on growing up.

That in itself makes Voyage priceless!

They even have a free Adulting Checklist that has a bunch of lists that help make sure teens have the skills they need before graduating from high school.

What My Teens Loved About Voyage:

“I really learned a lot about being more financially responsible. I thought that module was really interesting. I definitely feel more prepared to handle my finances now.” – 19 year old

“The college and career prep sections were my favorite. They gave me a lot to think about as I start my senior year.” – 17 year old

“I’m not ready for college stuff yet, but I liked the Who I Am and Everyday Living mods the best. It was interesting to think about my goals and strengths.” – 13 year old

What I Loved About Voyage:

While I think the program is fabulous in terms of content, the things that I liked the most were:

  • there was zero prep required on my part
  • there was no complaining about doing the modules
  • my kids genuinely learned more about themselves and about the life skills they need to thrive in the world.

Would I recommend Voyage? Absolutely! In fact, you can get your own subscription here or enter the giveaway to win a year’s subscription! The contest ends on August 30, 2021, and five winners will be selected. Good luck!

2 – Practice Makes Progress

If you’re looking for a completely hands-on approach to teaching life skills for teens, it’s time to start practicing.

Practicing means they’ll need to see you do and explain the things that they need to learn.

Some of the skills you may want to teach your kids and have them practice include:

  1. How to make a resume
  2. What is the difference between a good and bad credit score
  3. How to save money for college
  4. How to cook healthy meals on a budget
  5. What are some ways you can improve your mental health
  6. Why taking care of your teeth is important (and how)
  7. Cleaning up after yourself
  8. Simple home repairs, such as making a bed or changing a light bulb
  9. Basic car maintenance and driving skills
  10. Practicing good hygiene including taking showers, etcetera
  11. Doing laundry

Start your own list of things you would like them to learn by taking note of the tasks you do each day. From vacuuming to cleaning a toilet, there are tons of skills high schoolers need to learn before heading off to college or the working world!

Teaching Teens Life Skills

3 – Invest in Some Books About Adulting

If your teen loves to read, there is no shortage of books about adulting and life skills. Here are some of our favorites:

Why Teach Life Skills for Teens

Growing up is hard and in this day and age where there is so much unknown, helping teens get a firm life skills foundation gives them security and a sense that they can get through things. It may not be pretty, it may not be glamorous, but teaching life skills for teens ensures that they have what they need to thrive.

That makes them more successful young adults and helps you, as the parent, worry just a little bit less about them. (Although I’m really not sure I’ll ever worry less about them!)

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