Useful Skills That Teens Should Develop Before They Go to College
- Category: Student Success
It’s normal to feel anxious about your child going to college, but there are things you can do to ensure the transition is smooth. Teaching your teen certain skills before they leave for college will ease your stress and help them enter the world successfully. Here are some great lessons to start teaching while your teen is still safely under your roof and ready to learn.
Everyone has heard of the stereotypical college diet of ramen noodles and pizza (and the associated “freshman 15”). This doesn’t have to be your child’s fate. Teach your child to cook simple meals, and they’ll be ready to live a much healthier lifestyle when they’re on their own.
You don’t have to teach your child how to cook intricate menu items that are unrealistic for a college student. Just help them make a weekly menu and prepare everything on it. Your teen can add to it as they learn more and have more time. Plus, they’ll save money by buying groceries as opposed to eating meals out and grabbing fast food.
Start by making your teen responsible for cooking some meals at home. Let them make mistakes, and help them improve. It will pay off when college starts.
Driving a Car
The current trend is for teens to put off obtaining a driver’s license. Though this means there are fewer teens on the road, which could be seen as a positive, it also means that these kids are not accumulating driving experience before they head off to college. Unless your child moves to a city where they can rely on public transit at all times, they need to know how to drive.
Driving is a huge responsibility, and reckless driving comes with potentially serious consequences. Teens need time to learn how to drive, and they need parental guidance in those early years. Make sure your teen gets their driver’s license as soon as they’re eligible, and help them practice so they can run errands and get to appointments without a problem while off at school.
Schools teach kids many different subjects, but it’s usually up to parents to teach their children how to handle money responsibly. No child should go to college without knowing how to balance a bank account or comprehend the fine print of a credit card offer. Without this knowledge, your child could easily rack up tons of debt in no time.
Start teaching your teen early what it means to earn money and how they’ll have to budget to make sure all expenses are covered. Teach them about needs versus wants, and help them understand the consequences of irresponsible spending. This will send your child into the world money savvy, and that can make a huge difference in their future.
You have a wonderful opportunity while your teen is home to equip them with the skills they’ll need in college. Use the chance you have to help your student understand the basics of living and thriving on their own.