Life Skills Teenagers Need to Be Independent

This article, entitled "Life Skills Teenagers Need to Be Independent" comes from Cathy at bountifulplate.

We were all teenagers once. Didn’t it seem at the time that we knew it all??? If you are a parent raising a teen now, there are life skills that they will need as they transition into adulthood.

Whether they go to college or straight into the workforce after high school graduation, there are important life skills all teenagers need to be independent. If your teen has special needs , then some of these skills will need to be adapted. There are also “apps” that teens (of all abilities) can download onto an iPad, iPod, computer or their cell phones, to aid them in this journey into adulthood. Many are a nominal cost or are free.

  • Transportation – Since they were young, your child has relied on you to help them get from one place to another. As teenagers, they need to learn how to do it on their own, whether it’s getting their driver’s license, riding their bikes or taking public transportation such as the bus or subway. If your teen has their own “wheels” do they know how to pump the gas? Or do basic maintenance?

  • Housekeeping - Does your teen keep their room clean? If they do, great! If not, start showing them how to keep it tidy and organized. How about the laundry? Do they know how to use the washing machine and dryer? If not, give them some “lessons.” If you have been cleaning up after them, you need to STOP! There won’t be anyone doing it for them in their college dorm or apartment!

  • Meal Preparation – Teach them how to plan meals, shop for food and prepare basic meals.

  • Time Management - Are they always running late for school? Do they have trouble getting homework and projects done on time? If the answer is yes, start working with them now on managing their time better.

  • Budgeting – Do they have their own bank account? Or checkbook? Do they know how to budget money? If they have been getting an allowance or are working a part-time or summer job, then they probably have some experience with managing their money.

  • Safety – Does your teen know how to handle emergencies either at home, at work, on campus or on the “road?”

You may encounter some resistance or hesitation from your teen as you teach them these life skills, but it will make their transition into adulthood that much easier (and smoother) – and who knows? They may actually thank you one day!

To read more from Cathy, visit

About the Author...
Cathy B
Cathy is a homemaker, wife and mother to a son with special needs, an adult daughter and stepmom to an adult son.
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