11 Things Every Teen Should Learn Before Moving Out
When I was in school, in junior high and in high school, we had to take some basic life skills classes, like Home Economics, Sewing, Cooking, and I even took two years of Auto Shop. We learned to write checks, balance a checkbook, fill out a job application, and complete a simple income tax return. We learned to sew a button and a zipper, cook eggs, and change tires. We made birdhouses and spice racks.
In today’s world, it seems we don’t value these basic skills or teach them to our kids anymore. I came to realize this when I found out my own kids don’t know how to write a check. Maybe we don’t use checks as often as we did in the past, but it’s still something they should know how to do. I’ve noticed cashiers in fast food restaurants and grocery stores don’t know how to count change back, either. As a society, we have become so reliant on technology doing everything for us that we can’t even make change when, for example, the total is $7.79 and the customer pays with $10.04. This happened to me recently and I ended up with a pile of coins instead of the quarter I was aiming for.
I’ve worked in social services for ten years and have seen countless adults clueless when it comes to filling out a job application or creating a simple résumé. Then, when tax season comes around, instead of completing their IRS 1040 EZ themselves, they will pay the local tax preparer a couple hundred bucks to do it for them. What a waste of money.
Here’s a short list of some basic life skills we should all teach our kids before they leave the nest. You can learn most of this through a Google search or on YouTube. They’ll also learn some of this in college, but it’s always best to get a head start and not be thrown into unfamiliar territory unprepared.
- Balance a Checkbook and Write a Check
- Create a Household Budget
- Fill Out a Job Application and Create a Basic Résumé
- Complete a Simple Income Tax Return
- Count Back Change
Around the House:
- Reset the Main Circuit Breaker
- Turn Off the Water Main
- Fix a Jammed Garbage Disposal
- Clear the Shower Drain and Bathroom Sink of Hair
Basic Vehicle Maintenance:
- Check the Oil, Transmission Fluid, Antifreeze, and Washer Fluid Levels
- Change a Headlight, Taillight, Turn Signal Light, and Windshield Wiper Blades (this one is going to be specific to the vehicle, so to go YouTube.com and search for your vehicle by year, make, and model)
What other basic life skills would you like added to this list? Were you taught any of this in school? If you’ve had children go through junior high and high school, were they taught?