As parents, we want to make sure our children are prepared for adulthood. We want them to be ready for whatever challenges they may face when they’re on their own. There are a lot of things we want them to know, of course. And it’s easy to get our priorities mixed up. After all, everything seems so important.
Not knowing what skills to prioritize doesn’t make you a bad parent. If anything, it’s admirable that you’re looking into it. Just remember that knowing what to teach your teens isn’t enough. You need to know how to teach them too.
Money management is one of the most important skills you can teach your teen. After all, you want them to have a good life, not struggle with debt. That means they should know how to manage money long before they’re expected to do so without help.
To teach them this, you could teach them how to budget, sit with them and have them help you when you’re preparing your own. Let them know to start saving up money in case of emergency. And, of course, you can always start giving them an allowance. It doesn’t matter how much money you give them. The point is for them to get used to tracking their expenses and learn to save money.
Time management is a skill that is good for everyone to learn regardless of their age. Your teen could make good use of it even now, while they’re still living under your roof. After all, good time management is there to help you be more efficient and do more things throughout your day with less stress. Don’t we all benefit from that?
You can teach your teen how to manage their time well by helping them write down a schedule for their week, always including some free time for fun. If you can encourage them to develop routines, even better. Maybe you can give them a planner or help them find a good app. Different tools will help different people, but the aim is the same: to help us all manage our time as efficiently as possible.
Life is, unfortunately, full of stressors. Your teen will experience some of them, and these will only grow along with them. That’s why they need to know how to manage stress from a young age.
As their parent, you’ll want to keep an eye on how stressed they are, and maybe check in on them if you see them feeling too stressed. You’ll want to make sure they’re eating well, and that they have good coping techniques in case they feel overwhelmed. And if they ever want to talk to you, you want to listen to them. The good kind of listening, where you put your phone down and turn off the TV, and you listen to them without interrupting or thinking of what you’re going to reply. That’s how your teen will feel truly heard.
Communication is a key skill to learn no matter your age. After all, it affects not only your future career prospects, but also your relationships with the people you care about the most.
If you want your teen to learn good communication skills, then you’re going to have to lead by example. Make time to talk to your teen and listen to them properly, pay them your full attention. Children learn by imitating their parents, and this is no exception.
Parenting is difficult, no matter how rewarding it may be. If you find yourself struggling, or if you find your teenager struggling in ways you don’t think you can help, then don’t hesitate to seek professional help. As counselors, we can help you and your teen. All you need to do is reach out.