Although it may seem like children are growing up and maturing at younger and younger ages, this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re fully ready for the real world. There are many facets of adulthood that teens aren’t even aware of, and need to be taught before you blink and they’re adults, preparing to move out on their own. 

Let Them Make Mistakes

This may be the hardest action you can take for better preparing your teens for adulthood, but it’s equally vital to do. It can be difficult letting your teen make mistakes, miss assignments, or struggle with tasks. But this way of parenting will help them see solutions to their problems on their own, helping them to make rational, thought-out decisions. They may need some hand-holding at first, but you also shouldn’t take over the problem. Simply add a thought to their dilemma or offer one potential solution, but remind them to think outside the box and to make their own solutions. Critical thinking is an often-overlooked skill in today’s world, especially as people grow up and have to apply themselves to certain issues or problems. 

Money 101

In the ultimate age of digital, it can be tricky thinking about money in the more traditional ways. Being able to pay with your phone and with a tap can make teens feel more separated by their actual money and available funds. If your teen is already working part time during high school, have them cash their checks a few times or receive a portion of their check in cash to help them learn responsibility. Having $100 in your bank account can feel very different from $100 in your pocket, and it can show your teen just how quickly that money disappears from their wallet. Not only does this help keep money real to your teens, but so does budgeting. Sit down with your teen on a regular basis and teach them the basics of keeping a budget, and help them figure out their paychecks to give them a picture of bills and savings. You can even have them help with the family budget and shopping, sticking to a budget while meal prepping and paying bills. And the money preparations don’t end there; make sure to also give them tutorials on savings accounts, buying a home, checking accounts, loans, credit cards and saving for retirement. 

A Successful Future

You may have already incorporated chores when your teen was a little younger, or even just recently. They could find a part time job to help save for college or future plans, as well as helping around the house. Even if your teens don’t complete any chores or tasks on a regular basis at home, it’s still good for them to see how it all works so they know for when they get older. Doing dishes, laundry, cleaning, and fixing small items around the house are vital to learn for the future. Not everyone should rely on YouTube tutorials! With these skills under their belts, your teens are sure to flourish into responsible adults.   

Katie Kyzivat

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