“Leaving the nest” can be a terrifying phrase for parents, and teens and young adults, too. Leaving the comfort of their parents' home can be especially testing if kids aren't prepared for the rigors of life on their own. Young adults can learn skills and attributes that will help make this transition run smoother.
Budgets and Money
A child moving out of the home needs to be able to create a realistic budget. To help him learn, give the teenager a set amount of money for one week. With this money, the teen is expected to pay for gasoline, food and entertainment -- and even rent for his bedroom. After the week is over, help your teenager determine how much money he will need to meet his basic needs outside of the home. Emphasize that you won't be available to provide money if he doesn't follow his budget.
Basic Life Skills
Teens should learn several basic life skills before venturing off on their own, according to a list compiled by retired Army colonel Greg Banner, a father of six, and posted on the the University of Southern California website. For example, it's teens should know how to do their own laundry, prepare basic meals and clean up after themselves. The best way to teach teens is to provide them with daily and weekly chores. Make it the teen's responsibility to launder their own clothing or cook the family dinner one night each week. The first step, however, is to teach your teen how to successfully complete these tasks. For instance, teach your teenager that mixing ammonia and bleach is potentially dangerous, or to separate his clothing to avoid turning all of his whites pink.
How to Handle Conflict
Teens need to learn how to handle conflict. For parents, exhibiting appropriate conflict resolution skills is often the best tool. Instead of having a screaming match with a person who overcharges you at the grocery store, calmly show your teens how to point out the inconsistency and find a peaceful resolution with the employee. If a teenager is struggling with determining healthy ways to express anger or handle conflict, speak to a psychologist as a family. Several universities also offer courses in conflict resolution. Although they're often geared toward a processional setting, the skills learned in this course can help teens deal with conflict in their personal life.
Basic Car Maintenance
For many teens entering college or the work force, their vehicle is an important piece of their independence. Teens need to learn basic vehicle maintenance. Knowing how to change a tire, change the oil or switch out the windshield wiper blades will save the teens from the expense of a mechanic. It's also important for teens to find ways to pay their own insurance and learn the tell-tale signs the car should be repaired by a mechanic. For example, teach teens that if they hear a squealing when they press the brake, it's a sign the brake pads are worn and require replacement.
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