Transitioning from teenhood to adulthood is difficult. Most schools don’t equip young adults with what they need to gain and maintain independence once they fly the nest. And you can only do so much to ensure that your teens have a stress-free transition. However, you can’t just teach them how to manage finances or apply for a job. There are many nuanced skills that they need to uphold to ensure they can be a functional adult positively contributing to society.
This is a cognitive skill where you remain aware of your surroundings. There are a few concepts of mindfulness:
- Present-focused awareness
- Being non-judgmental
This helps your teenager remain aware of how they affect the world around them. Whether they’re dining with others, driving, or attending social events, your teen should learn to stay off their phones and be in the present. Teach them to set aside time to scroll the internet, preferably in the evening after work or class when they’re decompressing. Mental Wellness: Tips For Practising Mindfulness
The golden rule is a great policy to live by. You should always treat others as you want to be treated. However, your teens should learn to go the extra mile and contribute to those in need. They should learn to be aware of vulnerabilities. For example, they should be aware of those poorly treated by society. This is a skill that your teenager should have from a very young age. However, young adults can be brash, rude, inconsiderate, and prone to peer pressure. Should they end up in a college or workplace with diverse people, they should learn how to be kind to everyone, without expecting more than fairness in return.
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Many schools teach communications skills but this is often limited to a syllabus and how to send corporate emails. However, teens still need to learn how to communicate with their peers, elders, or people of a different lived experience. Teens need to learn how to maintain eye contact, address authority, and assert themselves. Self-advocacy and knowing how to time it appropriately can be difficult.
Phone etiquette is also important. How teenagers talk to their siblings or friends won’t be similar to how they should address employers or networking contacts. Phone calls are also a big part of the “adult world” and younger generations prefer using messaging. They need to learn when to call, text, email, and most importantly, how.
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4. Forming friendships
While this isn’t a skill that is innate to everyone, younger kids find it easier to make friends. Proximity in schools and estates also makes it easier. As adults, it’s important to make friends in social circles outside of work. Some social apps do offer opportunities to make friends with others but teens need to internalise online safety.
Studies show that younger people are more likely to be scammed online than older people. You should teach your teens how to create solid friendships and create lasting bonds with trustworthy people. Teach them also how to manage loneliness. This will be a critical skill if they move to a different town where they have to start a whole new life.
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Many teens are usually well-adjusted socially by the time they join college or the workforce. However, finances can be a difficult subject to fully understand. Bills, bank accounts, investments, or expenses can be daunting. Your teen needs to know exactly how to manage their money.
School systems never teach young people how to manage their taxes. Some workplaces do train their workers how to do it or they pay the taxes of the employees themselves. However, if your teen ends up self-employed or on contractual employment with multiple employers, they need to know how to file their returns. Tax authorities usually have training seminars but you can give your teen a preliminary basic understanding about how to file their tax returns. Taxes And Tax Laws in Kenya: A Guide
Teach your teenagers which insurance will be important to apply for. If they’re still covered under your insurance policies, teach them what they will need to do to get their independent insurance policies. 9 Important Questions You Need To Ask Your Agent Before Getting An Insurance Policy
3. Official documents
Your teens should also know how to apply for important documents such as IDs, passports, driver’s licences, or business licences. They also need to know what to look out for when signing contracts and binding agreements. This is especially important when making purchases such as land, a car, or an apartment.
Depending on their income, teens will need to know how to manage their accounts. They also need to learn the different kinds of accounts that they will need. This also shows them what to do about savings, investments, expenses, and bank loans. They will learn more as they grow older but they should have a fundamental understanding to also avoid any scams. 7 Ways We Can Teach Children The Importance Of Financial Management
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Debt management is a necessary skill to maintain financial health. Your teen will accumulate debts at different points in their lives. They may take student loans, or buy a car. They need to know which debts are worth taking and which ones should be avoided as much as possible. Show your teenager how debt repayment can work and the easiest way to ensure they clear them without costing themselves too much.
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To avoid frivolous debts, teach your teen to budget. This can start when they’re younger by having small allowances which when they save up, they get a bonus. If possible, let them help you with budgeting for household items so that they know how to do it for themselves when they move out. Teaching Children How To Budget
To stick to a budget, teens should learn the difference between wants and needs. If they need food, they should buy essentials like flour, rice, or bread rather than pizza or other expensive snacks. They shouldn’t rationalise overspending by overspending on one thing while staying hungry or going into debt to buy essentials later. Teach them to maintain discipline, enjoy snacks occasionally and take advantage of offers with their leisure money.
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One problem they will face is peer pressure from their agemates. Their peers will encourage them to go out, spend frivolously, and fail to account for their needs. They should avoid events where they will be under pressure to spend more than they can afford. Succumbing to peer envy to buy expensive phones because they saw a classmate or cousin with one is unsustainable. Let your teen know they can contact you if they’re feeling overwhelmed. If they’re away at college, they may benefit from a visit from you or a reminder to keep themselves anchored to their goals. How Peer Pressure Affects Financial Freedom
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Eventually, your teen will get a job or start a business. To start with, they will need to know how to go about it. This will help them be less overwhelmed or anxious when applying for jobs.
1. Writing a CV
Your teen’s first job will most likely be an internship or a low-level job with no prior work experience. Have them involved in some community or school activities that can help them with applications. Teach them how to sell their professional skills and their willingness to learn. They should also know which skills help them stand out and how to write a cover letter. Career: Ways To Get Your CV Past The Applicant Tracking System
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2. Dressing for work
Depending on where they get their jobs, your teen will need how to dress for work. Even if the company has a casual dress code, teach them which outfits are acceptable. Corporate fashion is the first impression. Before employers or clients learn about their work and skills, they will judge what your teen wears. Teach them about interview and networking etiquette. Networking will play a big role in their career success and they will spend a lot of their time selling themselves rather than their CVs doing the work.
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Teens may be unaware of all the potential hazards they will encounter when they move out. As such, they must know how to perform safety checks, first responses in emergencies, and how to remain secure.
1. Online safety
With how much time teens spend online, they need to learn about this before they leave the nest. However, they’ll likely experience more online dating, shopping, and working. Teach them how to remain safe and what information is okay to share online. Teach them to identify scams, what to look out for if something looks real but is illegitimate, and which sites to avoid. How To Spot Online Scams And Protect Yourself
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2. First aid
Teens should know how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) in the event someone is unconscious, or the Heimlich manoeuvre if someone is choking. They should also know what to do if they get hurt while alone. This includes how to manage fractures, dizzy spells, burns, or choking. In addition, your teen should know which aches and pains require immediate medical attention and which ones can be managed with home remedies.
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3. Home safety
Teach your teenagers how to safely put out fires, avoid fire hazards, and what to do in the event of flooding, and moulding. Your teens should also know what to do about hidden dangers within the home such as leaking pipes, and naked wiring, and how they can fix them. Health: First Aid And Home Remedies For A Burn
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4. Safe socialising, sex, and dating
If your teen is a woman, teach them how to avoid harassment and respond to it. Show them how to defend themselves and what to do to mitigate the risks of assault. For example, your teen should know that before they meet someone for a first date, they shouldn’t let them pick them up from their home. They should also let a close friend know where they’re going.
When going out dancing, they should be vigilant about their drinks. Ensure they always have emergency cab fare in case they get stranded, or if they’re far from home, they should stay with a friend or a safe hotel to avoid walking in unsafe areas alone. Teach your teens how to respond to unplanned unsafe sex and pregnancy scares.
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Young men should watch out for other women who could be in vulnerable situations. They should call out their friends when they see them harass women in clubs or parties. In addition, they should be careful not to spend more than they can afford when trying to impress a girl or get her attention. They can also learn how to handle romantic rejection ensuring they don’t perpetuate harmful cultures. Young men can learn to embrace vulnerability and avoid the pitfalls of toxic masculinity.
Talk to your teenagers about boundaries and also about relationships with their friends and members of the opposite sex.
5. Safe driving
Teens learn to drive easily enough but they may lack the requisite experience that helps them become safe motorists. Teach them how to drive safely in cities, residences, or highways. They also need to know how to drive at night or in wet or foggy weather. Teach them when to change their wheels, when to get car service, and which noises to look out for. They should also know how to change a tyre and what they need in their vehicles to remain safe at all times. This includes spare wheels, fire extinguishers, and hazard signs. Bad Driving Habits You Should Stop
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More younger people are experiencing mental health crises. They may also not be equipped to handle severe mental health conditions like chronic depression. Know how to look out for signs of mental health problems and teach your teen to look out for the same. When they see it in themselves, or their peers when they move out, they can know the next steps to take. This involves talking to a friend, seeking professional help, or getting emergency mental health treatment in severe cases. Your teens should also know they can reach out to you if they ever feel anxious or overwhelmed. Five Tips To Help Improve Mental Health In Children
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