Essential Skills Teenagers Should Learn
Life throws many curve balls at us, and some of the toughest issues we face may occur during our teenage years. Being a teenager suddenly means learning coping mechanisms and tricks to help you throughout your life.
However, this is even harder for teenagers shifting to a new country in the middle or at the start of a school year. Not only do teenagers have to turn things around, make new friendships, keep in touch with old ones, and concentrate on their studies, but they also have to learn new things, help their parents and caregivers, do their chores, and, sometimes, babysit younger siblings.
While most teenagers develop coping mechanisms in familiar environments, this instinctive aspect of growing up is quite difficult for those moving to new and unfamiliar places. Since Brexit has led to increased migration to the UK and many moving on work visas, the number of teenagers and school enrolments have also increased. Most of these families are from foreign countries where one or all adults shift to the UK to work with companies offering a sponsorship licence.
These families have a lot to offer the country culturally, but they also need time to adjust to their new surroundings and people. Teenagers in these families need extra skills to quickly adapt and grow. Many also turn to the internet to learn these things in an educational manner or as part of life skills. A tutor replacement is essential since easy information and access at your fingertips is faster and more efficient than booking an appointment and physically seeing a tutor.
Let us look at some essential skills all teenagers should learn.
Money may not be a priority as a teenager, but managing money is an essential life skill that will come in handy throughout life. Learning how to manage funds, money, gold, and other finances as an adult is a vital life skill that all teenagers should have. Many parents start allocating their kids weekly or monthly pocket money or an allowance. As you give them money, discuss everything they could do with it. Explain the importance of saving and budgeting.
Teach teenagers how to allocate their allowances to travel, food, and miscellaneous expenses. Also, show them different ways of saving money in small, low-risk bonds and savings accounts. If your teenager is too young to open a bank account, start one for them and explain how to use cards, their perils, and downfalls. Writing cheques, using ATMs, transferring money online, and using payment gateways, portals, and apps will become critical for their future.
It is effortless to get lost in a rut of someone else preparing food for you. This cushy lifestyle is not self-serving when teenagers become adults. Teach children the importance of buying groceries, fruits, vegetables, and meats and how to cook them. Learning how to use and maintain kitchen appliances like refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, kettles, air fryers, cookpots, and more will become a must-know for them.
You should also teach them food cleaning, preparation, and baking. Many parents wrongfully presume children will learn on their own. While true, they should not go into the kitchen wilfully blind. Inculcating valuable and healthy food habits will help them throughout their life.
Personal Grooming and Hygiene Skills
As teenagers, many changes take place physiologically. Boys start getting facial and body hair, girls start menstruating, and more. These changes may feel alien without having a helpful adult guide and teach them. Bodily functions and their maintenance are critical to being a healthy individual.
Teenagers should be taught how to shave carefully, maintain their body hair, hygienically clean the sweat from their bodies, clean during periods, dispose of used sanitary napkins and tampons, and adequately clean the bathrooms once they are done. These hygiene skills will ensure they live a long, healthy, and happy life.
It's easy to say teenagers are surly and don't want to talk to anyone. While this may be a character trait, it could also stem from awkwardness and shyness. Instead of discounting your child's social skills, you should work on developing them early on. Pursuing hobbies, reading books, and holding meaningful conversations with friends, family, and peers at school will work wonders for your child's social graces.
You should also teach them how to value people, their individual contributions, and ways that teenagers may learn and adapt to new social skills for the long term. You should also teach them about respecting others and tolerance of all genders and religious beliefs.
Poor management is a direct result of bad organizational skills. Many teenagers tend to become haphazard with their daily lives - things like messy cupboards, unkempt cupboards, overstuffed drawers, and more can lead to utter chaos. One common trait amongst teenagers is that they're always searching for something!
The best way to teach them organizational skills is to help them allocate a place for everything. You will have to follow up with them, guide them, and assist them initially till organizing everything and placing it in its correct place becomes muscle memory. These skills will also be helpful at school and college for taking notes, organizing folders, and keeping their coursework on track.
It is standard for children to experience freedom as teenagers, leading to an unfettered excitement in encountering everything with fresh eyes. As an adult, it falls on you to help guide them through this beautiful time by equipping them with all the necessary skills, so they are safe, learn in a secure environment, and emerge as well-rounded youth. Apart from the skills mentioned above, other critical skills to add to their education are time management skills, domestic skills (like managing groceries, doing the laundry, dusting, and occasionally vacuuming), decision-making skills (how to judge right from wrong), goal setting skills, emotional skills (coping with everyday emotions, anger, heartbreak, loss), and behavioural skills. Helping them develop these skill sets will enable them to walk into the world as emotionally mature adults capable of looking after themselves, respecting others, and building a better life.
About the Author
Sarah Richards is a part-time life coach, and a part-time consultant. She enjoys guiding youngsters, educating the masses about the value of skills and organization, and believes in the Ikigai method of life. When not writing, you can find her reading a book curled up with her puppy, Sonny.