3 Skills Parents Should Teach Their Teens Before They Leave for College

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As a parent, you want to ensure that your children are as prepared as possible when they head off to college. While you have faith in your children’s ability to figure things out on their own, it can help to teach them some basics skills that they’ll definitely use when they’re off at college. As with most things, many of these skills should be taught from childhood through teenage years. But even if your children are about to leave home, it isn’t too late to start teaching them. Here are three of the main skills you should be teaching your children before they leave home.

1) How to Do Laundry

If your soon to be college-kids are still not acquainted with how to wash and fold laundry, it’s time to teach them how. This may seem super simple for you since you’ve been doing it for a long time. However, it will be new territory for your kids if they’ve never done it before. This is part of why it’s important to teach children to fold laundry at an early age. Teach them how to set the washer and dryer appropriately for what they’re washing. Be sure to teach folding techniques so they can put away clothes that will be presentable days later when they go to wear them.

2) Cooking Basics

To save yourself from an extremely expensive college experience, you should be teaching your young adults some cooking basics. They don’t need to be a master chef before they leave for college, but they do need to be able to cook for themselves. Start with some easy dishes like pasta and work your way up from there. Remember that they’re going to be on a food budget, so pick dishes that can be made from few ingredients so that your child can utilize those dishes when they go off to college.

3) Budgeting Skills

One of the biggest wakeup calls when it comes to finances usually happens when your children head off to college. You can help your college-bound kids to be more prepared for financial difficulties when you teach them some budgeting skills. They may not be aware of the various expenses they’ll need to budget for during their stay. Be sure to work together to make a budget and show your children the basics of banking. This includes using debit cards, making deposits, and so forth. By learning budgeting skills when they are young, kids will be more able to make financial decisions when they reach adulthood.

While you may think that these skills may not be hard to do, your children may find them more difficult than you do. This holds especially true if you’ve been doing these activities for them. By teaching your children these basic life skills, they’ll be better prepared to adapt to college life. Plus, you’ll end up getting less panicking phone calls when they’re off at college. Try to teach your kids the basics of some of these skills now, not later. The sooner you start, the sooner they will be able to master these basic aspects of adult life.

Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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