Independent living skills for teenagers

Written by todd bowerman
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Independent living skills for teenagers
Teaching cooking skills gives teenagers a good start on independence. (cooking image by feferoni from

At some point in his or her life, your teenager will need to leave the house and begin living as an adult. Whether he or she heads for college or joins the workforce, there are key skills that every person needs to know before leaving home. Independent living skills are crucial for teens who want to be successful in managing their own lives. You can start teaching your teen most of these skills before he leaves home.

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Money management is an important life skill that many adults struggle with. Smart budgeting will help your teen pay his bills on time and stay out of debt. Work with your teen before high school graduation on developing a budget, paying bills and shopping smart. Depending on your teenager, a current account might be a good choice so he can begin to learn the basics while you are still there to help.


If your teenager is going to be living in his or her own apartment, he will need to know how to clean. Though teenagers may not understand the point of keeping a home clean at first, they will soon discover it is a necessary skill for living on your own. Giving your teenager weekly cleaning chores is a great method for building these skills, though there is no guarantee he will use them once he is out of the nest. Try to instil cleaning habits that your teen will use for life. And don't forget the laundry!

Time Management

Once your teen is out of the house, he is effectively on his own. Without a curfew to meet or parent to wake him, your teen may have difficulty getting to bed on time, waking up in time for class or work and meeting deadlines. Keeping your teen on a schedule and helping him understand the importance of a good night's sleep will help prepare him for life on his own.


If your teen takes daily medication for a physical or psychological problem, make sure that you sit with him or her and discuss in detail how important it is that he or she remains on schedule. Ordering refills in time, taking medicine every day, and taking the correct amounts are crucial. Skipping medication in the first few weeks or months of college could cause serious academic harm.

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