As you are at home during this coronavirus pandemic with your super cute, non-hormonal, always happy teenager? If so, here are 10 ways you can utilize this time to impart some life skills.
1) Have intentional conversations that help your teen engage in a mindset that can impact the trajectory of their lives. Discuss relevant examples of where they can look at situations as obstacles or opportunities. For example: instead of asking, “Why is this happening to me?” they can ask “What am I learning through this circumstance, situation, emotion?”
2) Utilize the free personality tests, temperament quizzes that are available. Have them take a few quizzes and together discuss the results. Use this time as an opportunity to remind them of their strengths, discuss future goals and how they are gifted in specific areas that can be used for the rest of their lives. (I love 16personalities.com when meeting with teens and families.)
3) Set up a mock spread sheet that shows them how they will budget in the future. You can even go as far as when they are out of college- cost of living with apartment, car payment, insurance, etc. and together, research hypothetically where they would want to live. Look up cost of rent, etc. Then discuss how their current grades, hobbies, goals can help them (or maybe they need a re-set) achieve their aspirations and dreams.
4) Look into starting college courses online as a dual-credit student. this summer. This is something my son did in high school and it helped him gain college credit before entering college. In Texas dual-credit courses are covered by the State- which is also a benefit for those needing to keep costs down.
5) Have your teen help you with the laundry, chores, and cooking. Show them tricks that you learned growing up with folding the clothes, adding salt to boiling water, how to organize a sock drawer. THEN explain to them the why. Go into greater depth as to why it’s important to pick up life-skills along the way. How they help us contribute and make our own lives better - whether it’s cleaning or cooking or homework.
6) Take them on a house tour or apartment tour. Ask them to show you the circuit breaker- explain what it does. Have them find the fire extinguisher and ask them how it works. Thermometers, cleaning supplies, first aid kits, etc. All the things that they will need to know once they leave the house.
7) Have them watch a drug and alcohol awareness video explaining the risks involved with underage drinking and drug use. Use this as a time to talk about what is really going on in their world.
8) Have FUN! Play…play… play. Have a water balloon fight in the driveway. Wash the dog with bubbles. Build something together. Reminding them that they will never be too “cool” for play.
9) Automobile class: show them how to gauge tire pressure, oil change, washer fluid, and most importantly how to change a tire.
10) Practice the art of communication. Engage in role-playing with your teen. From a mock first work interview to having a conversation with their adult neighbor. Share tips that will go well with them if they implement these strategies. For example: ask questions that draw out the other person in an area that interests them. Listen, listen, listen… then engage.