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6 Life Skills Kids Should Have Before They Leave Home

Excited group of people on their graduation day with arms up

My little girl just became a freshman at high school, and it hit me that I had just four years to ensure she knows all the life skills she’ll need to survive on her own. I got together with my parent friends and we came up with this list of 6 life skills kids should have before they leave home.

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How to Treat Medical Issues

Kids have to know how to treat minor health issues, and they have to know how to tell they need a doctor. Sometimes kids can be dumb. So talk to them about what constitutes a medical emergency and when it would be appropriate to wait for an appointment. Don’t forget to also teach them how to make an appointment! Consider taking some first aid classes together and letting them make appointments to train them up.

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How to use Credit

The allure of the “free money” of credit cards is too much for kids. It’s going to get them into trouble. Make sure your kid knows how to use credit properly. Talk to them about interest rates and the other finer details of using credit.

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How to Cook and Shop

Your kid should know how to make at least five nutritious and cheap recipes, understand how to follow a simple recipe, and be a smart shopper able to get the groceries on a budget. Take your teen out shopping and teach them about comparing prices and stocking up during sales. Consider giving them a grocery list and a budget and letting them do all the work, and don’t forget to get them to cook meals for the family every so often.

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How to Behave at a Restaurant

Your kid is going to go out and you want to be sure they know how to behave in a restaurant and pay their fair share of the meal. They might also have business lunches or college interviews, so knowing about restaurant behavior becomes a very serious subject. Teach them about tipping and why servers rely on tips so much. Pay attention to how they behave when you’re out at a restaurant with them. Do you have to remind them to put their phone away and to behave? Nip that behavior in the bud.

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How to Get Around

Your kid might go out on a road trip with their friends even if they aren’t the one driving. Even if they can – and will – drive they should understand how to use public transportation. Teach your kid how to change a tire, use their vehicle manual, recognise warning signals, and call AAA. Go over a bus schedule with them to teach them about bus routes.

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How to Say No (and Yes)

It’s hard for even adults to set boundaries. Kids have it much worse. There are serious problems associated with not setting boundaries however. It can leave kids feeling overburdened and possibly leave them in unsafe situations. Get your kid to practice confidently saying “no” and give them some more control over the “yes” and “no” choices in their life when it makes sense to do so. Teach them all the different ways they can say “no” as well.

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Are there any other skills that you think kids should know before leaving home? Let us know in the comments!

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