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Top ten life skills your teenager needs to be independent

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If your parenting goes as normally planned, your teenager or young adult will at some point leave home and live independently.

Life skills will help your teenager be independent and able to live on their own, which is the goal of a successful young adult and their parents. But it isn't easy.

Older teenagers often feel they can take the big step towards independent living without possessing all of the life skills they will need to succeed in the world at large.

Therefore, they start out at an disadvantage by not getting the confidence a person gains by learning an independent living skill and not having the ability to do the life skill.

This makes the transition from a teenager at home to their life as a young adult harder. Sometimes it's so hard, they come back home.

You can help your teen be independent by encouraging good habits and helping them learn the life skills it takes to be independent.

Here we have listed ten life skills your teenager will need to learn in order to be successful at living independently the first time they are on their own:

1. The ability to cope with loneliness

Coping with loneliness is a very important skill on my list of needed independent living skills for teenagers because every teenager we've ever known has needed it. Teenagers who know how to recognise loneliness as the temporary feeling it is, use their support system and work through their loneliness do just fine.

2. Finding and keeping a job skills

In order to live independently, your teenager will need to have a job. The job will need to make enough money to cover their living expenses, at minimum.

Today's happy young adult has a job that contributes to a high quality of life and not just monetarily.

3. The ability to procure and cook food

You know they know how to order at a fast-food restaurant, but they need to know how to shop at a grocery store, making smart buying decisions, and then how to make dinner when they get home.

4. Transportation skills or the ability to get from one place to another

One life skill that teenagers need to learn to become independent but generally leave to their parents or caregivers, is transportation or getting from point A to point B.

They can't always rely on friends who have cars to take them where they need to go, and public transportation isn't always there when you need it.

5. General housekeeping skills

Laundry, cleaning their room, loading/unloading the dishwasher, taking out the trash — few teenagers enjoy these tasks, but they need to know how to do them (and get used to doing them) before they are out on their own. It's part of being independent and responsible.

6. Money skills

Learning how to handle money should start at a very young age, with increasing lessons and practice as your children get older.

7. Interpersonal skills

“To have a friend, you must be a friend” is a wonderful saying, and it's very true. By the time they are teenagers you'll know whether they are having difficulty making and keeping friends. But having the skills necessary to get along with co-workers, bosses and professors can be a totally different story.

8. Goal setting and obtaining skills

Defining what it is you want is called setting a goal. Figuring out and taking the actions you need to reach it are important life skills. Learning how to set and obtain a goal are necessary life skills your teen will need to be a happy and successful adult.

9. Ability to find housing

Most teenagers live at home and don't have a clue what it costs to have their own apartment. Rent, utilities, cable — they cost more than children imagine. They need your help in learning what is reasonable for rent and possibly how to find and live with a roommate.

10. Time management skills

This is almost as important as money management.

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Published November 03, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated November 03, 2016 at 1:34 am)

Top ten life skills your teenager needs to be independent

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