Whether your teen is starting college in a few months or flying the nest in a couple of years, they can always benefit from learning practical skills. And who better to teach them how to get through adulthood than the person who got them through life so far?
To help your teen prepare for their bright future, read on to learn the 9 practical skills to teach your teen over the summer.
9 Practical Skills You Can Teach Your Teen Over The Summer
When teaching practical skills, it doesn’t have to feel like a lesson. You and your teenager can create meaningful memories through engaging activities while also preparing them for their bright future.
Cooking meals with your teen makes for an enjoyable evening! Focus on the basics, or go all in and teach them how to throw together an extravagant feeling meal. Give them the confidence they need to cook for their friends (or maybe a future date).
Spaghetti is a great place to start. Boil the water and get the pasta to that perfect al dente feel. Brown meat and saute onions, garlic, carrots, or any other vegetables; then add to the sauce. Slice up a loaf of garlic buttered french bread. And voila! You’ll have a delicious meal and your teenager will have a new knowledge of using different kitchen gadgets.
Expand their abilities by leaving your teenager in charge of dinner once a week. They’ll begin to experiment with different foods and you’ll be off the hook for dinner duty. That’s a win-win in my book.
2. How To Grocery Shop For Basics
Unless you want to answer frantic phone calls of: “What type of toilet paper do I buy? Why are paper towels so expensive? How do I know which type of beef to buy?” Go over these grocery store basics while you can.
An easy way to teach your teen is to simply give them your shopping list and send them to the store. Let them make mistakes! If they really slip up, you can easily return items to most grocery stores with a receipt.
Or, you can ask them what they want for dinner for the week, then sit down and explain what ingredients will be needed to make these meals happen. Send them to the store and then help them to prepare different meals to cook throughout the week. Meal planning can help stretch finances and prevent too many fast food drive-thru meals once they are out of your house.
3. Budgeting For Big & Small Expenses
We can tell them the importance of saving money until we’re blue in the face, but sometimes it doesn’t click until it becomes real. If there’s something pricey your teen wants, help them save for it. Either by getting a job or saving allowance, they’ll have an opportunity to strengthen their financial skills with real world lessons.
Take a deeper dive and teach your teen about investment accounts and retirement planning. If you’re able to, you could even offer to match their investments for an added incentive.
So the next time your teen mentions wanting a car, a great vacation idea, or even just going to the movies, consider taking advantage of the opportunity to help teach them how to set financial goals and prepare for a future of financial success.
4. Basic & Deep Cleaning
Possibly one of the most overlooked skill sets is how to clean. This could cover a wide range of areas, so start simple and keep it fun. Find some music you both like (or that you can both tolerate) and turn it up! Set a timer and see if they can make their room presentable in 20 minutes.
Go through different areas of the house and point out sections and corners that might be easy to miss, but would be embarrassing for a guest to notice. You could also go further and rent your teen a power washer to clean the driveway or back patio.
Need some help getting your student set up for their bright future? We can help! Contact us today to schedule a consultation.
5. Master Parallel Parking
Even if your family is set with self-parking cars, you never know when you’ll end up behind the wheel of a friend’s car or rental and need to parallel park. Rather than letting your teen attempt to learn on their own 30-point parking experience, give them the basics.
Have your teen pull up beside a parked car, then back up until their head lines up with the middle of the backside window. At this point, they’ll turn the wheel to the right while slowly backing up. Once in the spot, they’ll turn the wheel to the left to straighten up. Encourage your teen to look up how-to videos on YouTube to make this go smoother.
6. Teach A Teen To Fish & You’ll Feed Them For Life
Before venturing off into the world, give your teen the confidence of knowing how to catch, clean, and cook a fish. If cleaning a fish isn’t in your wheelhouse, there are businesses that offer instructional classes.
Houston is a short drive to many lakes and the gulf coast. Make a day or a weekend trip out of it. While spending the day(s) fishing, you and your teen may even have the chance to open up to one another and share some deep conversations. Prepare yourself by googling questions or conversation prompts for teenagers. Whether or not you catch any fish, make sure to capture moments with your phone camera for the two of you to fondly look back and remember this special time.
7. Learn An Instrument
If you are musically inclined, make sure to pass your knowledge on to your teenager. As they get older, the two of you can always come back to the two-person show you learned together over this memorable summer.
Does your teen need guidance in putting their best foot forward in college applications? Bright Futures helps students and families by customizing strategic plans to help them reach their dreams, whatever they may be. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.
8. Keep Up The Yard
Show your teen how meditative or festive yard work can be. From listening to music while mowing the lawn or carefully putting new plants and colorful flowers into your garden, yard work doesn’t have to feel like a chore. In fact, growing your own fruits and vegetables can feel incredibly rewarding!
Moreover, if your teen is ever looking to make some extra money, they’ll gain enough confidence in this skill to put themselves out there. Whether it’s this summer or while they’re away at college, they can use their yard work know-how to start putting money away and also learn those financial skills we mentioned earlier.
8. Put An Outfit Together
Some teens follow the fashion magazines and seem to have a perfectly curated closet. While other teens may still be relying on their parents to keep their wardrobe stocked.
However, whether they are up with the trends or not, there are some lessons everyone can benefit from learning. For instance, does your son know how to tie a tie and shine his shoes for special occasions? And make this fun! Even if you don’t have a fancy place to go, the two of you can still get dressed up to even go grab a casual meal or set the table and bust out Grandma’s china that’s been collecting dust.
What’s important is they know how to appropriately dress for different situations. Casual doesn’t mean athletic wear and business casual doesn’t mean a tuxedo. Go over the basics and have them pick out outfits for different scenarios.
Teaching Practical Skills To Your Teen Over The Summer Can Help Brighten Their Future
Each new chapter in life brings new beginnings. Motivate your teen to own their process and feel proud about what’s next in their lives.
At Bright Futures, we tailor plans to help students realize and reach their academic potential. But as a parent, help them by setting them up with valuable knowledge on how to be a contributing member of society. Or at least of your household!