Good planning and hard work usually lead to success.
That is even more true when preparing your teen to become independent and capable of living on their own. But it’s by no means easy. In this post, I explore 7 skills teens need to grow up, grow strong and grow confident.
Often, teens rush into living independently before they’ve acquired the life skills needed to succeed—only to pay the price.
They end up struggling to manage without all the support they could count on before—emotionally, physically, and financially. Inevitably, they flounder and their confidence and self-esteem suffer.
A good plan and diligent effort are needed on your part.
Only then can you help your teen become as mature, secure, and able as they can possibly be… long before they leave your house.
There are several skills your teen should possess to grow up strong and confident.
7 Skills Your Teen Needs to Grow Up
Does your teen need to know everything, on every matter, to be successful independent of you? Of course, not. They will fill in the gaps through experience. What are the skills teens need to grow up?
1. Standing up for what is right
This means that your teen must have moral and spiritual values in place to face problems by themselves. To demonstrate integrity and character in difficult situations as well as stand up for themselves and others, you must patiently guide them and instill in them strong values.
The key? Be their role model. Your teen can learn a lot from your moral resilience, your drive and focus in life, and your personal growth journey.
2. Being motivated to set goals
Motivation isn’t taught or demanded—it’s something you encourage. When you gently keep your child engaged without pressure and let them find their own passions, they often develop their own interests. They learn to pursue new things, set goals, and grow personally. Initiative and persistence are essential when striving toward personal goals.
You can help your teen to understand how to establish goals and then decide together what steps they must take to reach them. Teaching them to keep track of their progress is also a highly valuable skill. And if things don’t work out quite as they hoped? It’s important they know how to have a good attitude following failure.
3. Organizing and time managing
It starts in school. When your teen has strong study habits and values learning, executive functions connected to independent living are not so daunting. Those things include planning ahead, implementing and completing tasks, making informed decisions with sound judgment, and being able to concentrate on the work at hand.
Budgeting time and self-monitoring are imperative for many household and work-related projects. Nobody will remind them. They need to be self-sufficient in those matters.
4. Developing and maintaining relationships
This includes personal and work relationships. Social skills are needed on both fronts. Good communication, respect, conflict resolution, cooperation with others, and accurate self-appraisal are crucial. You can model effective relationship skills in all aspects but especially in your own romantic and intimate relationship. Also, encourage your teen to develop friendships with their peers as well as older people who can help them grow in perspective and maturity.
5. Regulating emotions and controlling impulses
Being a good role model for your teen in this aspect is especially important to their self-esteem and self-confidence. There are so many changes going on within them, hormones can easily get out of control. Recognizing, reflecting, and expressing emotions appropriately is a skill that can be difficult for teens to learn well.
6. Managing independent living
The practical skills needed for teens to live alone can’t be overlooked. While the aforementioned skills are important and necessary, consider what type of hands-on matters your teen should be able to handle.
Tasks include the following:
managing money and finances (accounts and credit cards)
household chores (cleaning, laundry, or cooking)
using transportation ( car maintenance or public transport)
acquiring and holding a job (interviews and responsibility)
handling emergencies (repairs, injury, or a natural disaster).
7. Caring for self
Another important set of practical skills for teens? Routine self-care and healthful habits. Once you’re not there anymore to provide daily parental guidance regarding nutrition and physical health, teens have to know what is good and what is bad for their bodies and minds.
You may still have some control over resources, but your teen must also be mature enough to understand the hazards of substance use and abuse and other risk-taking behaviors.
The bottom line? Unless you teach your teen the life skills they need to live alone, there’s a big chance that they’ll struggle and perhaps even return home, defeated.
Don’t allow your teen to start out at a disadvantage. Help them gain the independent living skills they will need right now. Then, move on, confident enough to make a successful transition into adulthood.