Most parents want to do everything they can to make sure their child is prepared for going off to college, but sometimes in the hustle of buying dorm essentials and books, they forget to teach their teens some basic life skills. Lots of freshmen arrive on campus without knowing how to do one or more of the skills they need to take care of themselves.
Experts suggest you teach your teen these life skills before they leave home...
- How to do laundry - You’d be shocked how many kids have never done laundry before they go to college. Help your kid avoid that by having them start doing their own landry a few months before they move out so they have it down when they go.
- Basic sewing skills - No one’s expecting your college freshman to hem a skirt, but having the skills to sew a button back on and a basic sewing kit would be helpful.
- Simple nutrition - Go over some nutrition basics, including that your meal should have some kind of protein, vegetable, and complex carb. Explain to your teen that good nutrition can give them more energy, boost brainpower, and help them do better in school, so maybe they won’t eat dinner out of the vending machine three nights a week.
- How to cook basic foods - Your teen can probably make a Pop-Tart, but they should also know how to make easy stuff they can cook in a microwave, like soup and oatmeal. That knowledge plus nut butter for sandwiches or on apples or bananas and they’ll eat just fine until they’re ready to master making pasta and scrambling an egg.
- How to make — and stick with — a budget - Teach them to keep track of their finances and not just use their card and forget what they spend. Have them keep an online log and get in the habit of checking statements online frequently to make sure everything is as it should be.
- Basic first aid - Having a first aid kit isn’t helpful if they don’t know how to use it. Explain basics, like if they get a cut, to wash it with soap and water before putting on a Band-Aid, so it won’t get infected.