Photo by Anna Nekrashevich

Today’s responsible teenager has the potential to blossom and grow into a successful citizen tomorrow.

It takes no time for kids to grow into teens and then adults and have a life and personality. However, kids may have to fly the nest for a brighter career and etch a niche for themselves. Read on to learn how to introduce essential life skills for teenagers as they play a vital role in adjusting to the future and surviving life’s challenges during this transition. Plunge into this post, as it brings you a list of the fundamental life skills your teens should know before entering the real world.

Five Important Core Skills Teens Need In Life

Life is full of surprises, both pleasant and unpleasant. To prepare your child to face anything in life, you should help them acquire these skills as a youth. 

1. Planning. When children are little, it is natural for parents and caregivers to plan for them. But as kids grow into teens, they must learn to do it themselves. Avoid micromanaging your teenager’s life. Instead, set some simple ground rules; like homework needs to get done, regular exercise is essential, and they need seven to eight hours of sleep. You may have other ground rules, like attending religious services or family meals. Then let your teenager figure out how to get it done. Step in only if ground rules are being broken consistently.

2. Focus. The explosion of device use has caused many problems with a focus on people of all ages. There is instant gratification to screens that make it hard to put them aside and centers on less vital tasks — so now, more than ever, it is essential to:

  • Talk about how the Internet and social media can interfere with daily life (including homework) and help them come up with ways to manage the distraction;
  • Have screen-free meals and family time; and
  • Encourage hands-on activities that do not involve screens, like baking, cooking, building, crocheting, sewing, drawing, painting, or gardening.

3. Self-control. This is one where being heedful of your reactions to situations is essential. How do you react to frustrations and anger? Is road rage a problem for you? Remember that kids are always wary of what people do than what they say. To aid your teenager in learning self-control, you can:

  • Talk about strategies and feelings for managing solid emotions — like screaming into a pillow, stepping away from the situation, taking a deep breath, etc.;
  • Assess after upsets once everyone has calmed down. What might your teenager have done differently? What could they do the next time?
  • Talk about how their behavior affects other people and why it is essential to be mindful of that (this is a practice that teaches awareness).

4. Awareness. Teens can be very aware, but most of their world. Help your teenager learn to see beyond that.

  • Talk about stories in the news and current events. In particular, talk about how these affect individuals and how different individuals might see them adversely;
  • Go places with your teenager — even just a visit to a nearby town or a walk in the woods can give them time to view around them and see things they might miss;
  • Join community service activities as a family and show your teenager how they can make a difference; and
  • Have checking rituals as a family, like at dinner time. Give everyone a chance to talk about their day.

5. Flexibility. Life indeed throws curve balls always, and teenagers need to be able to adjust.

  • Be flexible about your teenager’s schedule. Help them prioritize, and see which areas can be postponed or missed when something happens, bad or good; 
  • Encourage your teen some spontaneity. This is also about knowing to prioritize and not getting too stuck in routines; and
  • Be a role model. Be spontaneous yourself — and do not get too upset when plans change. Make new plans.

The book The Soul Of Adolescence Aligns With The Heart Of Democracy by Alfred Kurland is a constructive critique of old paradigms about adolescence which dismiss, demean and sabotage their contributions and understanding of their true nature. It is education, utilizing modern scientific research, the wisdom of traditional spiritual insights, and current youth development studies and community organizing. It uses an informal tone, embedding evidence within reflections of direct experience and experimentation. The technique is critical but optimistic and hopeful.

Final Words

Any time you let your teenager do something, there is a reasonable odd that they will fail. Repel the urge to jump in right away. While it is essential to have your child’s back (now and for the rest of their life), sometimes teens must fail to learn. Give them a chance to figure it out themselves before you offer help. They may surprise you.

Share This
Skip to content