We have talked a lot about working with your teen to help him or her prepare to leave home for school or work. Talking to your teen is important to prepare him by helping him think about this process.
What else is important besides talking to your teen?
Establishing competency is essential. By establishing competencies, I mean teaching and preparing your teen to be able to make his way without you. Essential competencies include the following:
1. Self-care: personal hygiene includes also being able to do laundry, make your bed, clean a bathroom. You would be amazed at how many teens do not know how to do these things - often because a parent does this for them and never teaches them.
2. Meal Planning and Food Preparation: can your teen figure out what to cook? Does he know how? Every teen should be able to plan at least five basic meals that he can shop for and prepare.
3. Managing Money: does your teen have a bank account? A debit card? A teen needs to know how to make a budget, balance his checking account, and keep up with debit transactions.
4. Car Care: will your teen be taking an automobile with him? Does he know how to change a tire? Does he know how often his oil needs to be changed? Does he know about where to take his car for routine maintenance? You would be amazed how many adults do not think about this until something goes wrong - like a flat tire.
5. Time Management: can your teen understand how to "budget" his time for study or work? And for all those tasks he needs to do for activities of daily living? And for basic essentials - like sleep?
These are just a few things to think about - essential competencies - for any teenager.
Let me know of other important competencies that I did not list here - I need to add them to the list for my teen!