No mother likes to think about it, but teenagers will soon be flying the nest. They spread their wings, and off they go into the world – and it’s terrifying! However, as parents, we have the opportunity of teaching your teen how to be functional humans before they leave.

By hook or by crook, your teenager needs to learn some life skills before you push them into the world. It’s not just for their benefit, either, but for the benefit of everyone around them. If they’re off to college, you need to know that they can look after themselves and cook their own meals, wash their own clothes and look after the place in which they live. So, below, let’s go through a list of skills that they need to learn before they move out.

Asking For Help

Believe it or not, this is a life skill you need to teach your teenagers. It’s not easy to ask for help and teaching your kid to be their own advocate. Teenagers need to learn to speak up for themselves and understand their own emotions, and you can teach them how to ask for what they need. You might not be able to teach them to fix a washer, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t teach them how to ask for washing machine parts! Give them that confidence before they go!


If you have been spoiling your teenager by being a taxi service, then you need to teach them how to find their own way. Perhaps they need to learn to drive, and you can facilitate that before they move. Otherwise, it would help if you taught them how to use their Google Maps app on their smartphone so that they can get where they need to be without getting lost.

Managing Money

Whether they are paying their own bills or they need to master saving up for emergencies, your teenager won’t be learning how to balance a budget at school. That’s your job. So, teach them how to create a monthly budget and stick to it, and you’ll hopefully keep them from a life of debt!

First Aid

You can’t send your teenager into the world without a little of the basics under their belt. They need to be able to find their way without calling you for every sniff or cold. Basic first aid will help, here, and they will be more secure in the world if they’re able to manage themselves in an emergency efficiently. First aid skills are essential and there are lots of great courses out there they can take to help them learn the basics in case of an emergency.

flat lay photography of saute skillet beside spoon of spices and vegetables


Whether you have a son or a daughter, you need to send them out into the world with necessary cooking skills so that they can look after themselves. There’s no way you want any roommates or future in-laws thinking you didn’t teach your child to cook! They need to eat, and they need nutritious choices, not microwaved meals and take out. The best way to save money when you are living on your own is to cook your own meals and there are lots of great EASY meals you can teach them to cook that can be easily adapted as they become more comfortable in the kitchen. Of course, in my house, the kids have been cooking since they were about 7.


Lastly, you need to make sure that they know what to do with a washing machine and a dryer. They don’t need to know how to fix it, but they do need to understand how to use it! If they are entering the rental market they will also need to learn to adapt so learning how to use a few machines is always a good idea. Most machines are very similar and easy to figure out, perhaps a browse through an appliance store can help you teach them to identify the differences.



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