A parent’s work is never done. Each season of life is filled with life lessons your child will need to move forward. There is a lot of pressure because what and how you teach your child will influence how they raise their own children one day.
We all want to raise self-sufficient children that seamlessly transition into adulthood without any major hiccups. Unlike the olden days, home-ec and woodshop classes are not a common elective for today’s high school students. Technology has quickly advanced in the last five years and influenced a significant amount of change. Nonetheless, there are several old school life lessons (in addition to some newer ones) that every parent should teach their child.
Balance and budget your finances.
While the old school ledger and checkbook is no longer a must-have item, the concept of balancing and budgeting finances is a skill everyone needs to know. Provide your child with insight on how to pay bills, budget for big purchases, save money for emergencies, and pay themselves. With a majority of debit card purchases, encourage your child to save their receipts. Parents can help their kids create a system that works for their earning and spending.
Consider reading books about finances that are easy-to-understand for all ages. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey is a great resource and has several complimentary materials that go with the main edition.
Laundry and ironing
Train your child to review the laundering care tag on their clothes, how to separate colors (whites, darks, and colors), explain the reasoning behind hang drying and using the dryer (100% cotton items), how to prevent fading, simple stain removal, and how to properly iron apparel.
Assigning chores early on will help the laundry process become a well-practiced habit. Young children can fold clothes and put them away. Tweens can begin doing their laundry. Teens can start ironing. Implementing these daily life processes in stages will help kids develop a good system.
How to Vacuum.
It sounds silly, but vacuuming may not be something your child is familiar with. This is another chore should be assigned early on, so it can be perfected. Another key step, in the vacuuming process, that is often left out is emptying the collection container. Show your child how to properly dispose and clean the container – otherwise, they’ll call you to transfer them money for a vacuum replacement in the future.
How to write and endorse a check.
Everything is digitalized, and before you know it, your adult child needs to pay for something via check or
cash a check, and they are taken aback. Teach your child the proper way to write a check and make sure they can write out the numbers correctly. Along with that skill, teach your child how to endorse a check– in case one day they need to physically cash a paper check.
Even though most banks now have mobile deposit and/or ATM deposit options for checks, it is worthwhile to teach your child how to fill out a physical deposit slip – you never know when they’ll be in a pinch, and their electronic deposit options are unavailable.
Troubleshoot a modem.
Internet services are needed for just about everything. Sometimes operating a modem can be frustrating and require professional assistance. However, there will be times when your child will need to refresh the modem in order for the internet to work. Show your child what troubleshooting website links are available and consider bookmarking them on their phone.
This can be a hard task to teach when you’re not dealing with an issue. Therefore, it is one of those tasks you list in your head to teach when the situation presents itself.
Read directions and assemble basic things.
Printed directions can be daunting, and practice really does help. Anytime you have a new item to assemble, recruit your child to help you put it together. Show them the steps required for the basic assembly of just about anything. The steps could be: make sure all the parts are available, keep the parts separate, make sure you have the necessary tools to assemble the item and read the directions step by step. If all else fails, opt to research the assembly on YouTube. In most cases, other customers have created an easy video tutorial, or the company has something published on their channel.
Grocery shopping for themselves.
It sounds simple, right? You need food, you go to the store, and buy it. If you are the meal planner for your family, you know that there are way more steps. Teach your child how to make a grocery list and plan beforehand because if they shop on a whim, they’ll probably forget something or buy unneeded items.
Budgeting is also a part of grocery shopping. If you are into couponing or saving money with a savings app, encourage your child to use the same tools – when they have more money in their account, they’ll appreciate your wisdom.
Handwritten thank you cards and addressing an envelope.
Writing a thank you card is somewhat of a lost art. Encourage your child to always be thoughtful and gracious. A text or email is not the way to go. Practicing an attitude of gratitude will go a long way in life. While you’re at it, introduce them (if they don’t already know) how to properly address an envelope and don’t forget to always include a stamp.
There are a hundred other things every child entering adulthood should know, but for now, these are some of the basics. Teach your child these lessons and others as they enter their teen years.
Implementing everything in a crash course will feel extremely overwhelming, and your teen won’t have time to make mistakes. Take the time to teach your child and use these lessons as a way to form a strong bond.