It’s important that we teach our sons how to take care of themselves after they move out of our houses. All of our sons are different and have different strengths and interests. And it’s impossible to teach our sons EVERYTHING; however, there are several main skills they should all master before venturing out into the world.
Here are 10 Essential Life Skills for Teenage Boys:
1 – Cooking – Some boys will do well by simply knowing how to create basic meals from a box, use the microwave, and use the toaster. Others will enjoy this area and will appreciate gaining extensive culinary skills. At the very least teach your son the following:
- How to make a balanced meal with a protein, a vegetable, and a carbohydrate.
- How to make a week’s worth of meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. No one wants their son to try to live on macaroni and cheese or pizza for every meal.
- How to use the various appliances in the kitchen – even knowing how to use small appliances such as a blender, food processor, bread maker, toaster oven, etc.
- Attempt to let your son use as many of your kitchen gadgets as you can – i.e., cheese grater, pizza cutter, egg slicer, colander, measuring cups, etc.
2 – Laundry – Be sure your son knows how to do the basics of caring for his clothing.
- Separating various colors properly
- Using detergent and various additives (i.e., stain remover, bleach, etc.)
- Learning which items would be better to air dry versus using a dryer.
- The proper way to iron a shirt
- That it’s important to hang up clothing as soon as the dryer is done so that it doesn’t get wrinkled
3 – Grocery Shopping – If your son wants to eat and doesn’t have an extremely high paying job which allows him to eat all of his meals in restaurants, he will need to master this skill
- Making a grocery list
- Comparing prices of various sized items
- Shopping sales and/or coupons
- Putting groceries away in an orderly fashion – putting the new stuff behind the old.
- Going to various stores in order to save money.
4 – Budgeting – This is a super important skill. I recommend having all kids go through Dave Ramsey’s Foundations in Personal Finance for homeschoolers. It’s best to go through this course with your son before he has his first part time job so that he will understand the best way to handle his money. Being financially responsible will serve him and his family well as he goes through life.
- Have a savings account – save for something large like a car
- Open and manage a checking account as well as writing checks
- Proper use of a debit card
- Paying a bill
- Paying taxes
- Paying taxes and/or learning how to use a tax refund calculator
5 – Cleaning – Teach your son how to do all of the various cleaning tasks inside of your house.
- Help him to establish a simple cleaning routine and learn how to stick to it.
- Doing the dishes by hand as well as with a dishwasher
- Cleaning bathrooms including toilets
- Using a vacuum
- Picking up clutter
- Organizing a closet
6 – Maintaining the yard – Teach your son how to do various landscaping tasks outside of your house.
- Mowing the lawn
- Using a string trimmer
- Planting and weeding a garden
7 – Maintaining the house – The more skills you can teach your son in this area the better. The more handy you and your husband are the more handy you will be able to help your son to become.
- Change a furnace filter
- Add salt to the water softener
- Add an electrical plug to a room
- Paint walls
8 – Maintaining a car – Everyone who drives a car should know how to maintain their car. Teach him how to look up car repair videos online so that he can save money by doing minor repairs himself versus having to have everything fixed by a professional.
- Add air to a tire
- Change a tire
- Jumpstart a car
- Refill various fluids
- Be informed about when to bring the car in for service.
- It’s also handy if you can teach your child how to change the oil, change the brakes, or any other car repairs you know how to do.
9 – Job seeking skills – Obviously, these are super important unless your son becomes an entrepreneur, which is also a wonderful option. 🙂
- Make a resume
- Fill out job applications (whether online or on paper)
- Prepare for an interview
- Pick out suitable clothing, tie a Windsor knot, iron a shirt, etc.
10 – Other important skills – Someday your son will thank you if you have taught him how to do these.
- Make important phone calls
- How to talk to important people such as bank loan officers
- How to ask questions of people when he doesn’t know how to handle various situations
There is no way you will ever be able to teach your child everything he needs to know.
If you teach your kids how to learn, they will be able to pick up various skills from different people along the way.
Whenever they encounter a new situation, they will be willing to figure out the best action to take rather than being afraid to do something wrong and getting stuck.
Question – Do you have any other skills that you would add to the above list? Please leave a comment below.
And please check out the other great posts about Teaching Responsibility from other iHN bloggers at iHomeschool Network.