Adulting 101: Help Teens Learn Basic Life Skills

Peace at Home May 17, 2018 | Ruth Freeman

One night my husband and I were talking about how our boys (14 & 16) were going to end up living in our basement unless they started learning some life skills.

So we brainstormed a list of basic things we thought adults should know how to do. We decided to call it Spring Training and teach one skill every night after dinner.

The first night, we announced that we would be embarking on Adulting 101. Our plan was received with eye rolls, groans and exasperated sighs. The first lesson was how to fix a tripped breaker. Once we started talking about it, to our surprise, the boys were genuinely interested! They asked questions, talked about circuits watts, amps, and electricity. One question lead to another and we were having a real conversation! And it wasn’t about homework, school drama, or who needed to clean their room. How refreshing!

One question lead to another and we were having a real conversation! And it wasn’t about homework, school drama, or who needed to clean their room. How refreshing! So we are on our 3rd week of Spring Training. Little did we know, not only were the boys learning a basic skill, they were learning about engaging in conversation and engaging with each other and their family. These past couple of weeks they’ve been more pleasant and even chatty.

Today they learned how to safely climb up on the roof. The boys worked together to set up the ladder and they spotted each other as they climbed up there on the roof where they chatted and marveled at the view for half an hour. The boys look forward to Spring Training everyday. Our 14 year old asked if one day they could follow a recipe and cook something for Spring Training. You bet! Put it on the list!

Please help us keep it going! What else can we add to our list?
Our Adulting 101 Spring Training List:

  • Pump gas
  • Fix a tripped circuit breaker
  • Turn off the main water source and under all the sinks
  • Order a Pizza over the phone
  • Address an envelope and mail it at the post office
  • Find out how much is a pound of lunch meat at the deli and how many sandwiches it will make
  • Write a check
  • Memorize your Social Security number and what is it anyway?
  • Read an over the counter medicine and determine how much and how often you would take it
  • Set a mouse trap
  • Play nine holes of golf
  • Calculate a tip at a restaurant
  • Check a car tire for air and add air at the gas station
  • Change a tire
  • Set a reminder on your phone
  • Climb a ladder onto the roof
  • Fill out an application (job or other)
  • Use a fire extinguisher
  • Change oil in the car (16 year old’s idea)
  • Find a recipe, shop for ingredients, and cook the meal (14 year old’s idea)

Peace At Home Parenting’s Additional Suggestions:

  • Pay bills including rent/mortgage, heat, and electricity.
  • Find out what an IRA is and how/when you can start one
  • Understand compound interest – Money is a huge part of “adulting.” 
  • Plan a family recreational activity including schedule, travel and budget
  • Find a good plumber and electrician
  • Complete a simple tax form
  • Recognize the parts of a pay check and understand each amount withheld

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