Reading, Writing, and Skills for Life

Among the milestone events teenagers experience that test their emotional intelligence development, entering high school is typically the first big one. Consider the environmental challenges of being in the middle of puberty while interacting with peers who are essentially young adults old enough to serve their country in the armed forces.

The time is right to help them develop skills that will build intrapersonal, interpersonal, and adaptability competencies. In the process you will be positioning teens better for smoother transitions into the next capstone events in their life, culminating with high school graduation and college or work. Face it, that’s right around the corner. Here are a few key areas to focus on:

  • Time Management:  Work with your teens to create and follow a schedule. Being accountable for their own time management is a life skill that will serve them well their entire life. Leverage their technology by time blocking and using technology to create alerts and reminders.
  • Household Responsibilities: There is nothing more pitiful than a college freshman who can’t make their own meal or do their own laundry. Begin to build those skills for a high school freshman and by the time they graduate, they can enjoy more the high sodium Top Ramen and avoid shrinking their favorite shirt in the dryer.

  • Managing money: Make sure that your teenagers understand basics money management concepts. Budgeting, saving, and understanding the implications of debt and credit scores are surefire ways to position your teen for success long before they are fully responsible for their own fiscal management.

  • Develop a lifelong learner:  Teaching your teenager good study habits and encouraging discipline are great, but giving your teen some skills and encouragement to be a lifelong learner are even better. Help your teenagers determine their preferred learning style. Help them experiment and work with teachers to identify what approach turns learning into a fun exploration rather than a chore.

  • Personal health: Diet and exercise. Two of the most important words in anyone’s life. For a teenager, now is the time to create habits for a life well lived.  Helping your teen develop good eating habits and encourage daily physical activity may be difficult for parents. It may require parents and adults to change your bad habits to create a good example. Nothing worse than parental hypocrisy, and it might save your life as well. Sorry for the preaching…no I’m not. It’s for the kids.

"Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn" Benjamin Franklin

Summary

Teens are making a big transition as they enter into high school. Plug in these learning opportunities now as they make the transition. These skills will help them develop important competencies like confidence, independence, problem solving, handling pressure, and several more. Take these daily small steps now and the payoff will be smooth transitions as they experience the normal transitions over the next five years and beyond.

  • Wanting Independence