Teenagers who are leaving home to attend college should know how to perform several tasks around the house. In addition, they need to have several basic life skills in order to manage on their own. Here are some of the things that parents can teach a son or daughter before a child leaves home.

Completing Laundry Chores

Many teenagers have never needed to take care of their clothing by washing, drying and ironing the garments. Teenagers should learn that sorting clothing by color or type of fabric is essential. A teenager should understand how to read the care label on a garment to determine if washing it in the sink with a mild detergent is appropriate of if it is okay to place the garment in a washing machine. They should also know if it is safe to dry the clothing in a dryer or if it is better to hang a garment on a hanger to dry.

Managing Finances

A teenager should learn how to manage finances by having a checking and a savings account at a nearby bank. In addition to having a debit card to make purchases, it is important to learn how to write a check because some businesses won’t accept debit cards. It is also important to understand how to keep track of other financial transactions, including earning wages so that a teenager can file federal, state and local tax documents each year.

Preparing Meals

When a teenager is living independently, it is essential to know how to shop for food at the supermarket along with cooking the meat or vegetables at home on a stove in the kitchen or on a grill outside. Parents can help a child to learn these skills while a daughter or a son is living at home. Give your child a shopping list to buy groceries, and also, have your child prepare meals at home. Learning how to use a grill, stove, and oven are important parts of growing up. When a teenager does leave home, the individual is able to survive without visiting a restaurant several times a week.

Caring for a Vehicle

Your teenage child should learn about simple vehicle repairs, including adding air to the tires, replacing the windshield wipers and checking the fluids. A teenager can learn these tasks from you or by reading a book. If a teenager is unable to make a vehicle repair, then the individual should understand how to find a mechanic to perform the task. This requires learning how to discuss the repairs with the mechanic, including determining the cost of the labor and materials.

Managing Medical Care

A teenager should learn how to manage medical care for routine health problems and emergency medical issues. Your child can enroll in a first-aid class to learn how to cope with issues that include burns, cuts or broken bones. To avoid expensive medical bills, your child should understand how to find a health insurance policy that pays for basic expenses in addition to major bills when there is a major problem that requires hospitalization.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute

Don’t wait until the last minute to teach your teenagers the skills required for independent living. Your teenage child should begin to learn these skills gradually while attending high school.