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Training Teens: Prepare for Independent Living

Training Teens: Prepare for Independent Living

One day, someday, our children will be living on their own. They will sink or swim based on the skills we have given them, and their ability to adapt as adults. This basic checklist of independent living skills will help you identify what may still need work. They will leave home with or without these skills, so try to cover them over the four years of high school so they can survive and thrive!

For more help in preparing your kids for life on their own, check out my Coffee Break Book, Beyond Academics. Might be your most important $3 investment this year!

Live Independently

Make breakfast, lunch, and dinner
Wake up on time
Do laundry Iron clothes
Make the bed
Clean a bathroom
Clean a house
Unclog a toilet
Kill unwanted bugs
Pack a suitcase
Go grocery shopping
Change a smoke detector battery
Take care of belongings
Identify spiritual beliefs

Social skills

Order at a restaurant
Calculate a tip
Plan a date or outing
Be sexually responsible
Be assertive
Help others
Advocate for those who can't help themselves
Maintain healthy relationships


Pump gas
Take public transportation
Change a tire
Call a taxi, shuttle, or other transportation
Talk to strangers
Drive safely
Water safety
Use a map


Pay bills
Create budget
Balance a checkbook
Live on a fixed budget
Track spending
Pay Taxes


Monitor school grades
Keep track of assignments
Register for classes
Navigate to classes
Take notes
Write an essay
Create an outline
Speak before a group of people
Create a daily schedule
How to handle failure


Keep a calendar
Address an envelope
Write a check
Back up a computer
Take care of belongings
Organize passwords


Write a resume
Write a cover letter
Write thank you notes
How to find a job

Health and Safety

Know medical history
Understand basic nutrition
Understand the need for sleep
Understand basic fitness
Make and keep medical appointments
Situational awareness
Emergency preparedness

This is a fun list. I'd like to know which of the items on it you think will be the MOST challenging for your oldest child. Please let us know in the comments below!

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Monday, 11 December 2023

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