As a parent, you are deeply invested in raising a child who will one day be capable of taking care of themselves in the adult world. Though your child has had you around to support and care for them from day one, there will come a day when you cannot be there and you want your child to be prepared for that day. This means teaching your child basic life skills, something you have endeavored to do, and as your child becomes a teen, you begin to look for evidence that those lessons are taking hold.
Once your child has left for college, you want to know that they will be handy enough to perform the basic tasks of self and household maintenance on their own. You want your teen to be able to do their own laundry, plan and execute their own meals, clean a bathroom, or make a budget.
In order to raise a handy teen and make certain that the lessons stick, you are going to have to insist upon your teen shouldering some of the household responsibilities. This may not be too difficult if your teen has been accustomed to performing regular chores as they grow up. All children should be encouraged, even required, to do age appropriate chores so that you can teach them necessary life skills.
If your teen has not been doing chores all their life though, you may have a battle on your hands when you get started. If this is the case, start small, with just a few minor assignments. You can build on them over time. Take the time to demonstrate how each chore should be done and why so that your teen is not thrown into the task blind.
Make sure that your teen knows that you are expecting them to complete their list of chores and that there will be consequences if they do not, but help them to succeed. You can do this by:
If you can consistently enforce the need to step up and do chores, then your child will learn the skills that they need to take care of their own dorm room or apartment in the future. Raising a handy teen is simply a matter of teaching and modeling skills, insisting that they be used and used appropriately, and praising your child when they have performed the tasks you ask of them.
Not only will you be teaching your teen necessary skills, you will be equipping them with a sense of personal responsibility that they can carry with them throughout their lives.
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