What your teen should know and when

The exact age ranges can be flexible depending on the maturity and readiness of your teenager.

Age 12-14 (Early Adolescence)

Early adolescence is the time most teens are ready to learn the following life skills:

Basic cooking

Simple tasks, progressing to simple recipes.


Their own room, laundry, and common areas.

Basic budgeting

Introduction to saving and spending wisely.


Personal hygiene and basic physical health maintenance.

Online safety

Basic rules for protecting personal information online.

Age 15-16 (Mid-Adolescence)

Mid adolescence is the time most teens are ready to learn the following life skills:

Advanced cooking

Preparing a full meal and basics of nutrition.

Job skills

Encouraging part-time jobs or volunteering for work experience.

Advanced budgeting

Planning for larger expenses and saving for the future.

Public transportation

Navigating public transportation independently, if applicable.

Basic first aid

Responding to basic medical emergencies.

Conflict resolution

Handling disagreements in a mature manner.

Understanding diversity and inclusion

Respecting different cultures, beliefs, and perspectives.


Thinking creatively and critically to solve problems.


Recognizing and understanding their own emotions.

Age 17-18 (Late Adolescence)

Late adolescence is the time most teens are ready to learn the following life skills:

Household maintenance

Basic skills such as changing a light bulb or unclogging a drain.

Car maintenance

If applicable, understanding basics like changing a tire, checking the oil.

Advanced financial skills

Understanding credit cards, loans, taxes, and possibly investing.

Planning and shopping for groceries

Includes meal planning, budgeting for food, and shopping wisely.

Career planning

Discussing potential career paths, job applications, and interview preparation.

Legal knowledge

Understanding legal responsibilities as adults.


Setting boundaries and advocating for their needs respectfully.


Importance of making connections for personal and professional growth.

Decision making

Developing strategies for making informed decisions.


Understanding and sharing the feelings of others.

Digital footprint

Maintaining a positive image online.

Understanding insurance

Basics of health, car, and renters insurance.

Renting and homeownership

Understanding the process of renting or buying a home.


Importance of voting and how the process works.

Civic engagement

Participating in community activities and staying informed about current events.