How to build life skills curriculum into your teen's daily life

Aug 30 / Michelle Arseneault
Hey there, parents of teens! Let’s face it, the world we live in today? It’s fast-paced and ever-evolving, right? Our teens are no longer just navigating school exams; they’re facing financial decisions, navigating friendships, and managing their own time.

Remember when our biggest problem was convincing them to eat their veggies? Now, it's about making sure they're ready to stand tall in the adult world. That’s where the magic of a life skills curriculum for young adults comes in. It's not just about the textbooks; it's about real-life know-how.
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Why life skills matter

So, let me tell you this interesting story, alright? Picture this: I once had the chance to coach this amazing teenager named Mia. She was seriously smart, acing all her classes and rocking those straight A's. But guess what? When it came to creating her first college budget, she freaked out. I mean, she could solve complex calculus problems like a boss, but managing money? That was a whole different ball game for her. Sound familiar?

And here's the kicker: our educational system is pretty darn good at molding these academic geniuses (check out that fancy word of the day!), but sometimes they miss out on teaching real-life stuff. You know, the kind of things that come in handy when life throws you a curveball. We need to give our teens the tools and skills to confidently say, "I've got this!" when faced with unexpected challenges. It's time we bridge that gap and make sure they're prepared for whatever life throws their way.
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Home schooling

Teaching life skills: School vs. real world

You know, schools are definitely trying their best these days. They're making an effort to include life skills in the curriculum, and that's worth giving them some credit for. But let's be real, there's still a gap that needs filling. And guess who's in the perfect position to fill that gap? That's right, us parents!

Think about it for a moment. Sure, schools can teach our kids the theory behind budgeting and all that jazz. But it's when we're out there doing our grocery shopping or planning a family vacation that they really start to get the hang of it. Real-life experiences, my friend, they're the ultimate teacher.

Let's go a little deeper here. While schools do play a big role in educating our kiddos, there's just something special about the home environment. It's where our kids learn so many valuable lessons. Yeah, sure, schools can teach them about budgeting, but it's at home where they see firsthand how to make smart choices, set priorities, and understand the value of money. Those trips to the store or planning a trip become these amazing opportunities to put those skills into practice.

And you know what else? We, as parents, have the chance to reinforce all those life skills taught at school. We can take what they've learned and bring it to life with practical applications. Schools may talk about effective communication, but it's at home where our kids can practice those skills by talking and interacting with us. And when it comes to problem-solving, well, real-life challenges at home are perfect for flexing those critical thinking muscles.

So, let's not just leave it all up to the schools, alright? As parents, we can step up and be co-educators. We bring our own experiences and wisdom to the table, complementing what the schools teach. By seizing everyday moments, having meaningful discussions, and encouraging hands-on learning, we can empower our kids to become confident and capable individuals. We want them to have all the essential life skills they need to thrive out there in the real world, don't we?
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Teaching life skills at home

Teen cooking
Picture a typical Saturday morning, when you might be tempted to let your teenager snooze till noon (I mean, who can blame them?). But how about shaking things up a bit? Let's get them involved in some fun chores instead. Maybe whip up a delicious breakfast together or tackle a cool DIY project. Not only will this give you a chance to bond, but it'll also teach them some important life lessons like working as a team, managing time like a boss, and unleashing their creative side.

Oh, and remember those intense debates you used to have around the dinner table (okay, maybe they were more like arguments, but bear with me)? Well, here's the thing – encourage them! These fiery discussions actually help your teen develop their persuasive skills, which will come in handy in the real world (just make sure they don't always argue about why they desperately need the latest iPhone). So, embrace those lively conversations and watch your teenager become a master communicator.
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Integrating life skill lessons into daily life

Hey, how about we sprinkle in some life skills into our teens' lives little by little? You can ask them to plan a fun day trip or give them a small household budget to handle. Believe it or not, even these small moments can turn into significant learning opportunities.

Remember when Mia had to figure out her college budget? By introducing our kids to these responsibilities early on, we're setting them up for success so that they won't feel totally overwhelmed when they're out on their own. Cool, right? Sneaky too.
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Resources for parents

Now, before you worry about not being the best teacher, there are countless resources out there. Apps, online courses, community workshops. The world is brimming with tools to help our teens gear up for adulthood. All we need to do is guide them there.

Don’t be afraid to “force the issue”. Sign them up for life skill courses for the skills you don’t feel qualified to teach them. That still qualifies as YOU teaching them.
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Collection of courses and eBooks

Check out our resources for helping parents prepare their teens for independence and adulthood.

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Benefits of teaching life skills to your teens

Okay, let's jump ahead a bit and picture your teen all grown up and ready to take on the world. Imagine them confidently facing whatever challenges come their way and enthusiastically seizing exciting opportunities. Feels pretty awesome, right? Well, that's the beauty of teaching them valuable life skills early on. It's not just about making them capable adults, but also about helping them become happier and more fulfilled individuals. So go ahead and envision that bright future where they're rocking it in every aspect of life!
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Real-life successes

Male graduate
Let’s talk about Jake, another teen I worked with. Before being introduced to a life skills program, he struggled with time management, often cramming the night before exams, and feeling stressed. After attending some workshops and practicing at home, he's now a college student who can juggle his assignments, a part-time job, and a social life with ease. That transformation? That's the power of practical life education.
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Let's take this journey together

So, my fellow parents, as we sip on our coffee and think about our teens’ futures, remember this: we have the power and resources to prepare them for life beyond the classroom. Let’s team up, integrate these life skills into their daily routines, and watch them flourish!

Cheers to raising the next generation of confident, competent adults! 🌟