49 Skills Every Teen Needs Before They Graduate


49 Skills Every Teen Needs Before They Graduate

As a mom of two teenage daughters, I’m aware of the fact that my kids are becoming adults and that before I know it, I’m going to help launch them into adult life. That reality often has me worried. Have I taught them everything they need to know to survive in the adult world? Are they emotionally strong enough to thrive without me? Do they have the necessary skills to care for themselves and live a healthy, happy life?

These are the questions that can keep me up at night if I let them. Fortunately, the Holy Spirit and I have a connected relationship, and He often breathes peace over me during these times of worry and reminds me that God actually loves my kids more than I do. I can trust Him to protect and guide my children. More than that, God’s word reminds me that, “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Phillipians 1:6 ESV

But until that someday comes, God has given me grace and mercy in both my successes and my shortcomings as a mother. Because of Jesus, none of us have to be perfect parents, we just have to be good-enough, grace-based parents.

That said, I think when it comes to preparing our kids for adult life, it helps to have a blueprint that guides us and helps us determine the most important abilities and skills that we should be actively working to build into our kids. According to Dr. Tim Kimmel’s book, “Raising Kids Who Turn Out Right,” here is a list of skills to consider:

Decision Making Skills:

-In physical issues: exercise, rest, nutrition, sexuality

-In personal issues: finances, career, home life

-In social issues: dating relationships, love, friendships, dealing with enemies

-In spiritual issues: dealing with sin, faith, prayer, fellowship

Character Traits:

Faith, integrity, poise, self-discipline, endurance and courage

Commitment to Worthy Life Goals:

-To love and obey God

-To love their spouse

-To love their children

-To be a good friend

-To work hard

-To invest their lives in others

Survival Skills:

-Physical: manage a schedule, cook, swim, drive, learn safety skills

-Personal: live on a budget, manage a checkbook, know how to finish projects, keep belongings maintained

-Social: get along with others, confront, resolve, employ good manners, stand alone on issues if necessary

-Spiritual: repent, be a friend of God, share their faith

Sustained Relationships:

-Ability to resolve conflict

-serve others

-good communication

-active listening

-seek and grant forgiveness

Whew!!! When I look at it all listed out, it’s a big responsibility. As I assess this list of skills, I am both encouraged that my kids are doing really well with some of these things as well as seeing areas where I can improve my parenting to help them gain skills they lack. Just remember, none of us have to do this alone. Our Heavenly Father is near to us and his grace and mercy is always there to strengthen us and give us wisdom. Also, Family Matters is here for you. We offer resources and encouragement to help you on this bumpy road of parenting.

What steps are you taking to build your teen’s life skills? Tell us in the comments.

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