Life Skills For Teens: What Your Teen Can Confidently Master This Summer

A female teen learning how to do maintenance on a car- one of the essential life skills for teens.

There are so many tasks we encounter as adults every day that have become second nature. Some of these are important life skills for teens that they need to learn as they grow into adulthood.


According to Socrates, Plato once said…

The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.”


Teenagers have had a terrible reputation since Ancient Rome. Some of it is deserved. The self-centeredness, the sloppiness, the sleepiness? They are all normal parts of being a teen.

Does this mean you have to accept it? No!

But, recognize these things for what they are – normal, developmental behaviors. In the meantime, focus on teaching your teen these three life skills that will carry them throughout their lives.

As you teach, let them do things hands-on and encourage them to take charge.

#1. Car Maintenance

Unless you know with certainty that your child will reside in a non-driving city like New York or San Francisco, teach them car basics. This is not a boy or a girl thing.

It’s for anyone who will likely be driving a less-than-stellar car. Check out the Girls Auto Clinic Glove Box Guide on The Driving Book on this Life Skills for Teens Amazon list.

At the very least, your child should know things such as:

  • How to pump gas
  • Check tire pressure
  • Fill a tire
  • Change a flat
  • Check the oil (preferably they’ll learn to change the oil as well)
  • Drive in hazardous conditions (check your local sheriff’s office)
  • Understand the do’s and do not’s should they be in an accident.


Bonus Teen Life Skill Tip; Make this a three-day-a-week class through the summer and your child will be a rock star among their peers!

#2. Food- Cooking it and Buying It

You already know they eat. A lot. But how much of their own food is your child preparing? Have they moved beyond pasta and chicken nuggets? If not, this is your summer.

Teach your teenager a few basic kitchen tricks with the book Where’s Mom Now That I Need Her. But don’t stop there. Let them plan the menu, make the grocery list, purchase the groceries, and cook the food.

Some other things to work into the lessons:

  • Get them to try new foods.
  • Talk about the nutritional value of what they’re eating and how it affects their energy levels, their recovery levels after strenuous workouts, and their ability to perform well academically on a regular basis.
  • The cost of taxes and gas to get to the store,
  • Budgeting

#3. Laundry

Good or not, a lot of life (and making and keeping friends) comes down to smells.

  • Can your teen do laundry?
  • Do they know how to use bleach?
  • Do they understand the different cycles of the washing machine?
  • Can your teen iron a shirt, skirt, or pair of pants for an interview?

You will not always be there (and you shouldn’t be!) – help them now. And since doing laundry is probably second nature to you here is a handy reminder of the steps they should learn.

What Are Other Life Skills for Teens You Can Teach This Summer? 

If you can teach these three life skills to your teen this summer, you deserve a medal. If your teen struggles and the focus is more on locating transitional services… try our “special education resources” for added tips and don’t hesitate to schedule a free call to see how we can make your teen’s transition easier.

You can also check out our video Transition To Adulthood | Special Needs Transitional Services on YouTube.

No matter what, preparing your child for life outside “the nest” isn’t always easy. Preparing now with consistency can make all the difference in the world!

What life skills are you teaching your teen this summer? Please share in the comments below!




A teenage girl learning how to do maintenance on a car- one of the essential life skills for teens.
From teaching life skills for teens to searching for proper transitional services, starting early can make a positive impact on your teen.
Picture of Shannah Holt

Shannah Holt

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