Things every 18 year old should know how to do!
It’s “back to school” time and many of my friends have grads heading off to College and University this week. Most of them living on campus or off site in an apartment, away from home. It got me thinking about all the things 18 year olds should know how to do before heading off - heck maybe even sooner!
How to clean a house - do they know how to mop, how to vacuum and sweep? Do they know how to clean a toilet? A sink and bathtub? Will they be the roommate from hell with their horrible mess they leave behind or will they be helping to keep the living space clean? Do they know the dangers of letting dirty dishes pile up in their room ? Do they know what to do with the bug infestation that will result?
Household fixes - do they know how to change a light bulb? Do they know how to hang a picture? Do they know how to use a screwdriver/drill? If things go wrong in the house/apartment can they fix it? A big one here for me is do they know where the fuse box is? What to do if they blow one and how to go check and turn it back on? Do they know what to do if the toilet or sink leak and run over? Do they know where the water shut off valve is for these things? Do they know how to plunge a toilet? Why their shower drain is clogged up and how to get the hair out? A quick lesson by you could save them a lot of stress and damage!
Appliances - do they know how to use the stove, the oven, the dishwasher? How to cook basic meals (maybe even fancy ones). Do they know how to do laundry? What all the symbols mean on the washing machine and dryer? How much soap to put in? What gets put in the dryer vs not? How to clean the vent on the dryer?
Their car - if they have one….do they know how to fill their tires with air? Fill up with gas? Change a flat tire? Do they know how to jump start their car? Do they have jumper cables in their car? Do they have a BCCA or other car emergency service that they know how to contact or get help from in an emergency?
Adult things #1 Do they know how to access their online banking info? Do they have a credit card? Do they know how credit cards work and what the interest is and that they SHOULD NEVER carry a balance on one! Do they know how to send an e-transfer? How to pay bills online? Read their statements? Do they know how to do their taxes? Do they know how to make a budget and stick to it so they don’t run out of money?
Adult things #2 Drinking, parties and sex. Have you talked to your teen about these things? REALLY talked to them about what happens at parties, how they should NEVER leave an open drink unsupervised? How they need to look after their friends? Do they know how to consume alcohol responsibly, what the risks are if they go too far and how to make sure that someone is looking out for them? Do they actually know the facts around pregnancy and STIs? Do they understand that birth control is THEIR responsibility, not their partners? Do they know how to get it and use it properly? Do they know how important health checks are and what to look out for in regards to STIs? What would they do if they get pregnant or get someone pregnant?
How many of these things do your teens know how to do?
How many have you taught them?
How many of them have you hoped they just learn on their own?
As parents, it is OUR responsibility to ensure our teens are ready to ‘leave the nest’ and are able to take care of themselves. I hope you find this list helpful and please let me know what I missed!