39 Life Skills Your Teen Needs To Know

We can’t escape it. Our kids, Lola and Penn Charles, are getting older. It feels like Penn and I are in the middle of our most important parenting years. There is so much they should learn before leaving the nest, and as a parent, I have never felt more on the record. Whether it’s driving lessons with Lola or helping PC practice the cooking basics, I find myself teaching them life skills at every turn. 

Some of the biggest skills are not things they can pull out their phone and look up. For example, Lola is taking on all kinds of new responsibilities right now. With school, friends, sports, and other obligations—she’s being pulled into so many different directions. She does a great job at managing it all but understanding and managing your limits is a major skill that we can’t expect teens to have mastered. This is a balancing act she will have to continue to master as she leaves the nest, and the stakes only get higher. 

Giving Them Space

But I’m realizing that part of that learning process involves me giving them space to figure it out. We want our kids to try to cook—maybe go to the store, buy the ingredients, and cook the meal from start to finish. While that sounds great right now, I can see myself stepping in when things do not go according to plan. So, this is a learning process for me too. 

I know I can’t be the only one who feels this way, so we’re doing something about it and getting organized. We created a checklist of 39 essential life skills every teen should know: 

While I can feel the pressure of this crucial time in our kids’ lives, I am also trying to be mindful of the pressures they are feeling. One thing I am trying to emphasize in the process is to make sure they know how much they matter. That can be as simple as telling them how I feel. 

On this week’s podcast, we spoke to Lisa Endlich Heffernan, who co-founded the popular parenting website Grown and Flown, about the most important life skills parents should be teaching their kids, from younger kids to early adulthood. More importantly, Lisa talks about how to teach them those skills. We hope you enjoy it!

Acast: https://open.acast.com/public/streams/618c3caaa322d1001350082c/episodes/643460bfd96f650011dc2f94.mp3

Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-holderness-family-podcast/id1378725018?i=1000608319113

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/episode/50L6WtmtJGaeO9iwzRPAKV?si=3893c6e3d892459b

Stitcher: https://listen.stitcher.com/yvap/?af_dp=stitcher://episode/301864561&af_web_dp=https://www.stitcher.com/episode/301864561&deep_link_value=stitcher://episode/301864561

Pandora: https://pandora.app.link/QkPk6XeqUyb

Amazon: https://music.amazon.com/podcasts/094464e9-aad9-4b09-8ee8-248c76b48bd6/episodes/788d3350-fad1-4a6a-bdb4-a87a0aec3a56/the-holderness-family-podcast-essential-life-skills-for-teens-with-lisa-endlich-heffernan