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Education is not only limited to the academic areas for teenagers. There are several life things and life skills for teenagers to learn before it is too late. When we talk about them one by one, it will never end. Life skills are growing from babies to adults.
How do you think about this? I have 2 teenagers at the moment and there will be another one very soon. The time is flying fast. I always feel that my children will have shorter time to catch up their academic “target”. It often makes me guilty that they should have got the other side of their life. They need to learn some life skills and life things they cannot get in the academic field.
At the same time, when kids stop on their teen ages, there are some changes they will feel due to the puberty and their status in the society. They are not children anymore, but they are still not adults yet. As parents, we should not only get them focus to the academic things. Teenagers should be encouraged to build more knowledge and skills. Here are 8 life things teenagers must learn:
- Sexual Education
- Social Media
- Relationship wih Others
- Talent or Skill Exploration
- Financial Management
- Traffic and Transport
- Basic Government Issues
Life Skills for Teenagers
Sexual education should be delivered as early as possible kids to avoid the wrong information your children receive. However, if you have not had the talk about the sexual education yet, you are not late. Even if it is late, it is better than never. It is compulsory for children to get the proper information about puberty and the reproduction system in their teen ages.
- Kids on the teen ages are experiencing puberty either gradually or dramatically. Some of them are suffering for the changes. The sexual education will reduce their worry about the puberty changes.
- Kids need to understand the basic concept in the sexual education about the difference between male and female as well as the new human creation concept. They will be able to see the huge responsibility and gracefulness behind it.
- On the teen ages, some kids have some tricky and challenging sex questions that need the involvement of parents to answer. Learning about sex ed will help both parents and kids find out the answers toward the questions in proper ways.
- The influence of friends and environments is very strong. They expose some obvious and non-obvious negative sexual related matters. Teens will have different response toward this.There are a lot of diseases caused by improper sexual behaviors and misuse. It doesn't end up with disease, but also crimes. To minimize the destructive effect, it is necessary for teens to know about sexual education.
How about Social Media? Do we need to ban the social media for teenagers? How can it help teenagers? Check out other life skills for teenagers
Most social media only accept adults from 17 . However, kids should be introduced to the social media on early teens before they lost in the virtual world without any notice from parents. It can be a negative and positive aspect, but let's see the positive benefits from using social media.
- Social media can be a mean of communication with people around the world. By using social media, kids will have more knowledge about the world virtually. They will have more knowledge about other cultures and working ethics. Kids can have friends from other parts of the world.
- Social media can be a mean to build closer relationship with others. Children can comfort others by doing some conversation and posting encouraging contents. As a result, they will be more caring to others.
- Social media is a part of marketing and politic. They are not always bad. By learning about social media, teens will be able to know how to spread and control issues.
- People can search work with the social media. They are not just places to make friends, but we can use them to build networks and to find opportunities. In the olden day, people looked for job in the newspaper, but nowadays, social media is a place to get opportunities.
By knowing about social media, teens will be able to anticipate the negative things about social media:
- Many people are addicted to social media. By introducing teens to the social media, they will need to control themselves to avoid addiction to social media since they are young. Parents still have the control.
- Social media shows commercials that can lead to the consumerism. When teens learn using social media, parents can help children by explaining the temptation and how to handle it.
- There are various contents in the social media that often destroy people emotionally, mentally, and physically. We can use different level of security methods, but teenagers should be ready with the negative. It can be cyber bullying, pornography, and other things you mention it. Therefore, before those things happen, you can let them know and anticipate.
Teenagers will have more relationships with others. What happen when they start to be interested with other sex? Check out other life skills for teenagers to learn.
Relationship with Others
Human beings are social creatures that need other people in their life. Some relationships happen in people's life. When they are babies, they only know mother and father. Soon they will know siblings, grandparents, and relatives from the closest ones in terms of family. Next, they will know about friends, teachers, neighbors, and other people in their environments.
In our culture, people need to understand how they need to behave with the eldest, the friends, and the younger ages. They have different treatments. When people break the harmony, others will squeeze them our obviously or non-obviously. That is like a natural social consequence.
As soon as kids in teen ages or younger than that, they will also be interested to know more about other sex or gender. They are interested to have a relationship with different sex. That is something natural, but they need to know the proper way to do that. At the same time, other kids are more interested in the same sex. Kids need to know about
- the limit
- the manners
- the ethics
- the prohibition
- the consequence.
Talent or Skill Exploration
The success of somebody doesn't depend on the academic achievement only. Many people are successful through exploring their talents or skill. Parents should track children's interest since children are young.
When they grow into teenagers, they should have got a talent or skills they are interested to explore and to focus on. That is the perfect time to start being concentrated on certain thing.
- They still have lighter academic load compared to college students who have to start or to get ready for earning money.
- Teenagers have shown great increase in physics, but it is still easy to “form” them due to the puberty change. They are still “fresh”
- Due to the issue of puberty, teenagers need positive activities that engage and interest them to stabilize their mood or emotion.
How about financial skills? Should they learn about it? How? Check out other life skills for teenagers
Teenagers need to know that not everyone can get money easily forever. Money can end up in wrong way because of being careless in using it. They cannot rely on parents forever. One day they need to be independent to earn, to save, and to spend money. Therefore, they need to learn:
- What they can do to make money. They can observe the community helpers. The topic of Community helpers are not only for the young aged children, but the teenagers will need more about it.
- How they can save money by living frugally since they are young. They need to know how they can get more when they save more. They need to know about the bank, the investment, etc. in their own path and levels.
- Teenagers need to know how to spend their money and what to purchase. The culture of consumerism is very cruel to destroy the mental of young generations. Before children can earn money, they need to know how to use the money first.
- The probability or the consequence of not managing the money properly.
Traffic and Transport
Transportation is not for the early elementary or kindergarten learners levels anymore. Transportation starts to be an important tool for teenagers. What does it mean?
- Children don't have to have a mean of transportation. They can learn about the public transportation they can use to go mobile independently. Therefore, when parents are not available to drive for them, they will be familiar in using the public transportation.
- Before children achieve the right age to drive, they can observe how adults drive technically. Don't wait till they are in the right age. However, you need to obey the law about the age for a citizen to get the driving license (if they need one).
- Teenagers need to know the traffic and directions of roads around their house to the place they use to go. They might be familiar with the GPS or map.
- When the age is enough, they can start driving cars. Well, once again you don't have to have a car. Riding a car is a skill that everyone needs to learn, I think. I remember my teen ages when my sisters and I had to learn riding car in our 17 years old. We didn't have car, but this skill is very useful now. We can use it anytime we need.
Some social skills and knowledge are also important for teenagers. Check out other life skills for teenagers
Basic Government Issue
Do you have any trouble in understanding the government laws? Yes, I do. However, I get children know at least about the current events related with the government so that they will have some knowledge when others are talking about the topic. People will not cheat them easily, especially when they have some legal business.
Well, children don't have to be an expert in this field. Parents might not be an expert as well. At least they know some basic knowledge where and how they can get the resource to know that matters. For example:
- The knowledge of neighborhood and the lower levels of the government office and officers is a must. This is the minimum knowledge they need to know.
- They need to know how to make IDs and driving license as well.
- Teenagers need to know some current public issues by reading the newspaper to grow their interest.
- If they are interested, they can follow discussions about the current issue.
Grooming and Speaking
There is a time when our babies start to give more attention to their physical appearance. Most teenagers should experience this stage. Parents should have also experienced this stage when you gave more priority to the appearance. That is something normal. However, not all teenagers understand how to show themselves well physically. In fact, to some degree, that is important in society.
- It will give more confidence
- Proper appearance will show respect to people
Besides grooming, children, especially teenagers, need to get speaking or presentation training. Whatever background they have, expressing their thought to others is very important. People will know and understand what they have in their mind. Speaking or public relation is not only nature or talent, but we can practice and make it a habit.
Adelien Tan is a mother of three awesome boys and a wife of a great husband. They are a home education family who live in Surabaya, Indonesia, where home education is still very rare. English is her foreign language, but She tries to use it in blogging.