Life Skills – Teenager Edition

My young teenager has big plans this summer.  He doesn’t know about them yet.  An underground network of mothers (including his) is currently conspiring to create an exhaustive list of LIFE SKILLS to be reinforced or learned this summer.

Here is the list so far with contributions from MANY.  Please tell me what to add!


1) cleaning: dusting, vacuuming, toilets, sinks, product use/avoidance

2) taking the bus/train: schedules, transfers, managing challenging situations

3) laundry: how to deal with grease, ironing, washing by hand

4) money management/budgeting

5) banking: credit/debit card, check writing

6) snail mail: where to put the stamp/addresses

7) cooking: meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, dishes

8) rudimentary childcare: changing a diaper, Heimlich Maneuver

9) condom application: cucumbers needed

10) driving: pumping gas, checking oil, checking tire pressure

11) grilling

12) firestarting

13) manners: holding doors, opening doors, looking people in the eye, smiling

14) typing

15) conversation: eye contact, asking questions

16) talking on the phone: hello/goodbye protocol, conversing, mute button

17) internet safety

18) “feminine hygiene products”: comfort around, identification

19) CPR

20) shopping: clothes, groceries, thrift

21) sewing: replacing a button, fixing sweater hole

22) home catastrophe management: how to break/jump out a window, turn off gas/water, call 911

23) occasion clothing: what to wear to a wedding/funeral/interview, how to tie a tie, polish shoes

24) cultural awareness: eye contact, head covering, shoe removal, what not to say

25) sex and legality: “age of consent,” state-specific rules


Musical Moment

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6 Responses to Life Skills – Teenager Edition

  1. Betsy says:

    How to write a thank you note. I’m even ok with email for presents from people under 35. Here is the template my kids use:
    Begin by expressing your gratitude for the gift/service. Your opener is simple: “Thank you very much for ______________.” If the gift was money, use a euphemism for it. Instead of “thank you for the dough,” say “thank you for your kindness/generosity/gift.”

    2. Mention specific details about how you plan to use a gift or what you enjoyed about an experience. If you are thanking someone for holding an event like a party or dinner, be specific about what you enjoyed about it. If you are thanking someone for a gift, tell the note’s recipient how you plan to use it. This is true even for a monetary gift; tell the giver what you plan to spend it on or what you’re saving for.

    3. For some recipients, add some news about your life. This isn’t always appropriate; obviously if you’re writing a thank you note for say, a job interview, you don’t want to tell them how you recently caught a two-foot bass. But if you receive a gift in the mail from people who see you infrequently and who would like to know more about what’s going on in your life (read: your grandparents), give a brief sketch about what you’ve been up to recently. You know Aunt Myrtle will love it.

    4. Close by referencing the past and alluding to the future. If the person gave you the gift at a recent event, write, “It was great to see you at Christmas.” Then say, “I hope we all can get together again next year.” If the person sent the gift in the mail, and you see them infrequently, simply write, “I hope to see you soon.”

    5. Repeat your thanks. “Thank you again for the gift,” makes the perfect last line.

    6. Valediction. Valedictions are the words or phrases that come before your name. The hardest part of a thank you note is often choosing a valediction that appropriately conveys the level of your relationship with the recipient. “Love” can sometimes seem too gushy and “Sincerely” can seem too formal. If your affections fall somewhere between those two expressions, here are some neutral valedictions that can fit a wide variety of situations and relationships:

    Yours Truly
    Best Regards

  2. Betsy says:

    I need to note that I copy and pasted this several years ago and keep it in my draft folder, it is from:

    Art of Manliness is a delightful site by the way. Occasionally goes off on things I’m not particularly interested in, but I’ve used it several times as a source of teaching things to kids.

  3. Sue says:

    I have a friend who refers to this as her launch list for her teens. What they need to know to launch into the world. For cooking she includes one main dish for everyday, and one dish that they’ll feel good serving to company.

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