Life Skills Checklist

Teen girl removing money from wallet
Brand X Pictures/Stockbyte/Thinkstock

Use this checklist to better understand what your teen still needs to learn to be independent: 

Preparation for an apartment
Can your teen …

  • read and understand a lease agreement?
  • set up utilities?
  • furnish and decorate on a budget?
  • figure out how much rent she can afford?
  • find a nearby branch of her bank?

Preparation for necessities
Can your teen …

  • make a grocery list based on a budget?
  • do laundry?
  • buy clothing as needed (not as wanted)?
  • do basic auto maintenance and know when to take a vehicle to a mechanic?
  • return an item for a refund or store credit?
  • respectfully stand up for herself?
  • budget and plan for tithing and gift giving?

Preparation for fun
Can your teen …

  • determine how much he can spend dining out?
  • tip appropriately?
  • understand that not everyone's money situation is the same and avoid trying to "keep up" with kids who have more?
  • sacrifice when the cost of an activity — tournament or trip — outweighs resources?
  • figure out weekly fuel cost for commutes from home to regular activities?

Preparation for emergencies
Can your teen …

  • work extra during the summer to build an emergency fund?
  • figure out whom to call for different types of emergencies?
  • fill out paperwork at a doctor's office and use his insurance card?
  • have the means to call a cab if she needs to get out of an uncomfortable or dangerous situation?
  • talk openly with you if there is a situation beyond her abilities?

This article first appeared in Focus On Your Child Teen Phases, October 2008. If you enjoyed this article, read more like it in Focus on the Family's marriage and parenting magazine. Get it delivered to your home by subscribing to it for a gift of any amount.

Revised 2016. Copyrighted © 2008 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission.

Next in this Series: Raising Socially Competent Kids

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