If your teen is getting ready to move away from home, here's a life skills checklist you might want to run through before your budding adult leaves the nest.

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?

From Focus on Your Child’s Teen Phases, August 2009. Published by Focus on the Family. © 2009 Focus on the Family. All rights reserved. International copyright secured. Used by permission.

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