What All Teens Must Know?

By: Jake Plumer

Over the last few years I have been surprised by the seemingly little things that my 15 going on 25 year old daughter did not know. I have complied a list of things that I plan to educate her on before she heads out on her own.

After Megan completed driver’s education and wanted to begin driving a car I asked her to check the oil, and the air pressure in the tires as this is necessary to operating a car. Megan had no idea how to do either. She now knows how to do the basics she can check her own oil and the air pressure in her tires she also knows how to add washer fluid, how to take her car for an oil change and other basic maintenance problems. Megan can also check and add if necessary brake fluid, coolant, and power steering fluid. These simple basic steps are important to keeping your car safe and operating properly.

I was very surprised on evening when Megan came to me with a pile of clothes which had to be washed for the next day. I told her to wash them herself Megan replied “I do not know how to run the washer" I was stunned that she did not know how. After this she was put in charge of laundry for a month. This month was followed by a month of cooking a balanced dinner this included shopping for the groceries. This taught her how to buy food on a budget, check fliers for specials and above all she learned how to operate kitchen appliances.

When Megan turned 16 and got her first job we took her to the bank and opened her a checking account complete with a ATM card. We also got her a credit card with a very low limit these were monitored very closely at first and we taught her how to use a credit card responsibly not a loan but as a convenience, no purchases were to be put on the credit card that she could not pay for when the credit card statement came. This was a good place to explain interest, how to set some money aside for retirement and how pay herself first.

I spent some time with Megan going over basic things that any home owner or even a renter should know about their home such as where the circuit breakers are located, how to reset a GFI plug, how to put out a grease fire, hang pictures and the use of basic hand tools that everyone should have an know how to use.

Our hope is that Megan will have a solid understanding of what is required of her in the real world she may never have to change a tire or hang a picture but she knows how to do.

Parenting
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