15 Life Essential Skills For Teens

life goes by quickly and before you know it your little baby is not so little now. Teen years are such an important time to develop and master skills before entering into adulthood.

You want your children well prepared and ready to enter into adulthood. Use this time to educate your child on many life skills that will help them as they grow and become adults.

Below are 15 Life Essential Skills For Teens:

Money Management 

Learning money management at a young age is important. Once teens leave the home they are most likely no longer relying on mom and dad. Money is not everything but it a vital skill to learn.

Education gives you some knowledge and skill on how to find a job but, it may not give you the skills on how to budget, spend money wisely, or save. Make sure your teen builds strong money management skills.

Some important financial skills they should learn are:

  • How to make a budget and stick to it. They should know how and when to spend money and how to save money.
  • How to open a checking and savings account, write a check, transfer money online and how to use an ATM.
  • How to apply to get a credit card and how to use it. Many people fear to have a credit card but if you are responsible for them they is a great tool to use. Teaching your teen how to properly use a credit card, how to pay it off and not get into tons of debt skill that is essential to learn.
  • Teach your teens how to invest. Investing doesn’t always mean investing in companies. Invest in your knowledge, Invest in your career. Investing is a way to spend time, money or effort upfront you reap
  • Keeping financial records

Money Management Books for Teens:



Cooking Skills 

Knowing how to cook and shop for food is a must. Going out for three meals a day starts to add very quickly. The teenage years is a good time to make sure your teen knows how to prepare simple meals.

Cooking is a primary life skill that every teen needs to know.

  • Being able to know where to find ingredients at the grocery store is important if a meal is made.
  • Know how to use kitchen and cooking appliances.
  • Being able to prepare healthy meals with what is available. Teach your kids how to put together healthy meals so when they are on their own you will know that your child knows how to make healthy meals.
  • Correctly storing food and believe it or not there is a way to store your food. Teach your children where to store fresh produce, liquids, meats and prepackaged foods.
  • Knowing how to read and understand nutrition labels. Nutrition labels are on food for a reason, they help you to know what the ingredients are and how much nutrients you are getting.


Teach your teens to keep themselves and the area around them clean and organized. Having this skill will help later in life once they are on their own. Developing personal grooming and home management skills is important for both boys and girls.

Here are some basic cleanliness skills teach your children:

  • Doing the dishes
  • Vacuuming and dusting
  • Deep cleaning the bathroom
  • Mopping the Floor
  • Taking the trash out
  • Cleaning and organizing their room

Personal Care

Personal care is an important skill to learn not only should teens know how to take care of themselves but their health as well.

Good things for teens to know are:

  • How health insurance works
  • When to go to the doctors
  • Establishing a fitness routine
  • The basics of first aid
  • What to do during medical emergencies
  • How to take care of themselves when they have a cold, flu or any other sicknesses

Social Skills 

Not everyone is perfect at being social if so there are very few. Knowing how to interact with people is important for teens since their life is really just beginning.

Being social with others gets you out of your comfort zone which is good because in order to grow you can’t stay inside your comfort zone all the time. In order for your teen to have a smooth and fun life helping them develop good social skills is important.

  • Explore and pursue hobbies and activities to meet like-minded people
  • Find and maintain good friendships.
  • Create nurturing personal relationships. Being able to value people and relationships in life is something only parents can teach.
  •   Maintain healthy and happy family relationships
  • Respecting others


Auto Maintenance 

Your teen doesn’t need to become a mechanic but, knowing how to change a tire could get them out of a sticky situation. Being able to drive as a teen is one of the most important skills to be self-independent.

Teach your teens on how to do the basic for maintaining good care of a car such as.

  • How to change a tire
  • Just start their car
  • When to get an oil change
  • Keeping the inside of the car clean
  • Buying car insurance
  • Registering a vehicle
  • Having important vehicle records like a driver’s license and registration papers
  • Traffic rules and safety

House Care 

Every teen before they leave home should know how to take care of a house. Even if they do not purchase a home until later there are still important skills to know when the time comes.

  • How to find the right housing options.
  • Managing bills such as the utility bill or electric bill.
  • Basic maintenance.
  • How to turn off the water, fix a broken circuit or even simple plumbing issues.

Navigational Skills 

Cell phones are an amazing technology but they can also make developing certain skills hard such as navigational skills. When was the last time you pulled out a map?

GPS make places to find so easy, however, the basic skill of navigation taught is how to read street signs. Where North, East, South West are and how to find them when there is not a compass around.

Learning the basics of navigation is important.


Communication Skills 

Teaching your teenager how to effectively communicate is an important life skill. Communication is an everyday task whether your teen is with friends, family or at work.

Communication comes down to:

  • Knowing how to negotiate
  • Understanding others perspectives
  • Listening skills
  • How to speak your mind without being forceful about opinions
  • Open-Mindedness
  • Respect
  • Confidence

Behavior Skills

The only way to teach your teenager about moral behavior, honesty is through practice. Help your teenage build strong healthy behavior skills throughout their growing years.

Behavior skills teenagers should know are:

  • Taking responsibility for their actions and admitting they are wrong
  • Saying sorry and not feel embarrassed about it
  • Saying “please” and “Thank You”
  • When to ask and know that it is okay to ask for help

Goal Setting 

Teaching your children how to identify their skills and set goals helps to create personal gratification and success.

Setting goals for personal and professional life is a skill that a lot of people lack in. Goals help individuals have a sense of urgency, feelings of accomplishment, and builds confidence.

Ways to help your teenager with goals are:

  • Help them figure out what they are passionate about
  • Setting realistic goals. Goals that are too big or seem too hard to get make you get disappointed sooner than later
  • Change or modify goals. It is okay to change or modify your goals, do what will make it possible to hit your goals
  • Eventually, help your teen strive to make bigger goals but still realistic. Helping them set bigger goals will push them forward paving a way for a more meaningful life

Time Management

This is an import skill for children and teens to know. We all have 24 hours in a day but, it is up to the individual on how that time is spent. Teach your teens how to manage their time and use it responsibly. Managing time makes a big difference in what we achieve.

Here are some ways to teach your children time management:

  • Start by being an example of good time management.
  • Teach them how to organize their time. Get a planner or a time management app for their phone.
  • Let them create a schedule and be their accountability partner until they can keep accountable for themselves.
  • Teach your kids how to prioritize tasks. Help them know which tasks are important and which ones are urgent
  • Teach teens to list the urgent and important tasks at the top so that those are the first ones to get completed.
  • Develop a routine and try to stick as closely as you can to it.

Decision Making

This is amongst one of the most important skills for teens to learn. As they are entering into adulthood making decisions is apart of everyday life.

There is always a good, better and, best when it comes to decision-making. Whether it is about what college to go to, career moves, the person they will mary, what degree to get. There are decisions to make every single day big and small.

  • Getting teens to start making decisions is to stop making the decision for them. They are old enough to make a decision on their own even if it is not the right one they will need to learn sometime. If there is a major life decision it is better to help them at those moments instead of leaving it up them an adolescence.
  • Let them choose instead of making the choice for them
  • Let them know that with each decision they make there are consequences so that they learn to take responsibility for their choices.
  • Help them know how to make the right decision by weighing out the pros and the cons of the outcome of their decision.
  • Another way you can teach them is to make a list of the options they have to make a decision.


Every teen at some point will get their first job. It is up to the parents to teach them how to find and get jobs. Knowing how to get a job is important because getting a job and making money is what they are going to do until retirement.

Here are some ways to help your teen with employment:

  • Teach them how to write a resume
  • If they can’t drive yet drive around with them to get job applications
  • Show how to apply for jobs online
  • Act out job interviews so they are confident when entering a job interview
  • Teach them about how they can get health care through their job

Problem Solving

Now we are not talking about math although knowing how to find the answer to problem-solving questions is important, knowing how to problem solve life situations is a very important skill teens should know.

You can not expect your teen to come back to you every time there is a problem. Here are some ways to teach your teens to problem solve on their own:

  • Teach your kids how to face problems rather than run away from them.
  • Teach them to identify the problem in order to solve it.
  • One the problem has been found teach them to make a list of possible solutions
  • Analyze each solution to find the best way to solve the problem
  • Once the best solution is found apply the solution to the problem

Looking back there are so many things I wish someone taught me when I was a teenager. Teaching teenagers how to manage and do a lot of things or all of the things on this list will prepare them for adulthood.

What are two from this list that you are going to make sure your teenager knows? Let me know in the comments below!

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Kara is the founder of the Dollar Mommy Club and a full-momma and who loves every minute of it. Ever since she was a little girl (around two years old actually) she has wanted a baby of her own. She even asked her mom for “a crying and pooping baby doll” for Christmas when she was just 6 years old. Certain events took place to where Kara was diagnosed with Endometriosis, and doctors told her that having her own children might be impossible. She spent years trying to figure out her health by trying everything under the sun that you can think of. It wasn’t until a few years after she was married that both she and her husband figured it out, and they were blessed with their first baby girl! When Kara isn’t managing the Dollar Mommy Club and it’s wonderful members and contributors, she enjoys spending time with family, binge-watching The Office on Netflix, and creating art.


  1. This was a great post, Kara! I teach teenagers, and so many of them lack the skills to be successful adults. They still have time, but I feel for their struggles in the future. It is so important to remember that our kids don’t wake up one day and magically attain life skills. Particularly cleanliness. Speaking from personal experience, I never cleaned as a kid unless I was told to do so. When I moved out on my own, it took years of living in squalor to make cleaning a habit. I still backslide when I’m overly stressed! Thank you for laying out these vital life skills in such a concise way.

  2. This is such a lovely post and I really believe that training kids at an early age is so essential in their metamorphosis from a teenager into adults. So proud of you for inculcating these values into your young ones.

  3. This is such a great list. I’m so glad that my parents have taught me all this at a very early age. I’m definitely going to teach all these skills to my kids and give right values to them.

  4. This is a great list of essentials! I am definitely working on these things with my Tween! Hope he gets them down before he turns 18 🙂

  5. Excellent post! I agree 100% with these. As a food blogger myself, I am biased toward the cooking skills 🙂 but money management and social skills are also important. Especially in a time where you can do basically anything without leaving your house. Great tips!!

  6. well I think you covered it all! I agree with the whole dang list, but I’d probably add, have fun in group settings (while being responsible of course) Life gets serious so fast and for a good amount of time, having fun will keep everyone sane… and I’d like to think that takes skill to do while still being responsible/respectful.
    Great topic ; )
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  7. These are great tips to share with our teens. My younger one is 12 and I am already working on them with her. Thanks for sharing.

  8. These are all such important skills, and I wish they’d teach a lot of these in school. We need like a Life 101 class. Everyone would be helped with a money management lesson, for sure!

  9. Personal Hygiene and Budgeting are two things I wish my parents had done a better job teaching me as a teen. And now as my other siblings get older it’s something I’ve been trying to show them. It’s not easy to learn everything and as a teenager you just want to know the things that interest you.,

    • That is awesome that you are showing your siblings how! I agree you can not learn everything. You learn from experiences and your interests:)


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