5 Ways to Help Your Teen Transition Away From Home
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The day is inevitable, but it’s still one that all parents dread; the day when your teen begins the process of moving out and tackling life on their own.
This process is emotional for everyone and includes more than a few concerns and worries.
For most teens the idea of transitioning away from the family home is exciting. Leaving home is like a dream come true.
They imagine a life with more freedom, fewer rules, and a grand idea that their new life will be infinitely better once they are out from under the watchful eyes of their parents.
However, as adults, we know that the reality rarely resembles the dream.
Many teens are in for a rude awakening when they find themselves faced with work schedules, the confusion of banking, living within a budget, and all the other surprises that come with being an adult.
5 Parenting Tips to Help Teens Leaving Home
If you have a teen, who is nearing that all important wing-spreading age, these are a few ways that you can help them make the transition a whole lot easier.
1. Encourage Your Teen to Get a Job
A part-time job is one of the best ways for your teen to learn many of life’s lessons.
They’ll be expected to show up on time. They’ll be expected to follow the rules and directions. And, they’ll learn humility and patience, especially if that job is in the retail or customer service industry.
A job is also a great way for teens to learn the basics of running of a business, no matter their role with the company.
They’ll also start learning how to balance their time as they’ll need to coordinate work with homework and time they want to spend hanging out with friends.
Of course, your teen will be thrilled by the money they’re earning but therein lies the next lesson; what he or she should do with that money.
2. Learning How to Budget
Now that your teen has money of their own they might feel that a spending spree is in order each time they receive a paycheck. This kind of behavior should be nipped in the bud.
Of course, your teen has the right to spend some of the money they earn, but now is the time to help them establish a budget.
First, start by helping your teen open a bank account with a debit card. Then ask them to write a list of their monthly expenses.
For instance, if they’re using the family car to go to and from work then expenses like gas and a contribution to the insurance payments are in order. A contribution to the family cell phone plan might also go on the expense list.
Once your teen learns how to balance expenses and disposable income, they’ll likely decide to take their money much more seriously. These are lessons they can learn from having an allowance. But if they’ve put in the hard hours at their job, they’ll be even more careful with their money.
3. Suggest Volunteer Options
If school or other issues prevent your teen from having a job, a volunteer position is the next best thing.
They’ll learn the same responsibilities as they will from a paying job, but the rewards of volunteering can be much more valuable than a paycheck. Volunteering allows your teen to see aspects of life they might not get the exposure to otherwise.
For instance, volunteering at a homeless shelter or an after-school program for at-risk youth will help your teen learn more about compassion and the very real struggles that many families face.
Also, volunteer work can be great for developing skills for future resumes and for including in college application essays. This work will both make them a better person and let them start on the right foot for the rest of their life.
4. Encourage Household Chores
Your child has likely had some form of household chores for many years but as they prepare to leave the nest it’s important that they learn how to tackle the big stuff.
Laundry is always a great place to start. Do they know how to sort clothes by color and fabric type? Do they know what clothes can go in the dryer and what clothes need to be line dried?
Having them do their own laundry leaves them ultimately responsible for the favorite white shirt that is now accidentally pink. And, you can be sure they won’t make the same mistake again.
5. Consider Boarding School
For some teens, college isn’t the first time they leave home.
For a variety of reasons, teens across the United States attend boarding schools. Many different types of boarding schools exist, from a military academy to a school that focuses on robotics.
Whether boarding school is the right choice for your teen due to academic or behavioral reasons, this time away from the family allows them the independence which they did not get at home.
You might also try summer camps or other short-term times for them to be away from home and learning responsibility.
Raising a teen to be an independent adult is not an easy task, but the hard work pays off in the long run, for both parents and teens.
Someday, when your teen is an adult, you’ll be able to really appreciate your hard work as you see how they have become successful adults that contribute to society. Who knows, someday they may have to return the favor and take care of you.
It all starts with a successful launch from the nest.
Your teen may be apprehensive or excited about leaving home. But either way, there’s a lot to learn about being an adult. Use some of these tips to help your teen make the transition as smoothly as possible.
Over to You
Is your teen getting ready to leave the nest? What last-minute lessons do you think they need to learn? What’s something someone taught you that you think has been most-helping in your adult life? What are some ways you can prep your younger children to be more responsible adults when the time comes for them to leave home?
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Hi Jackie, I apologize for taking so long to get here but I was very busy trying to get my twins ready to leave home. They’re applying to colleges now which has taken over our lives. But being a writer comes in very handy when proofreading those college essays!
You have a lot of great points in this article and I’ve actually followed every one of them. But I disagree with one of your first points, it’s a moment that every parent dreads.
I actually didn’t dread when my oldest daughter went off to college. She had been attending a local boarding school for high school and was going to a local college, so I thought, “No big deal.”
Boy, was I wrong. You’re right, I should have been dreading dropping her off. It was a very big deal and I cried the entire drive home.
Teaching responsibility to teenagers is challenging but you gave excellent examples of how to prepare them to be on their own. My oldest daughter was very prepared for college, which was good because she had a rough start due to external forces. If she hadn’t been so well prepared, she probably would not have lasted long.
Now that you’ve told us how to prepare our children, how about telling parents how we can prepare for that feeling when we drop off our children and wave good-bye? I have to do that twice next year and I AM dreading it!
Nice tips that will definitely help parents like myself and every parents out their.
I started doing shores at a very tender age and that build me up into what i am… My son is following my footsteps and i am sure he will be 100% ready when the time comes 😉
Thanks for the tips and do have a joyous weekend
Teens are an adventurous bunch. They want to dominate their world with no experience. These tips you shared will help teens become responsible with their lives.
I like the idea that Teens are given practical experiences. Thank you so much for sharing this post. Take care and have an awesome week.
This is one the most emotional situation when you have to let your children go away to live the life.
It’s important to teach then them budget management. They should learn how to survive in this world.
The parents should guide them to get a job.
Thanks for sharing with us.
I found this post very useful for those staying away from their family. I have a great dread of living away from my family. I am so scared that I had left my college and came back to my hometown. After coming back, I was exposed to criticism from people that I left such a prestigious college just because I was homesick. But, after I started my motivational blog, critics don’t matter to me. I have become much more positive now and I feel after this experience I would be able to live alone now.
If we’re the parent of a teen, we know how much they like to debate and question things. Sometimes that’s a pain, but I think it’s actually okay to a point. Here’s something I’ve come to understand from personal experience as a teen. When they finally understand how something benefits them, they will do it long term. If the reason our child does something is only because it’s important to us, that is short term motivation and that will end. The reason also needs to be important to our child, not just important to us. If our Teen is making good grades only because they wants to make us happy.
People can say things that are motivational to us, we can experience things that are motivating, but whether or not we’re motivated is up to us. I’m not necessarily of the belief that we can motivate anybody. Motivation is something we have to choose. Sometimes the key is just knowing that someone else was able to achieve what we want to achieve. Eventually, thanks for sharing much interesting thought with us.
With best wishes,
Hi Jackie, great tips! My kids are in their 20’s now. They each had part time jobs while in high school. It wasn’t always convenient for me as the parent (because the driving) but it sure taught them all the things you mention. Chores were an ongoing battle. Last, I don’t think I taught them about the budgeting very well. In hindsight I should have worked on that area with them (I guess I was learning that myself at the time). We could have learned together.
This is a really helpful post for all parents of teens. Thanks Harleena and Vinay for sharing this!
It’s nice to meet you. Thank you for sharing these tips. My daughter left the nest last year and it started okay – but toward the end she became home sick and was contemplating leaving school to come back home. Thankfully that phase passed. 🙂
That’s been the only issue we had. Before she left, I talked to her about managing her money – although she hasn’t quite got that down yet, hehe and we also talked about safety, socializing responsibly and volunteering. So far, she’s doing well. 🙂
Great post Jackie. Have a great week ahead!
What sage advice you have given here. It is not easy making that huge transition. Especially on the parent’s side. I know I’ve done it myself and this is so important to bring up.
We have to teach our children so many things in order for them to fly the coop.
Smart tips! I recall doing chores early on, even when I was 6 or 7. We always had to pull our weight in the Biddulph Household LOL! SO helpful because when I did move out in my 20’s I was able to take care of myself, solo, well before me and my wife lived together as we travel the world. From laundry to dishes to cleaning and handiwork, I had to get the basics down well before I moved out. So happy I did.
Thanks for sharing!
That was a great post and I am sure it will help new hostelers stay comfortably away from home.
Learning budgeting and doing small chores while at home can definitely help the students do better and cope in the moving out process. We don’t have it enough in India but yes moving out is a great step to help the teens understand their worth, their strength and find what they want to do in life.