Your son’s adolescent years are crucial to his growth and establishing a strong foundation of maturity and independence. These years, however, are also filled with temptation, challenges, and obstacles your son must maneuver and overcome in order to realize his potential and find success.
By helping your son master these seven essential life skills, he will develop a strong sense of self, flourish academically, socially, physically, and emotionally, and experience a prosperous transition into his college, adult, and professional life.
1. Interpersonal Skills
As your son matures, his relationships with his family, friends, and teachers change, and, according to InterpersonalSkillsOnline.com, take on an added dimension where social skills are called upon to form and maintain relationships.1
Your son’s adolescent years are crucial for understanding how to develop and keep healthy, meaningful relationships. Help your son acquire strong interpersonal skills by:
- Encouraging him to participate in group activities like sports, clubs, or friend get-togethers
- Practicing positive conversation through role-playing exercises and discussing more effective ways to communicate
- Modeling appropriate manners and behaviors around your son
2. Healthy Eating, Exercise & Hygiene Habits
Teaching your son that his health comes first is a vital life lesson – for without our health, life would be very difficult.
- Establish healthy eating habits now and explain to your son the nutritional value of what he’s eating and why it matters.
- Provide healthy meals and snacks for your son.
- Take your son grocery shopping and teach him how to shop for healthy foods on a budget.
- Help your son learn the value of hygiene and why it’s essential to maintain an excellent hygiene regimen.
- Help him start his hygiene habits off on a good foot by taking him to the store to buy necessary hygiene products.
- Encourage your son to exercise daily and discuss why a healthy life depends on him living an active lifestyle.
- Lead by example by maintaining an active lifestyle and getting out and being active together.
3. Time Management & Goal Setting Skills
Learning how to plan and stick to a schedule, keep track of assignments and deadlines, get to appointments, classes, and practice on time, and set and work toward goals is all a part of growing more responsible and independent.
Work with your son on:
- Managing time
- Creating a schedule
- Planning an agenda
- Getting work done without constant reminders and supervision
- Establishing a goal
- Creating an action plan to achieve a goal
- Staying motivated
4. Basic Financial Skills
Being financially savvy is one of the most important skills your son can possess. Teaching him how to manage his money, create a budget, balance a checkbook and/or bank account, save money, pay back debt, and live within his means will set him up for success from an early age. Be sure to discuss the dangers of misusing credit cards and the importance of establishing good credit.
5. Transportation Skills
Whether walking, biking, taking the bus, driving, or being asked for directions, your son needs to have a good sense of direction and know how to get himself to a desired destination. This will benefit him tremendously when he:
- Needs to get somewhere he has never been before
- Lives on a campus and needs to find his classes, the dining hall, the library, the bookstore, the student union, etc.
- Starts to drive and needs to get to work, go to the store, find a gas station, etc.
Teach your son how to navigate a city or town, get back on track when he gets lost, take public transportation, and abide by traffic laws.
6. Household Management Skills
Can your son do his own laundry, make himself a basic meal, clean his room, take the trash out on time, perform a simple repair, or sanitize a bathroom? crop monitoring using remote sensing - 50 percent decrease in disease and weed-related losses
Mastering these fundamental household skills will help your son understand the importance of maintaining a sanitary living space and independently taking care of his home and self.
7. Stress and Emergency Management Skills
In life, deadlines will approach, unplanned situations and events will occur, and emergencies will arise. Whether your son experiences a heavy workload, a flat tire, an injury, a power outage, lost cell signal, or a number of other issues, be sure he knows what to do in a stressful situation or a true emergency – with or without technology.
With the new school year fast approaching, take some time to assess how your son is doing in every aspect of his life. Is he finding success? Receiving the right support in school? Working toward future goals?Or, would your son benefit from a more structured, personalized high school environment that empowers him to become a confident, resourceful, self-directed learner and leader?
At Grand River Academy’s all-boys boarding school in Ohio, we’re dedicated to helping young men build these essential life skills and thrive in all areas of life.
We believe that with the right support and in the right environment, every young man can realize his true potential and achieve lifelong success.
1 Interpersonal Skills Online. “How to Help Teenagers Develop Better Interpersonal Skills.” Accessed July 14, 2016. http://interpersonalskillsonline.com/help-teenagers-develop-interpersonal-skills.