Today’s younger generation has been getting a bad rap lately. Even though moms do a good job of juggling their careers with their life at home and basically putting on several different hats at one time, some people say the same can’t be said about many teens and youngsters in college. Sure, they know their way around the latest app, can download podcasts faster than we can say “What is a podcast?” and know how to Uber their way across town. But many moms and dads can’t help but notice that there are a lot of things that their kids still don’t know how to do.
For example, many freshmen in college don’t know how to sort their laundry (resulting in plenty of pink shirts) or cook (thank goodness for Uber Eats and Tasty videos, right?).
Now, we are not going to blame anyone’s lack of parenting skills. Instead, we can point out that times are changing and that the way many people operate their day-to-day lives has changed, too. In other words, there’s an app for everything. Let's have a look at 20 things that every child should learn before leaving their nest. Let us know what you think!
First and foremost, millennials need to learn how to apply for a job. Sure, they know how to work their way around the latest online gaming craze (like Fortnite), but they should also know how to network and reach out to people for potential opportunities that will help their future.
Resume-building 101 is a start.
Also, as fun as social media apps like Snapchat, Instagram and Tik Tok are, college kids should also have their own Linked In profile. This way potential employers can see if they are the right fit for them and their company. And yes, a professional headshot helps, too.
Getting your driver’s license for the first time is always exciting and a lot of fun. But what a lot of kids don’t understand is that there’s a huge responsibility that you must take on once you hit the road. Not only should you be a responsible driver, but a responsible car owner, too. Kids should learn how to maintain a car. In other words, they should know when to take it for service, when is the right time to change the oil or tires and of course, keep it clean, too.
No crusty week-old Cinnabons in the back seat, please!
It’s almost a shame that Home Economics 101 is no longer offered in most middle and high schools across the country. Heck, woodworking has also been taken out of the curriculum in many schools, too.
That might be the reason why many kids don’t know how to do basic things like sew a button, fix a broken cabinet door, or even put a desk together from Ikea.
There are even some people out there that don’t know how to follow instructions that are written on paper. Now, not everyone has the skills to be Handy Mandy. But they should learn how to use a screwdriver if they need it.
Yes, there’s a good majority of us that deal with many anxiety issues, especially when put in stressful situations. But with that being said, you still need to learn how to be prepared at all times. In other words, know what to do when disaster strikes. Panicking just causes more problems. Learning how to stay calm, cool, and how to keep your composure is key to getting out of most situations scratch-free.
Plus, kids need to know that they shouldn’t call mom and dad each time they are in a pickle. This is where those helpful critical thinking skills should be put to use.
A lot of young teens in high school and kids in college don’t realize that a lot of what they write, post and share on social media might affect them later in life.
Remember, everything that is posted on the Internet is permanent. You can try and delete it, but there’s a good chance that someone will find something that you wrote or even ‘liked’ many years down the road. That’s why you have to be super careful and conscious of everything that you share on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and even your own personal blog. Even e-mails can get you in trouble.
Now, this should go without saying, but by the time your child is ready for his or her first day of college, they should learn proper hygiene. And not only that but know how to make – and keep – doctor and dental appointments. Taking care of your body is just as important as taking care of your mental health. And while most of us probably do skip brushing our teeth before going to bed from time to time, it shouldn’t be made into a habit. Also, take off your makeup at night. No one likes waking up to a black-smeared pillowcase in the morning.
This is a skill that takes a long time to acquire, but it’s important. If your child is going away for college and this is their first time living on their own, they should know how and when to use good judgment. After all, there’s a lot of peer pressure out there, especially when it comes to looking cool or hanging out with the “in” crowd.
But at the same time, they should understand that there are consequences they may face, should they find themselves facing a personal dilemma. For example, taking a controlled substance or getting behind the wheel after consuming alcohol.
Sure, plenty of millennials are animal lovers. And there are a lot of them that adopt before they shop. But at the same time, there’s a good number of kids who don’t know how to take care for a pet, whether it’s a dog, cat, hamster, or even a fish tank.
That doesn’t mean that every youngster out there is a bad pet owner, but there are some who don’t understand that having a pet is basically like having a child. You have to get it plenty of love, care, and shelter, and of course, take care of their health needs and make doctor appointments when you need to.
It's true all millennials know their way around an iPad or their iPhone, but how many of them really have good and quality tech skills?
In today’s world, it is definitely most needed. And we are not just talking about hardware, but software, too. They should know what to do if their computer crashes, or better yet, if they suddenly get a virus on their laptop. Now, we are not saying that they should fix it themselves, but at least know when to take their laptop to the Genius Bar at their local Apple Store if they need to. They shouldn’t assume that mom and dad will always take care of these kinds of needs.
Here’s a big one. And this is a skill that should be taught – if not also monitored – by the time they graduate high school. It’s very important that kids know how to use a credit card responsibly.
They should know that just because you have a Visa or a Mastercard in your hand doesn’t give you a green light to go on a shopping spree at the Mac make-up counter.
They should only spend how much they can afford, or at least how much they can pay off by the end of the month. And you should try to avoid fees as often as possible.
Again, critical thinking skills are very important, especially when you are making the transition from teenager to full-time adult. Many kids are used to having their parents making all of the important decisions for them, like financing their first car, where to buy their first cell phone or heck, even where they should live. But by this time, college kids should be able to make some (hopefully sound) decisions on their own.
In other words, cold pizza is not a suitable breakfast option.
Constantly skipping your 8am geology class isn’t a good idea, either (signing up for the evening class would have been a better idea).
This is a tough one, but an important one no less, too. By this point, kids should know that with every decision you make, there’s a possibility that there might be a consequence.
And yes, you need to take full responsibility for it.
It’s always easy to point fingers at other people or blame certain situations that you were in. But it’s not easy to own up to what might have been done or said. Being an adult means that you need to be honest with the people around you and most importantly, yourself. Know that the things you do or say will eventually catch up with you.
Hey, guess, what? There’s an app for that! Knowing how to maintain your own finances is extremely important. And knowing how to pay your own bills now will not only help your credit score but your financial future. You don’t want to accumulate too much debt early on in your life because you’ll end up chasing it for years to come. The more financially sound you are in your life now, the better off you will be later on. You’ll even be one step ahead of the game if you learn how to invest properly, too. It’s never too early to try.
And no, we are not just talking about maintaining a relationship with your boyfriend or your girlfriend. We’re talking about knowing how to pick up the phone and call your extended family members, check up on your siblings, or heck, even being a good and supportive friend. Sometimes you need to make the first call and not wait for someone to call or text you.
And yes, call your grandmother as often as you can, too. You’ll be surprised by how happy it will make her just to hear your voice again (she is just as important as your girlfriend).
With that being said, everyone should learn how to communicate properly, and not just through text. And by that, we mean, know how to initiate conversations, engage in them, and have something interesting to say.
When it comes to texting, emojis are fine, when you are maybe 10 or 11 years old.
But by the time you are reading to hit the books in college, know how to write in complete sentences and of course, use proper grammar and punctuation. Remember, your future employers might be taking a look at all the things that you have posted on social media over the years, too.
College kids should definitely know how to learn how to save. Yes, buying the latest Tory Burch bag or taking that all-inclusive trip to Cancun with your girlfriends do sound like great ideas. After all, life isn’t all about hard work and no play and everyone deserves to treat themselves. But at the same time, young kids should learn how to save their money and have some puts away for a rainy day. Even if it’s as little as 5 or 10 percent of their paycheck or their allowance: every dime (or penny) counts for their future.
Living in the moment is great, especially if you are young, fun, and you have your entire future ahead of you. But living your life without knowing what tomorrow will bring might sound exciting for some, but risky for others. By the time your child leaves for college, they should definitely know how to plan ahead, even if it’s just for the weekend (like going out with their friends), planning a trip back home next month or mapping out the rest of their college career. While circumstances can definitely change, you want to prepare for the best and the worst possible scenarios, just in case they come.
It’s surprising to know that many millennials don’t know how to wash their own clothes.
Sure, they know how to buy them (on mom and dad’s credit card no less), but as far as sorting out their laundry by light colors, dark colors, and whites and actually knowing what to do with a laundry machine is a mindboggling task for many kids. If kids know how to operate an iPad or a Nintendo system, then they should know how to use a laundry and dryer machine. And yes, teach your kids how to iron a shirt while they are still young, too.
At this point, your child should know how to say no, even when faced with peer pressure. While we completely understand that it’s not always easy (especially when you’ve got the cool kids dictating what you should or shouldn’t doing or saying), kids who grow up with strong families who built even stronger foundations at home will know what to say.
That’s because everyone else is going to an all-night party or doing something that your child doesn’t feel comfortable doing, they should have enough self-confidence to opt out and know it’s ok.
On the flip side, you shouldn’t be a ‘yes’ person always, either.
Last but not least, it’s very important that kids know that being on time can make or break a lot of things for them. After all, first impressions count and if you want to nail that job interview, your best bet is to always be on time. You don’t want to be too early and you definitely don’t want to be too late. Wear a watch if you have to. The same goes if you want to pick up your potential love interest for a first date or you’re meeting your girlfriend or boyfriend’s parents for the first time.
Always be punctual.