Tacos. Pasta with sausage. Tuna casserole.

These are the simple dinners Nathan and I cooked together to help him get ready for college.

During high school, Nathan’s strengths were more in the “eating large quantities” category than in actual meal preparation.

Looking ahead to life after high school, Dave and I knew that needed to change. Whether you have a few weeks or a few years before your learner leaves home, as Growing With parents Steven Argue and I invite you to make sure your child knows how to:

  • Do laundry (including their bedsheets!)
  • Clean the dishes and do basic housecleaning
  • Use an ATM machine, conduct banking online, and exchange money on Venmo or PayPal
  • Manage a budget
  • Perform basic first aid
  • Hang a picture (a skill that many college freshmen lack but almost all need)
  • Make healthy eating choices at a school cafeteria
  • Grocery shop with a budget
  • Cook a few simple meals
  • Change a tire and understand routine car maintenance
  • Use Uber, Lyft, or other means of public transportation
  • Identify one adult they can call or text in a crisis

If time is short, don’t skimp on the last one. Moving into this new stage of life (Growing With calls ages 18-23 the “explorer” stage) means your teenager will face new choices and new temptations. They will need the wise input of an adult mentor to help them make the right choices, as well as to comfort them if (or maybe more accurately when) they make a decision they regret.

What other skills did you wish you had when you moved away from home? What additional skills will you be sure to share with your kids before they move away?

Interested in more practical help and hope for parents of teenagers and young adults? Pre-order Growing With and receive our exclusive parenting bundle with $97 of FREE tools to help you nurture faith and family relationships.

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Blog post inspired by content from Growing With
Photo by blindbeth67