Technology has significantly changed the way we do things and the way we interact with those around us. In many ways, it has improved our lives and given us new opportunities, but it also has the potential for dominating our lives and eating up time that could be spent in more productive ways.
Before technology was rooted so deeply in our lives, parents role modelled many practical life skills such as cooking, laundry, and financial literacy. Now, teens are too busy looking at a screen to even notice how these things are done. Never before have so many teens headed to college with a lack of basic life skills. Parents should take charge to teach skills to their teens, to transition smoothly into adulthood and perhaps the best way to do that is to incorporate technology whenever possible. Here are a few life skills that parents should teach teens.
COOKING: Teens need to learn how to cook simple meals. If they aren’t able to cook, they will rely on fast food and take out which is bad both for their health and their budget. While your teen may rather post on facebook and let you cook their dinner, you should insist that they help you in the kitchen occasionally. The great thing is that you can encourage your teen to use their technology for this skill, such as getting a cooking app that offers recipes and how to videos.
TALKING FACE TO FACE: With teens spending so much time behind screens, they don’t always know proper manners. Make sure your teens know how to shake hands and make eye to eye contact with someone they are meeting.
HOUSEKEEPING: While they may disagree teenagers really should be aware how to do basic chores, such as cleaning bathrooms and doing laundry. They will need to be able to do this type of housekeeping whether they are moving to college or just moving out on their own. Again, there are apps available for cleaning that could make this chore a little more engaging to your teen.
FINAL THOUGHTS: Instead of letting today's technology negatively shape your teens, intervene now to ensure your child is shaped by experiences and lessons that you provide. Wherever possible, incorporate their love of technology to teach them valuable skills they can use. If you invest time into helping your teenager develop these lifelong skills, you are increasing their opportunities to be successful in adulthood.