High school years mark that tender period when kids stop being kids and start developing into independent adults. Our job as parents and educators is to enable them to become the best version of themselves and fulfill their potentials. This means we have to let them be responsible and learn how to take care of themselves. The sooner they learn how to succeed out there independently, the easier it will be on them. There are some life skills that can help these kids become successful in all aspects of life such as: further education, career, building a family, and all of these skills can be acquired in high school.
There is a saying that nothing will work if you don’t, and it is very true. Many kids simply don’t have good study habits because they don’t have the discipline required for them. This can be taught from an early age, but high school is when study habits should be taken seriously. If it is not dealt with at this point in life, going to college might cost more time and money than you can imagine. Self-motivation, drive and ambition are all good building blocks for firm self-discipline.
Time management is closely tied to discipline. This skill includes things like scheduling, making a timetable for tasks and chores, getting up on time by yourself, good sleeping habits, regular meals, completing tasks within a given time period, respecting deadlines, eliminating the habit of being late and setting firm boundaries around your time. It means learning how to value your own time and how to use it wisely.
This again goes hand in hand with the above mentioned skills. Teenagers should be able to manage all of their school responsibilities and outside activities by themselves, like buying books, getting whatever is necessary for school, email and call people they need to in a business context, organize their travel arrangements and definitely keep their room neat and organized, as well as their computer data.
By the time they reach high school, kids should really be independent learners and deal with their own learning needs and issues alone. For example, if they need help with a subject like maths or a foreign language, they can look for a private tutor by themselves. Or, if they know they want to study commerce at university, they should be able to get a hold of some good university commerce notes from people who already study that. High school is the time to start developing resourcefulness.
Even though teens are usually confused about what they want, their preferences and interests, this skill will be very useful to them once they figure things out. It is important to be able to set goals, no matter how big or small they are. A goal can be short term like passing the next test with good results, but kids need to be able to delineate the steps they need to take to achieve this goal, which means thinking and planning in advance, setting priorities, taking steps and being proactive in general. Once they achieve some smaller or bigger goals, they will gain self-confidence and never doubt their ability to achieve their goals.
High school usually means ever increasing workload, being oversensitive, first relationships and breakups, fights with parents and unstable moods. This spells stress, so learning some stress management techniques can really help these kids get though high school as smoothly as possible. There are many techniques available, like mindfulness, meditation, relaxation exercises, proper breathing, visualizations, emotional release and so on. The internet is a valuable resource for stress management, but they can also ask the school psychologist for resources.
It is important to remember that teenagers actually like being treated as responsible adults, and if you give them the chance to do so by teaching them these skills, you will create a win-win situation and set them up for success.