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The time eventually comes for most teens and young adults to move out of Mom and Dad’s house and into an apartment or dorm room of their own. Knowing the basics of getting by on their own will save that young person a lot of trouble. But, just what are the basics?

1. Teach your teens how to do survival cooking. There are a surprising number of people out there that don’t know the very basics of cooking. They don’t know how to read and use a recipe and don’t even know how to boil an egg. Be sure that your teen can read and follow simple recipes. Be sure they know the basic terms of cooking, like fry, sauté, chop, grate, dice, mince, preheat and simmer. Be sure they know how to use a microwave oven, gas and electric range, toaster, toaster oven, blender and mixer.

2. Teach your teens how to shop for groceries and household items. Show them how to figure out the cost per unit for things. Give them a list of your favorite brands for cleaners, foods and personal care items.

3. Teach your teens how to do their laundry. Show them how to sort their laundry and pre-treat stains. Show them how to use the washing machine and how to determine how long to set the dryer for. Show them how to clean out the lint basket in the dryer. Teach them the proper temperatures to use for each load of laundry. Show them how to read the care labels in their clothing.

4. Teach your teens how to check the fluids in their car. Show them the normal levels and when to add more fluid. Show them how to add more fluids. Teach them the colors of the vital fluids in their car and how to check the driveway for leaking fluids. Give them a list of maintenance instructions and indicate when the maintenance should be done.

5. Teach your teens how to balance their checkbook. Show them how to reconcile their account using their statement. Teach them the importance of a good credit rating and the importance of savings.

6. Teach your teens how to fill out a job application. Have them compile important information that all applications ask for, like job and education history including dates and names of teachers or supervisors. Have them make a list of references that they can use on applications. Teach them the importance of neat and complete applications.

7. Teach your teens to be responsible consumers. Make sure that they understand how to budget, pay bills on time and live with in their means. Help them understand the burden of debt and how to avoid it.

These things will seem elementary to most adults. It doesn’t seem like we should have to teach them. Yet, they are not common knowledge, they are life skills that we all had to pick up some way or another. You will be giving your teen a good jump start on adulthood by making sure they know these basics.