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Ten Practical Things To Teach Your Teen

Great list from @RayInNJ. I have two young adult children, and I still failed to teach them most of these. I know how to do them, and I think they're essential!

Here is a delightfully weird AI diagram:

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    1. How to tie a bowline knot

    One of the most useful knots around.

    2. How to change a tire

    Unfortunately, I did not convey this to either one of my children! Instead I make sure they have a AAA card.

    3. How to balance a checkbook by hand

    This is an antiquated skill, but it teaches you what to look for with digital versions.

    4. How to add and subtract all two digit numbers in your head and how to multiply numbers up to 20

    This is something that was taught to me in fourth grade in the 1970s by simple repetition. People that can't do this don't seem to have much of a number sense. Even at the high school level, many kids are unable to do this.

    5. How to read and write cursive

    This is no longer taught in schools. It doesn't have much practical application, but without being able to do it, if you come across a hand written letter from someone older than 50, you won't be able to read it. Who knows, it might be your great aunt Matilda, leaving you inheritance!

    6. What compound interest means to investing

    There are so many stories of this that only sink in after you realize that you should've started 20 years ago.

    7. Many things that seem extremely important today will usually not be important in five years and will seem ridiculous 20 years in the future.

    8. Life has chapters: you are in one of the first ones.

    Remind them that the 13-year-old babysitter seemed like an adult when they were four years old. The same thing happens throughout your life where a 40-year-old seems impossibly old to a 25-year-old, and an 80-year-old seems old to a 60-year-old., Each chapter is up to you to write. Just because you might have a lousy or scary chapter doesn't mean you can't have a happy ending.

    9. If you are an awkward teen, the world will catch up to you in a few years and everything will be fine.

    High school is a torture chamber for many types of people. Once you get out into the world, you will find your tribe.

    10. If you are crushing it as a teen, the world will catch up to you in a few years. Prepare yourself.

    If you were the smartest kid in your school, that's great. You will attend a college full of the smartest kids in their school and you are likely to not be the smartest anymore. This is OK and a normal part of life but can hit people hard if they don't expect it.

    11. How to fill out your own tax return

    Learning what happens to taxes and your wages is very eye-opening. The first time you look and say, "Wait, they take how much?"

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