One Savvy Mom ™ | NYC Area Mom Blog: 5 Things To Teach Your Teen Before They Go To College

5 Things To Teach Your Teen Before They Go To College

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5 Things To Teach your Teen Before They Go To College Plan B One Step Emergency Contraceptive One Savvy Mom

These are my top 5, friends. The top 5 things to teach teens before they go to college.
As a mom of 4, I want to make sure that my kids are educated about a large range of topics before they head off to college. See the emphasis on before? These are lessons that I want them to learn prior to leaving home, not after, and certainly not the hard way. These are the sage nuggets of wisdom that will help them navigate the ups and downs of daily life, when I’m not there to help them 24/7. Some of these lessons are simple enough and are easily taught over the years, and some require an open, rolling dialogue as children get older.
The days may be long, friends, however, the years are indeed short. Having both toddlers and teenagers in the house has taught me that much. It seems as though my older two were pudgy face toddlers mere moments ago, yet they both surpass me in height now. They are growing up so fast! I'm trying not to blink, because I know that before I know it, surely before I'm ready, they'll be off to new adventures. While I may never be truly ready to see my kids go, I definitely want to make sure that they are prepared when they do head out on their own.

5 Things To Teach Your Teen Before They Go To College:

5 Things To Teach Your Teen Before They Go To College Plan B One Step Emergency Contraceptive
Talk about it: S.E.X.  Yep, this is at the top of my list. When it comes to personal sexual health, knowledge is power, friends. We all have "the talk" with our kids. We lay out the basics and we teach them the importance of practicing safe sex and using regular birth control. But do we teach them what to do in an emergency? What to do if protection fails? Well, we should! Because there is another option for women: Plan B One-Step emergency contraception. Gone are the days when you simply had to "wait and see," in-case of emergency. By educating teens about all of the options available, before they encounter an emergency, you’re helping to ensure that they'll be able to make the best level-headed informed choice for themselves in those situations.  Parents, if you don't already know about Plan B, let me tell you a little bit more about it.
First, there is no age restriction and you do not need an ID or a prescription to purchase Plan B One-Step. It's available over the counter and can be found in the family planning section near the pharmacy, at Target. Plan B works mainly by delaying ovulation, and helps to prevent pregnancy before it begins. It will not affect an existing pregnancy.  The active ingredient, Levonorgestrel, is the same ingredient in many common birth control pills; just in a higher, single dose.  Plan B One-Step* must be taken within 72 hours of unprotected sex or birth control failure - the sooner you take it, the better it works. *Use as directed.   This is a topic that requires an open, rolling dialogue,  as your children get older. You can learn more about Plan B One-Step HERE. Plan B One-Step offers a $10 off printable coupon, HERE.
5 Things To Teach Your Teen Before They Go To College Plan B One Step Emergency Contraceptive At Target
Set the stage for success: Budgeting 101. This was something that I had to live and learn, and during my very young years, it was a hard lesson. While I know that my children will have to learn some financial lessons on their own, budgeting is a simple tool / lesson that can help set them up for financial success. We began talking to our two older children about money when they were fairly young. We started by setting simple financial goals (an item that they wanted to have) and let them save for it.  As they got a little bit older, we started dividing their allowance. They put half of their money into their wallet / piggy bank, and the other half goes into their savings account. Slowly, they are learning that though they may have a certain amount of money in-hand, it has to be allocated to pay for the items that they want/ need, and to save for the future. When each of our children are closer to leaving home / heading off to college, we will teach them the fundamental basics of: balancing their bank accounts, monthly bill-pay, and interest rates, etc.. We'll also teach them the benefits of living as close to debt-free, as possible.
Chop it up: You have to eat to live, folks. This is one of those basic necessary skills that no child / young adult should leave home without! When I was in college I encountered so many young people that claimed that they simply couldn't cook. So, they ate out 3 times a day, or they ate microwavable food. Both of these options are costly, and can drain your budget QUICK! My two older children are already well on their way in this department.  We started with eggs. Next, we moved on to pasta and a basic meat sauce. Now, they're learning how to prepare meat, fish, and chicken, along with some very basic side dishes. I can rest easy knowing that they won't starve (or go broke!) when they're out on their own. You will too!
Plan it out: Once the kids have some basic cooking skills down, teach them the benefits of meal planning - even when they're cooking for just themselves in college! This can be a huge savings point in their budgeting efforts. Plan out meals and snacks for the week, and write out a shopping list for just the items that they'll need for those meals / recipes.  This simple weekly practice, can help eliminate excess / impulse purchases while shopping / in-store. You can even take it one step further and teach them how to line up recipes for the week that require many of the same ingredients, so that they only have to purchase a handful of items / ingredients. Thus, saving them even more on their grocery budget!
Keep it fresh: Some very basic knowledge of laundry care, is a must. Teach them the simple settings on the washing machine and the dryer. Teach them how to separate their laundry, how much detergent to add, how to pre-treat stains etc. When they're a little older teach them how to press / iron a shirt, a pair of pants, a dress etc.  You want your kids to be smelling good and dressed for success when they head out into this great big world on their own, don't you?!
These are my top 5. What topics are topping your list, to teach your teen(s) before they go to college? I'd love it if you'd share in a comment below, or tag me on Twitter @one_savvymom