15 Important Life Skills Your Students Should Learn

There are several things every teen should learn before they head off to college. Here is a list of 15 key things that Youth Workin’ It put together that every teen should learn about. Also note each of the 15 items has a link to a page with specific things you can share with your students about each one.

1. Communication Skills – This session idea contains many different activities to explore how people communicate, looking at both non-verbal and verbal methods of communication.

2. Financial Awareness – No matter how old your young people are, it’s never too early to start teaching them financial life skills. This post contains some ideas for how to help teenagers set a budget based on income and expenses.

3. Job Interview Techniques – Given the problem with youth unemployment around the world, it’s important for teens to know how to conduct themselves in job interviews. This post has a free and downloadable “Retweetable Interview” resource to use with your youth to help them be concise in interviews.

4. Vicious Cycle Aggression Management Technique – This activity is a creative way to get youth looking at the choices they make and the consequences of their actions. Although we suggested using the Vicious Cycle to address the issue of aggression management, it can be used in any circumstance where you want teenagers to consider the choices that they make.

5. Natural And Logical Consequences – This session plan is another way to help youth explore the consequences of their actions. It lists more than 20 common situations that teens may find themselves in, then gets them to consider what kind of natural and logical consequences would result from their choices.

6. SODAS Problem Solving – Not sodas as in beverages, SODAS as in Situation, Options, Disadvantages, Advantages and Solutions. This is great technique to give your teenagers the life skill of problem solving.

7. Meal Planning – Part 1 – This session idea actually contains enough suggested activities to last several sessions. These will help teach your youth how to plan meals, covering topics like food hygiene, food preparation, nutrition and cooking.

8. Meal Planning – Part 2 – This session idea goes beyond the basics to help teens learn how to make a weekly meal plan. This includes choosing meals, finding recipes, making shopping lists, food shopping on a budget and more.

9. Food Shopping – As you might have guessed, we think teaching young people all about food, nutrition and meal planning is an extremely important life skill to have. This session plan contains 15 different tips for when they go food shopping, then gets them to explore why these tips are important.

10. Grocery Store Scavenger Hunt – Last food-related skill for now, I promise! This scavenger hunt gets youth to find out how much branded products cost and how to identify cheaper alternatives.

11. Media Literacy Activities – Young people are bombarded with all kinds of messages in the media. This activity helps your teenagers gain the life skill of media literacy – identifying messages in different types of media and how bias and ulterior motives can affect the messages they hear.

12. Goal Setting For Teenagers – This session idea contains an activity that helps youth learn the steps to setting a goal and how to identify obstacles that they might face.

13. Stress Management – Family, friends, relationships, school, work – you name it, young people will stress over it. Help them learn to manage their stress with this relaxation technique.

14. Teaching Respect To Teenagers – This extensive session idea gets young people to consider issues surrounding the respect of other people and ways that they can develop this skill.

15. 7 Steps To Teaching Table Etiquette – It may sound strange, but many young people don’t know how to behave at a dinner table, simply because they’ve grown up in a family that doesn’t sit down and eat together there. Use these steps to help your youth learn the life skill of table etiquette.