Research shows that more adult kids are opting to live at home with Mom and Dad than in past generations. Fifteen percent of Millennials ages 25–35 years old are still living at home, whereas only 10 percent of Gen Xers were still living at home at this age.
But whether they leave home at 18 or 28, there are some things every kid needs to know before they finally move out and make their own way in the world. Here are 11 things every parent should teach their child before they leave the nest:
1. How To Cook In Bulk
Most parents already realize how important it is for kids to know how to cook before they leave home. But rather than just teaching kids how to make a meal for one, many people are now teaching their kids how to cook in bulk. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it will also save your child valuable time in both clean-up and preparation. This means that they’ll be more likely to stick with their home cooking and less likely to eat unhealthy fast food. Find tips on bulk cooking here.
2. How To Negotiate A Bill
It’s obvious that kids need to know how to pay their bills before they can leave home, but most of us neglect to teach our kids the interpersonal skills needed to negotiate a bill. Whether it’s calling the hospital to set up a payment plan for an emergency room visit or calling Comcast to ask for a decrease in your cable bill, everyone should know how to negotiate. It’s an empowering skill that will benefit your child throughout their life. Find tips on how to negotiate the best deals on your monthly bills here.
3. How To Clean An Oven
A dirty oven isn’t just gross to look at, but it can also pose a fire hazard, and the smoke particles can be hazardous to your health. Yet many young adults are not aware of how to clean an oven, or that they even need to do this task on a bi-annual basis. Learn the easiest and most efficient way to clean your oven here.
4. How To Coupon
Moving out can be expensive, which is part of the reason so many adult kids postpone the big day for as long as possible. However, there are many smart ways to decrease your monthly budget while still enjoying your favorite activities. Teach your kids the basics of couponing (here are some ideas to get you started) and model these cost-saving behaviors for them with your own daily spending habits.
5. How To Do Yard Work
Cutting the grass and raking the leaves is just the beginning. If your child is moving out for the first time, they also need to know how to clean the gutters, wash the windows, weed the garden, de-ice their sidewalk/driveway and so much more. Find tips for beautifying your yard here.
6. How To Handle An Unwanted Critter
Whether a spider, a bat, a squirrel or a mouse, we have all experienced an unwanted critter in our home at some point. However, most kids have never had to tackle this grim experience on their own, so they might panic when faced with such an issue. Talk to your kids about the best way to get rid of many-legged intruders (Hint: It is NOT calling the pizza delivery guy to do it for you), and give them practical tips for preventing pests in the first place.
7. How To Check Their Credit Score
In this day and age, it’s important to stay on top of your credit score at all times. Running a credit report is not just a good way to keep an eye on your own debt and spending habits, but it will also let you know if someone has stolen your identity or created a credit card in your name. Parents should teach their older children how to run a regular credit report, and why it is so important.
8. How To Clean/Organize The Refrigerator And Pantry
Keeping the kitchen tidy is one of the hardest parts of maintaining an orderly home, and a messy kitchen can also make cooking and meal preparation very difficult. Not to mention, leftover chow mein can really start to stink after a while! Teach your kids how to clean and organize the pantry and fridge (tips here), and offer storage solutions that can help to keep things neat.
9. How To Be Friendly To Mother Earth
Mother Earth is in major trouble right now, and one of the best ways to help combat pollution and the ever-growing trash on our planet is by making sure our kids grow into eco-conscious adults. That means teaching them how to recycle, how to reduce trash (such as by not relying on paper plates and straws), how to decrease their carbon footprint and how to be more mindful of the electricity and power they use on a daily basis. (Find tips for saving energy here).
10. How To Unclog A Toilet WITHOUT A Plunger
No child should ever leave home without first knowing how to unclog a toilet! After all, in life, sh** happens! But don’t just teach them how to use a plunger. Show them some other ways to go about this sometimes icky business, such as by using hot water and dish detergent.
11. How To Be A Good Neighbor
Parenting isn’t just about teaching our kids to be self-sufficient. It’s important to also teach them how to be good citizens of the world — and their own neighborhoods. Talk to your kids about how to be good neighbors (such as by limiting noise late at night, keeping communal space tidy, cleaning up after pets, and keeping an eye out for suspicious behavior). And, oh yeah, bringing over a casserole never hurts!