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You teen is at an important age, where his or her interests and hobbies will have a large influence on their identity. Make sure your teen is engaged in activities that are beneficial in the short and long term. There are skills they can develop that can help them cope with the stress of adolescence, discover what they love, keep them busy and also help prepare them for the professional world. Here are four life skills for teens that could help them immediately and prepare them for a job:

ParentTeenCookingCooking Skills

Fine-tuned cooking skills will equip your teen to make meals for themselves and open up opportunities towards a solid career in the culinary world. If you, or a family member, has enhanced knowledge about knife skills, gastronomy or advanced cooking techniques, share them with your teen. Arrange that they work with an experienced cook, within your family, twice a week. They can be given more responsibility, once they’ve established their basic skills. For example, after about three weeks, your teen can design a menu that combines complementary dishes and tests their culinary skill set. You can sign your teen up for a cooking class offered within your community, for more in-depth instruction. You can also ask a local restaurant if they have any internship opportunities within their kitchens. An internship is a wonderful opportunity for your teen to learn how a high-functioning restaurant kitchen operates, first hand.

Recreational Sports

Your teen should have hobbies that keep them occupied and out of trouble. Recreational sports are an excellent hobby that allow the release of stress and encourage focus within the practice of a skill. Single-person recreational sports provide your teen with personal goals and incentives– they can only rely on themselves and their own growth in skills for the achievement of their athletic goal. Swimming, running, cycling and kayaking are recreational sports that your teen can practice independently. They can set short term and long-term goals for themselves, which is a valuable skill one must utilize in many facets of their professional life. There is also the sport of target practice, with the use of airsoft guns, compound bows or crossbows. This sport requires immense practice and focus– two traits that can be found in highly successful people and are desired by employers in every field.

Writing Journal

Communication is key in every area of our lives. Help your teen develop their communication skills, with the promotion of journal writing. You can provide them with a journal and encourage a regular practice of writing with monetary incentive. If their allowance is dependent on how many pages they write, they will cooperate with less protest. A journal is a therapeutic outlet for your teen, where they can write down their daily encounters and the thoughts they have on their budding identities. Let your teen know that their writing journal is private and you will only check the page numbers, with their supervision. Writing is a method of critical thinking, which is important in many jobs– your teen should get a head start on sharpening this skill. A journal also helps refine your teens’ communication skills. Communication is another key career trait that is pivotal in job interviews, professional interactions and project presentations.

Computer Skills

If you’re the parent of a self-proclaimed computer geek, seek out opportunities that will help them develop digital skills. If your teen is interested in website design, enroll them in a graphic design course. Many community colleges have design departments, some of which may offer part-time, night courses. Graphic design will let your teen engage with their computer, exercise their creativity and help prepare them for an eventual career in that realm. If your teen loves video games, help them find a class or a group that will teach them how they can create their own video game. TechRocket has online tech courses that teach kids Python, iOS, Java, Minecraft, 3D printing and more. Coding and digital design activities are a creative outlet for your teen and can equip him or her with the knowledge and skills that are highly sought after by the tech industry.

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