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As the mother of three teenagers, I can tell you with absolute certainty that there are few thoughts more terrifying than sending your child out there into the great big world. Unfortunately, when your kid reaches the teen years, you are keenly aware — at all times — that day is approaching much faster than you’re comfortable with. Weren’t they just in diapers and throwing irrational toddler tantrums? Now they’re on the precipice of actual adulthood, which means they’ll be expected to do actual adult things. And if yours are anything like mine, they can’t even remember to put the toilet seat down despite years of nagging … so the thought of them out there left completely to their own devices is more than a little scary.
Not that any of us are raising our kids to be helpless, but when you’re a parent, you can’t help but wonder if you’ve done all you can to prepare them for all the things they’ll encounter out in the adulting wild. Well, rest easier, moms — because if you could buy peace of mind, it would be this book: Life Skills for Teens by Karen Harris. There’s a reason it has a nearly-perfect rating on Amazon, with well over 7K reviews … it’s the adulting instruction manual your teen needs (and the reassurance that might help you sleep just a smidge easier at night). Life Skills for Teens covers a wealth of valuable information ranging from laundry, ironing, and tying a necktie to dealing with common home maintenance and repair issues to managing a bank account and spotting signs of depression — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
“I bought this for my son who will be leaving the nest soon. This was very informative!” raved one Amazon review. “I wish I knew half of the things listed in this book when I first moved out. I would recommend this book for anyone moving out on their own.”
Another reviewer learned just as much as their kids: “I looked through it when it came in the mail and almost kept it for myself. lol There’s a ton of extremely useful life skills information for young adults. Things that we as parents don’t really think about ‘teaching’ our children. I suggest that all parents get this 100% useful book for your teenager before they venture out into the world.”
As a whole, people who read this book are most impressed by the scope of important topics that it covers. “I bought this book to give to my 15-year-old nephew, but before I handed it over I glanced through it, and wow! This book covers so many different things! Such as writing a check, managing stress, understanding health insurance and credit, and much more. It is easy to read and has many illustrations to help understand. I definitely think everyone should have a copy at home to learn basic skills.”
One note: reviewers outside the U.S. pointed out that several sections of the book (such as the parts covering banking and health insurance) are geared toward American readers, though there’s still a lot of useful info whether you’re in the United States or not. Readers also reported that the book isn’t just good for teens, but tweens as well — some gave it to their kids as early as age 8.
As I’m loading my cart with copies for every tween and teen I know, we have just one question: where was this book when I was a kid? I still don’t know how to fold a fitted sheet.
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