Last week I talked about the first 4 of 8 skills I wanted to make sure my son possesses before he leaves home. You can read that here. Here are the last 4, as promised.
#5 Making phone calls to get information or make connections
I feel like a lot of teens struggle with this area. Maybe it’s just boys, but making phone calls seems to be a lost art. When Justin was applying for the job he has now at Chick-fil-A, he was told to talk to them again once he turned 16. The day after his birthday, I made him call the hiring manager. He didn’t want to be pushy; I told him he was showing initiative. With this whole Academy application deal, he has had to make calls to several different people. He hasn’t wanted to, but he’s done it. And he’s done very well with sounding professional. I think the more he does it, the easier it will be. There are still at least 3 other people I would like him to call to get advice, but I’m letting him take the lead on those. So far, he’s not leaning that way.
#6 Going on a job interview
Last week, a friend of mine asked me to help her 18-year-old daughter prepare for an upcoming job interview. We set up a mock interview one morning where the daughter would come to my house as if she were going to a real interview. I prepared real questions, used an assumed name and arranged for my husband to call me part way through as an interruption. Everything went well and I gave her feedback after it was all over. Yesterday, she told me she got the job! When my son was applying for his job with Chick-fil-A, we talked him through what to expect and went with him since he was a minor. But he was on his own for the impression he made. If your child hasn’t yet held a job, I highly recommend prepping him or her in advance. It’s gotta happen sometime.
#7 Evaluating a church for biblical accuracy
Having been brought up in the church, attended small-group Bible studies and heard the truth taught in his home all his life, my son should be well prepared to find a truth-filled church. But we know that the devil is sneaky and can cause a lie to sound like the truth. Helping my son discern truth from lie is priority to us.
#8 Dealing with businesses
Not only does adulthood mean making decisions for yourself, it means dealing with people who might not always be easy to deal with. We started out easy—having our kids order their own meals from the server at restaurants when we went out as a family. Getting them talking to strangers in a safe environment helps prepare them to talk to clerks or potential bosses on their own. If you are not satisfied with a product you purchased, you need to let the business know. Making purchases, returning items, calling ahead to see if a store has something particular you’re looking for, these are all skills kids need to learn before they leave home.
I know there are plenty more ideas out there. What do skills do you want your children to have before they venture out on their own?
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