From Home to Dorm: 5 Ways you can Prepare your Teen for Life on their Own

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Is your teen headed to the dorms this year or the next? With the rate of Latino high school graduates enrolling in college surpassing that of whites, it’s likely that they’re moving into the dorms more frequently too (source: Pew Hispanic Center).

The transition to life on their own can be a little daunting, from managing their own class and social schedules to doing laundry and figuring out how to feed themselves.

Here are five healthy habits you can teach your teen now that will make the transition to living on their own a lot easier:

  1. Living on a really small budget. Whether your teen is earning an allowance or has a part-time job, they’re basically learning how to earn their own money. Find ways to teach them how to spendand save it wisely too. Help them open up a savings account, create a budget, set a financial goal and squirrel away a little bit of each paycheck.
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    Developing responsible driving habits. Innovations in today’s cars, such as the new Teen Driver technology in the 2016 Chevrolet Malibu, make it easier for parents to encourage responsible driving habits. This first-in-industry technology supports safe driving habits, such as muting the vehicle’s audio when front seat occupants aren’t wearing their seat belts. It also allows you to see a report card on the dashboard’s center screen, which shows how your teen is driving when you aren’t in the car with them.

  3. Learning to cook and meal prep. We all know that for most Latinos, life can often revolve around delicious, home cooked meals. For most teens, dorm life will mean figuring out how to feed themselves. Dorm policies differ with each school, but learning to prepare favorite dishes and healthy snacks will keep your teen fueled up for those late-night study sessions.
  4. Mastering the delicate art of laundry. Ropa sucia piles up fast, and if your teen’s school is far from home, no one else is going to do it for them. If you haven’t already, take the time now to show them the ropes. An extra tip: your college teen will be juggling a lot on their own, so take advantage of the time you have now at home. Show them how to multi-task and get other chores and tasks completed while they wait for the spin cycle to finish.
  5. Sticking to a daily fitness routine. Most of us already know about the infamous “freshman fifteen.” With long study sessions and easy access to the food hall, it can be easy to settle into less than healthy habits. Maintaining a daily fitness routine will not only keep your teen physically healthy but also help reduce stress.

Do you have other tips to share with other parents? Please share in the comments below.

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7 thoughts on “From Home to Dorm: 5 Ways you can Prepare your Teen for Life on their Own

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