To start working with your teen on life skills training, first, you need to know what the teenager needs to work on.
The Life Skills Inventory serves to help provide self-awareness to teenagers and caregivers about their level of skills needed to be an independent young adult.
Print the assessment before your visit, and go through the assessment with your teen. The assessment does not have to be completed in one sitting. In total the assessment will take around 20 minutes to complete, however, each section can be scored independently. This allows for the assessment to be broken up into smaller sections.
While all of the skills listed in the assessment are important life skills to have, the highlighted skills are targeted in the Learning to be Independent program. At the end of each learning module, you can look back to the Life Skills Inventory and see which highlighted goals were learned to track progress!
Click here to print the Life Skills Inventory!
Using the Modules
The modules each cover a specific topic and include various resources for teaching the materials. Go through all of the materials with the teen: read the information, complete the worksheets, and watch the videos. Some modules have recommended games or activities associated with them, and materials for these can be found at the GAL office. Talk to your CAM about stopping by to grab what you need!
Some modules are more lengthy than others, and may not be able to be completed in a single visit. That is okay! You and your teen can move through them at a pace that works for both of you.
The Most Important Step!
Life skills cannot be learned through readings, worksheets, and videos alone. The key to really learning these skills is practice! It may seem daunting to have to visit with your teen once a month and spend that time going through a lesson and trying to practice the skills, all the while trying to complete the necessary elements of your visit. However, try to keep in mind that there is power in engaging in actual tasks vs. simply holding a conversation.
You can learn many things about a teenager by how they approach a new task; attention, work ethic, motivation, critical thinking, and many more aspects of healthy, adaptive functioning. When we pay attention, these things tell us just as much as words do. Engaging in activities together is also a great way to form a bond, and create a lasting impact.
Even taking 15 minutes of each visit to practice one skill from the modules will result in increased learning and better outcomes for the teen! Once a month for 15 minutes may not seem like a lot of practice to you, but remember, it may be the only practice this teen gets!