Parents can have teens read aloud or write a speech and present it in front of a mirror or the family. They need to practice making eye contact, breathing and speaking slowly.
“The individual who is articulate and can present himself to a group of people goes a long way,” McLaughlin said. “Most individuals will have to give a presentation at some point. Being able to defend a belief of yours is a skill you need for the rest of your life.”
Teens should be able to use a personal calendar by the time they graduate, Goodwin said, in order to track appointments, important dates and assignments. This can help college students remember to communicate with their parents when a bill or important paperwork is due, or when they need to make travel arrangements to come home for school breaks.
Have them start using a calendar app or an online calendar while they are still in high school to get them in the habit of keeping track of everything, he said. The earlier they start, the better.
They also need to be able to plan their study time, Goodwin said.
“There’s often a really protected environment in the household, with a set study space and time for the kids, and when they get to college, they’ve got a messy, noisy dorm room,” Goodwin said. “How are they going to handle that?”
Running a household
Some basic home skills such as taking care of your laundry may seem simple, but they are not.
Teach your teen not only how to sort his laundry but also how much detergent to use, how to treat stains and how many clothes to put in the washer at a time.
“Parents make a lot of assumptions [about what their kids can do] and don’t realize how much structure they’ve provided for the student before he or she leaves,” Goodwin said.
“We do all of these protective things when they are in high school, and then a lot of them end up partying more and forgetting to do laundry, forgetting to study, especially because they’re not in the habit of doing these things and no one is telling them to do it. None of these things are particularly earth-shattering, but they do add up.”
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For more news, advice and events for Washington-area parents, visit The Post’s On Parenting page.