Cape Cod Times: “Life skills your high-schooler should learn before college”

They are routines you probably take for granted — throwing in a load of laundry, keeping track of your debit card statement, remembering to eat vegetables with dinner so you get nutrients. Then you realize your college-bound high-school senior has used only paper money, eats three meals of Pop-Tarts and may not even know where the washing machine is.

Rather than frantically trying to teach your teens life skills as they’re packing up next August, college staffers say it’s best to start the instruction now.

College officials recommend getting students used to better time management this year, preferably by buying them a paper planner or setting up an electronic one. Richard Shadick, director of the counseling center for Pace University in New York City, says he often sees freshmen struggling when teachers don’t remind them five times about a due date.

College “faculty members tend to be a bit more hands-off,” he told the Cape Cod Times.

In a senior year that’s already full of college applications to fill out and school celebrations to participate in, teaching your child these skills can seem like another chore to check off the list. Shadick recommends linking learning these skills to the fun idea of going to college.

“Play on the student’s excitement,” he says.