Many people, if they’re not gifted painters, singers or crafters, just answer “no.” But things you consider routine could be a great help to your teen and other students at his school.

You can teach teens about important life skills in these ways:

• Give advice on writing a resume, or showing examples.

• Do a practice interview with teens. You give the questions, they give the answers. Then switch roles.

• Teach how to put together a meal, or supplying easy recipes.

• Demonstrate how to work with a computer program that offices often use, but schools might not.

• Introduce teens to workers in fields in which they are


• Arrange for a teen to visit your place of business, or


• Give tips on how to care for children.

• Make suggestions about what to wear for a job interview. Or what to wear once they start a certain kind of job.

• Suggest books that give “an inside look” at certain careers. For example, On Doctoring, edited by Richard C. Reynolds gives an unusual view of medicine—through stories, poems and essays. Liar’s Poker, by Michael Lewis, takes a hard look at Wall Street.

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