'Adulting 101': Local library teaches teens how to be adults

Growing up is hard to do.

But now, learning basic life skills can be as easy as taking a class or outsourcing it to someone else.

It's back to basics for some teens at the Steger-South Chicago Heights Library. The class: “Adulting 101.”

“I don't think kids these days know how to behave around adults. Sometimes they think they are adults when they're not,” said Laura Munoz, head of Patron Services at Steger-South Chicago Heights Library District.

Today's subject: Basic Etiquette.

“How to be at a restaurant, how to be when you have a guest in your home, how to act with your parents sometimes,” Munoz said.

It's all part of a series led by Munoz who says she had to learn "adulting" through her own trial and error.

“When I was 19 and left home, I didn't know how to laundry, I didn't know how to cook, if I got money I spent it right away,” Munoz said.

Now, she's teaching new skills to teens like high school freshman Anly Flores.

“Adulting is like you're all grown up and you know what you're doing, well sometimes what you're doing,” Flores said. “We've done cooking, hygiene, laundry, budgeting, like basic life skills that we need in the future.”

But "adulting" isn't just for teens. Beth Dorfman-Cohen is flexing her "adulting" skills. She's turned the trend into a business where Chicagoans can outsource tasks, like meal prep.

Dorfman-Cohen will grocery shop, chop, whisk and prep a meal almost to completion.

“You're literally going to walk in the door, throw something on a cookie sheet, and put it in your oven. Or grab a spoon and pull it out of your crock pot,” Dorfman-Cohen said.

For working mom Kate Stephens, having Dorfman-Cohen has been a game changer.

“She is a lifesaver,” Stephens said. “It's just getting that time back with my kids.”

And for some clients, Dorfman-Cohen doesn't stop at meal prep.

“I make some people's beds, I've shopped for birthday presents, wrapped Christmas presents, I've gotten keys copied,” she said. “My own clientele are certainly capable of doing these things, it's just time - it's time.”

And time is what it all boils down to.

“It's never too late to learn essential life skills,” Munoz said. “It's never too late to learn how to be an adult.