16 of the Most Important Things Our Teens Might Not Know, But Should

As parents, we experience many palm-to-face moments when we ask ourselves how is it possible that they don’t know how to do THAT????

Parents often tell us that, they are worried that their teens don’t know how to do the mundane, everyday tasks that seem like second nature to us.

We ask ourselves, how is it possible they don’t know how to??? (Twenty20 @maginnis)

16 items that we need to review with our teens:

  • That beep on the phone that you are ignoring is called “call waiting” and it means that someone else who is equally excited about talking to you is trying to get through. Click the flash to get back and forth between callers or ignore it at your peril. 
  • That strange intermittent blaring sound you hear when you call someone on a landline is a busy signal, it means they are on the phone with another caller, and they don’t know you are calling. I know, you will have to dial back, so 20th century. 
  • Finish your antibiotic. Don’t stop taking antibiotics because you feel better. If you stop taking it — the remaining bacteria will gain a foothold and come back stronger. That’s not ideal.
  • Parchment paper is the answer to most of life’s problems — it’s oven-safe and allows food items to easily slide off after being cooked. But while we are here — let’s review other paper products: wax paper can be awesome but it does NOT belong in the oven. And remember NO tinfoil in the microwave. And, we have no idea why we call it tinfoil, all of our lives it has been made out of aluminium. 
  • Washing instructions are sewed into the inside of your garment — I know, brilliant. Read the instructions on clothing to prevent mishaps. If you don’t know what the symbols mean, Google them. Okay, never mind, call me.
  • Interstates that are odd numbers run North and South. Interstates that are even numbers run East and West. And three digit Interstates go around cities. Mind blown.
  • Wet anything does not go on the wood table, hutch, or anything wood. Water causes the wood to bubble up. No Bueno
  • After you have finished doing your laundry, you must clean the lint trap on the dryer AND throw the lint away. Lint is not meant to be collected on the counter because much to all our dismay it does not magically jump into the garbage can.
  • You know when your toothbrush gets all gunky and gross — it’s time to change it. Three months is a good rule of thumb. 
  • Memorize your social security number — you will need to know it for the rest of your life. 
  • Know your medical history. If you have allergies, know what you are allergic to. 
  • Plastic melts in the bottom of the dishwasher, but not the top. I have no idea why, but it is a mistake you will only make once. 
  • Wood however, never goes in the dishwasher, top or bottom. N E V E R. E V E R.
  • Envelopes come with the cost of a greeting card, but you need to make sure you get the one that fits, because for some incomprehensible reason, people move the cards and envelopes around. 
  • Checks expire. If you take your time waiting to deposit one you may find it’s worth nothing. NOT ONE PENNY.
  • The mailbox is for both getting and receiving mail. Just flip up the little red flag to alert the mail carrier. I know, MAGIC.

We know that are a lot of things that our teens need to know but we thought that these 16 were a good start.

More to Read:

50 Things You Can Do at 18 (Who Knew?)

We’re Running a Common Sense Camp for Our Teens

About Helene Wingens

Helene Wingens has always been passionate about painting pictures with words. She graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in psychology and three years later from Boston University School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In a year long clerkship for an appellate judge Helene honed her writing skills by drafting weekly appellate memoranda. She practiced law until she practically perfected it and after taking a brief twenty year hiatus to raise her three children she began writing a personal blog Her essays have been published in: Scary Mommy, Kveller, The Forward, and Grown and Flown where she is Managing Editor. You can visit Helene's website here

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