More than a few times I have heard the exasperation in mom’s voices as they convey the short amount of time they have to teach their teens everything they need to know before leaving home for the big, big world.
When asked what those ‘things’ are, I am usually left with a glossy explanation of life skills and how to survive without parents.
I need more than that! I need the nitty gritty! What do these teens need to know?
I look at each chore with a curious eye and wonder if now is the time. Should they be washing the windows? Doing their own laundry? Cooking dinners? Pulling weeds? YES! I definitely need to show them how to pull weeds and give them LOTS of practice!
Oh, the stress of it all! Their survival of life lays on my shoulders.
Then, I had a reality check. Somehow, someway I survived!
Was it because my parents had a list of things to teach me and Lorded over my actions to ensure I was prepared? Did they check the internet to make sure they were teaching me what the world thought should be taught?
Probably not! They just ‘did’ and I learned by example.
However, there ARE many occasions in which I do find a compulsion to teach ever so important lessons.
Those lessons usually start with a chuckle and a shake of the head.
If you’ve always been curious what in the world you’re supposed to teach those teens before they leave the house, I’m here for you!
How to open the chip bag.
Is it just my son or does anyone else open the chip bag using the ‘notch’ that the chip company so graciously provides? Use scissors, boy!
How to replace the toilet paper roll.
And, NO, leaving three squares on the roll does not negate your responsibility to change it!
How to answer the telephone.
I’ve almost forgotten myself and admit to the fact that answering the phone is not my top priority. Gone are the days of jumping at the first ring. Needless to say, a confident, clear “Hello” is an excellent skill to acquire!
How to get the dirty clothes IN the basket.
Even IF you are shooting hoops with those wadded up socks.
How to rinse the dishes!
I’m going for small wins here! If you leave that syrupy mess in the sink, ants will find it! They will smell it from miles away and are tenacious enough to find exactly where that smell is coming from! Not only that, they will tell ALL of their friends where the party is.
How to cross the street.
No, you should not make an abrupt turn onto the road without a pause. Cars have blind spots. You are not infallible. Oh, and if you are walking North and suddenly turn West onto the road, you do not get to flip off the driver that didn’t see you. Can you tell I drive by a high school often?
How to live with less.
My first abode was furnished with my uncle’s old gold couch, posters, and an empty kitchen. I fondly remember the days sitting criss-cross-applesauce on the floor, under the light fixture, to eat a meal. THEN, I saved and saved to purchase this awesome table set!
This is important stuff people! These traits will help your teenagers live abundant lives, without stale chips or searches for a roll of toilet paper at the most inopportune times.
Teach them well!