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Grown and Flown

The 25 Things Every Teen Needs to Know Before Leaving Home

If you've never done a load of laundry, the things you find would shock you. Pretty much everything imaginable has turned up, minus the always accounted for cell phone. When the time comes for your child to leave home it may be terrifying thinking of everything you've forgotten to teach them - like how to check pockets before starting a load of laundry.

If you wait too long, that list of things to teach your kids will become an off to college letter, or like the author of this post, a popular published book.

  1. Do your laundry or you'll die alone
  2. Look people in the eye
  3. Offer your seat to anyone older or less healthy than you

If I had to do it over again, I would stand firm on critical, basic etiquette:

  1. Pocket your cell phone during meals
  2. Put your napkin in your lap

I would debunk the myths that the world is serving up:

  1. The tooth fairy may still come
  2. Multi-tasking doesn't always save you time
  3. Profanity doesn't make you sound more dramatic or serious

I would not be afraid to talk about the scary things:

  1. A friend who is mad at you for taking her car keys is better than a dead friend
  2. Birth control doesn't work 100% of the time
  3. Never put anything on the internet you would not want to discuss

On the way to teaching them what to fear, I would work every day to assure my daughters that it’s all really OK:

  1. Everyone feels like a fake
  2. Don't worry about mastering parallel parking
  3. It's ok to outgrow your dreams

And yes, I would spend more time on sorting and settings and such. Because growing up is all about knowing the difference:

  1. Know who your friends are
  2. Know who your friends aren't
  3. Know the difference between collecting and hoarding
  4. Honor your fear
  5. Don't be paranoid
  6. If you're flirting with everyone, you're flirting with no one
  7. Don't joke in the security line at the airport
  8. But try to find humor everywhere else
  9. Don't wad up your clothes
  10. Lint is never in style
  11. Even sloppy people like neat roommates

Read more of this post from the author of Do Your Laundry or You’ll Die Alone: Advice Your Mom Would Give if She Thought You Were Listening

The 25 Things Every Teen Needs to Know Before Leaving Home

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