A couple of days ago, I spent no less than an hour, off and on, texting back and forth with my son. He is a college student, quite smart, extremely motivated, and lining up interviews for summer internships. This particular string of texts had to do with the fact that he didn’t have a suit for an upcoming interview.
That’s my bad. Let’s just say that he grew at least 6″ during high school and it was everything I could do to keep him in jeans and shoes. He learned at an early age that rolling up your sleeves was hip (even though I encouraged him to do it just to squeeze another year out of a shirt with too-short sleeves). And the one time that he needed a suit, let’s just say that I “encouraged” him to borrow one from his well-dressed friend.
So now here he is, 20 years old, 500 miles away, and buying a suit for the first time. An important suit. One that will hopefully land him an internship that will land him a job. His questions – what fabric, how much should it cost, can I just get away with a sports jacket, what color – made me realize that there is so much we assume our kids know that they really don’t.
I still remember having a long discussion with my daughter, also away at college, about the difference between a debit and a credit card. Did I really never teach her this? I thought. Am I really that bad of a parent. Here I was so busy talking about sex and drugs and drinking and driving and every other weighty, life-or-death topic, that I forgot all about the daily life things that are pretty dang important as well.
Just for fun (translation: just to make me feel better), feel free to share something that you were shocked to discover your kids didn’t know. Or teens other than yours didn’t know. If you’re a teen, what do you wish your parents would teach you, but they’re too busy trying to fit you into your 7th grade shirt?