Teach Your Teen: How to Wash a Car
By AnyManAmongUs

We know what you're thinking:"Why would I wash my own car, when I can take it to the carwash?" But let's be honest with ourselves: if you just take your car over to the carwash, you miss out on teaching your kid valuable lessons like these.

Teach Your Teen: How to Wash a Car


Washing the family car is an ideal father-son project.

Nothing like scraping smashed insect life off the windshield to inspire and instruct.

And it does help you both remember...

...that a clean and shiny car can be a thing of pride and beauty. Just ask George Carlin and Richard Pryor.

We know what you’re thinking:

“Why would I wash my own car, when I can take it to the carwash?”

Well, let’s be honest with ourselves: If you just drive your car over to the carwash while your son sits home with his PS4, you both miss out on valuable lessons like these:

  • Money doesn’t grow on trees: When you’ve got lots of dough, like Dad, you can pay people to do things for you like wash your car. Until then, be smart and save your money and wash it yourself.
  • Owning things means owning responsibility. A car is a big responsibility: If you want a bike, a guitar or a PlayStation, you’ve got to learn to take care of them.

There are lots of wrong ways to wash a car.

  • If you’re going to do something, do it right: There are lots of wrong ways to wash a car. Let’s do a little homework and learn how to do it right.
  • Pride and discipline are important: It takes discipline to keep your car clean, but once your kid learns the value of discipline it’s a lesson that will pay off for him for the rest of his life. Same thing with pride; once your kid sees how good it feels to take pride in a job well done, pride will drive him to do his best at everything he does.
  • Physical labor is more fun together: Whether you and your kid know it or not, you’re already a team. But how can you work together as a great team? Washing the car together is a great way to teach him how to be a great team-mate.
  • Dad is a smart dude: If you’re smart, you’ll go all Tom Sawyer on your kid and let him take charge of how you paint the fence, I mean wash the car. Sure, you can give gentle guidance, but it’s just a car…let him figure it out, while you offer your Dad wisdom sparingly and collegially.
  • Dad is a fun dude: At some point in the process, you’re going to be tempted to nail him with a heavy stream of water from the hose. Should you give into that temptation, and fire away? Absolutely, because you’re the Dad.
  • Dad is still the boss: Your soaking-wet kid is going to be tempted to grab a hose and fire back. How should you handle that? Our suggestion is, you use this as a chance to teach your kid with a fun, easy-going, carefree grin on your face that sometimes Dad gets away with things just because he’s Dad. And oh yeah, Kid, this may frustrate you now, but when you’re a Dad you’re going to look back on this moment fondly as you nail your own kid with a hose.
  • Enough sanctimonious preaching. If your local car wash is like the one with George Carlin and Richard Pryor, forget what we just said. Take the jalopy there and just funk it up. There are lessons everywhere.