Can your teenager address a mailing enevlope?

I recently had my daughter Olivia write, not text, a personal Thank You card to everyone who gave her a gift for her 16th Birthday. I thought this was a good way for her to show appreciation to her family and friends and for her to appreciate each gift as she writes a personal note. We went out and bought the cards she liked and then I gave her return labels with her name on them to place on the envelopes. I sat with her at the table to get her to write out the cards because I knew she would need some motivational help to get started.

I gave her the list of names and an address book. As I got up to leave, she said,  “I just have to put the zip codes on the envelope right, not the city and state?” I thought she was kidding. I asked, “You’re kidding right? Do you not know how to address an envelope?”  She said, “No, I don’t write letters. I just put the number on my phone to talk with someone.”

I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe my newly 16-year-old daughter did not know how to address an envelope? How could that be? Was this my fault?The school? Teachers? How can these teenagers not know how to write and address an envelope? Has technology taken over every aspect of our lives, down to a handwritten envelope?

Well, after I realized she didn’t know, I showed her and told her I was so glad she was doing this if not for showing gratitude but learning how to address an envelope!

Have these teenagers gotten so far into technology that they are getting further and further away from the simple common things that for years and decades were common sense to dos – tell time with a clock, address an envelope, sew, use a land line, talk to people not text, etc.. etc..

I am now on a mission to get my daughter to do the simple things that I and generations before me grew up doing — whether it be more letter writing or just picking up the home phone and talking with her grandmother.  I do NOT want Olivia not knowing how to do these things.

Next week she leaves for NY to visit relatives and I told her to send me a postcard each week not a text! I want my daughter to appreciate the things that no longer exist but are important for her to grow as a person.

I’m interested in knowing if any other parent has “addressed” this issue with their teen. Have you had similar conversations?


(Visited 133 times, 1 visits today)


  1. Suzy July 19, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    I can relate. I’ve had my girls do handwritten thank you notes too. I have also noticed that they have a very hard time writing in proper english. They only understand texting language and emoticons!
    Glad I found your blog!

    1. mominthesprings August 27, 2013 at 10:31 pm


      It is scary isn’t it. My concern is when she gets out in the business world not being able to properly
      articulate whether its a presentation or speech or on interviews and needing to write thank you notes.
      Thank you for your comment! Please keep reading!!
      There’s hope for them yet!

  2. Fran Green July 30, 2013 at 8:58 am

    Don’t despair! Your daughter is not alone. I have worked with teens all my working life and have been astounded during the last decade by the lack of social skills such as letter writing. I taught Communication Skills in sixth form for several years and was amazed by how many able pupils struggled to write a letter for a job application or to a newspaper.
    However, although I love email, I’m very slow when texting. I think we all have different skill sets depending on when we were born BUT I think you are giving your daughter a valuable skill when encouraging her to write letters and postcards.

    1. mominthesprings August 27, 2013 at 10:41 pm


      I won’t despair! Im sure she’s not alone and thats what’s scary! Convenience has taken over properness and common sense. Technology is great when used properly but we cant forget the simple things in life because its those things that got us to where we are today. I love texting.. its a convenience but I have to admit the more I text the less I write and I have to change that so I can lead by example!
      Thank you for your comment Fran and keep following!


Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *