As the summer comes to an end, back-to-school shopping closes in on parents. And if you happen to have a teen boy in your brood, you know that back-to-school prep can be a bit of a chore. Minimize the dramatic eye rolls with our list of teen-boy-friendly must-haves for the annual return to academia.
1. A backpack that means business
Have you tried toting the typical load of textbooks required for teenagers? It’s akin to having your actual teen hop into your briefcase and carrying them around all day. Accordingly, teen boys need a backpack with serious compartment space, solid construction and a neutral (or trendy, depending on your kid’s style) design.
2. High-tech office supplies
Teens today have a bevvy of super-clever products to streamline research, study and everything in between. Sure, they’ll still need to stock up on the classics (think No. 2 pencils, highlighters, etc.), but you should also consider adding high-tech updates, such as pencils with built-in styluses, pens that double as digital recorders and portable scanning wands.
3. An app to capture memories
Chances are good that your teenage son already has a cellphone or, if he doesn’t, he will as soon as he gets an after-school job and can afford to pick one up on his own. In the socio-driven climate teens today enjoy, they don’t have to wait for yearbook pics to memorialize milestones, from the first home football game to prom. Instagram and other apps allow them to document everything in a living, breathing yearbook. Just be sure you chat with your son beforehand about what’s appropriate on social media and what’s not, and be mindful that certain apps have a reputation for bad behavior.
4. A word-based padlock
Prepare to have one of those “why didn’t I think of that?” moments when you pick up a lock for your teenage son’s locker that doesn’t rely on impossible-to-remember numerical codes. Rather, he gets to pick out a word that will open the lock safeguarding his books and other important gear.
5. New (and welcome) wardrobe additions
Heading back to school can be daunting — especially for teenagers, who face impossible scrutiny from peers these days. Letting your teen boy pick out a few new wardrobe items that reflect his individual personality can be a huge confidence booster when that first bell rings. Supplement his more character-driven pieces with staples that boast function and flair, like iconic denim from the Levi’s brand. You can’t go wrong with the 511™ Slim Fit for the trendier teen today or the eternally classic 501® Original Fit for guys who like a little more wiggle room.
6. A cheeky thumb drive
How did we ever get things done without the teeny, tiny miracle that is the modern flash drive? Give your teen a leg up on schoolwork with this little device that can do big things — transfer files instantly, store important notes, etc. There are a ton of witty options on the market, including a thumb drive that looks exactly like a human thumb. Ha!
7. A very loud alarm clock
Try waking up a teenage boy, and you’ll understand the need for an alarm clock with impressive (yet safe) decibel levels. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, there are plenty of choices that will suit your sensible parent side and your son’s need for something “swaggy.” There are even those that mimic the sound, flashing lights and rumbling of a sonic bomb for the superheavy sleeper in your house.
This post was brought to you by Levi’s®.