Dear Ann Cannon • My child will graduate from high school this year, and I’m worried that he doesn’t know how to cook, wash laundry, budget, etc. Any ideas on a crash course for adulthood?

Forgot to Parent

Dear Forgot to Parent • Hahahahahaha! I love your honesty. About the only thing I can recommend is that you don’t let your child live at home for a while. It’s just AMAZING what kids can learn when Mom isn’t there to pick up after them. Good luck to both of you! I’m sure your son will be just fine.

Dear Ann Cannon • Is there any way I can get my teenage son off his smartphone without nagging him constantly?

Exhausted Mother

Dear Exhausted Mother • Short of taking a sledgehammer to his smartphone, probably not. Keep fighting the good fight, though, Mom!

Dear Ann Cannon • I switched jobs four months ago, but my replacement and old co-workers keep calling me with questions. How long should I keep answering them?

Left Already

Dear Left Already • The fact that people still call for your advice speaks to how well you must have done your previous job. But it probably gets tiresome to have them contact you with their questions all the time, especially if after four months things should be up and running by now at your old place of employment. What if you were to change things up? Would that help? If, for example, co-workers call, think about asking them what your replacement advises instead of answering the question yourself. If your replacement calls, ask how he or she thinks the problem ought to be solved. This could help to put the onus back on them.

Another option? You can limit how many calls you’re willing to take from. Or stop taking calls all together!

Dear Tribune Readers • And now for a little change of pace. A reader sent me a list of pairings and asked me to a) make a choice; and b) advise you all as to why I made that choice. She also said she’d been interested in seeing what choices you would make and why. I say, why not! Play along if you’re game.

  • Cats or Dogs • I love both. I have both. In fact, I have multiples of both. But if I have to choose, I’ll go with dogs. Why? Because I like to feel smarter than my pets.
  • Beaches or mountains • I also love both. But I’m going with beaches because you can’t hear the ocean in the mountains.
  • Coke or Diet Coke • Dr Pepper.
  • Chinese or Italian • Chinese. Because pot stickers.
  • The original Magnum P.I. or the new Magnum P.I. • The Original Magnum. Because Tom Selleck. To paraphrase Scripture, when the Lord created Tom Selleck, He looked upon him and saw that it was good.
  • Print book or audio book • Print. Unless it’s one of the Cormoran Strike novels by Robert Galbraith. Then I’m Team Audio all the way. The narrator, Robert Glenister, makes those books come alive.
  • Comedies or dramas • Dramas. But only if they’re funny.
  • Jeans or yoga pants • Yoga pants. But only if you’re actually doing yoga.
  • Winter or summer • Winter. But only if you’re in Hawaii.
  • Straight hair or curly hair • Curly (says the woman with straight hair).
  • Lemon or chocolate • Lemon. Unless I’m in the mood for chocolate.
  • College basketball or the NBA • The NBA. Go Joe Ingles!
  • Heels or flats • Flip-Flops. In the winter. In Hawaii.
  • The dab or the floss • Why do all these new dance moves sound like personal grooming activities?

Ann Cannon is The Tribune’s advice columnist. Got a question for Ann? Email her at or visit the Ask Ann Cannon page on Facebook.