When I was a teenager I was thrilled by the independence my first part-time job gave me but I thought money management was spending until my bank account was empty. So many financial advisors recommend that parents get into the habit of using cash to help teach kids about money management but in today’s high tech society, many times it just isn’t realistic. Debit cards and credit cards provide a digital record of where our money goes and are much faster and more secure than using cash.
Internet safety has become increasingly important over the past several years as you hear about cyber bullies, child abductions, and internet related molestation cases. As a parent, the idea of giving my kids free use of the internet scares me to death. My kids are still young, with my oldest being in kindergarten, but the world is a different place than the one I grew up in. I can already tell that in a few years, my almost 6 year old will likely know more than me about the computer. Internet safety has to be a priority if you want to keep your kids safe in this crazy world we live in.
As children move into their teen years, part of their developmental process drives them to separate from parents as they establish their own identity. While this is an important part of maturing, it is equally crucial that parents remain connected with their teen. Teenagers need a balance of independence and supervision, freedom and accountability. It’s not easy, especially when teens can become moody, mouthy, irritable or arrogant. Teens may also withdraw from family activities and shun participation in outings or traditions they formerly enjoyed.
Does your teenager want to sleep all the time, sometimes even past noon? Are you worried something might be wrong? Once I even had our pediatrician, test my teenager for Mononucleosis, because he was sleeping so much. Of course, the test was negative. Staying up all night and sleeping all day is “normal” behavior for teenagers. It even has a physical cause. You can stop thinking that you are the only parent with a lazy teenager. It really isn’t laziness after all and every parent with a teenager has had these same thoughts and experiences. An internal clock exists inside each of us, that actually affects our body’s temperature, our sleep cycles, appetite, and hormone changes. This internal clock is followed by Circadian rhythms, which are psychological and biological processes. Circadian rhythms direct most young children to fall asleep naturally in the evening. However, at puberty the internal clock is changed. It causes delays in feeling sleepy, which causes the teen to stay up even later playing games, socializing, watching television, or working.
Your teenager is about to turn 16. Reaching that magic age when most employers will consider hiring an employee. Your teenager may also be getting a driver’s license around the same time. Since you probably do not want to provide gas and spending money for your child’s new found freedom, should your teenager get a job?