Raising a Financially Responsible Teen Part II!!!


Last week I discussed finding a happy median regarding spending and saving for teens. I believe our son is on the right track for becoming financially responsible. Although, I have noticed he is a lot freer with spending my money than his own…go figure!!! While surfing the web I came across this article written by Crystal Paine published in Mom Advice Insight to Empower that details steps for raising a financially responsible teen. It is as follows:

Raising Financially Responsible Teens

In today’s money-driven society, teens are constantly bombarded by magazines, television ads, and peer pressure which make them feel less than ideal if they do not wear the latest clothing style and drive a “cool” car. Briefly visit your local mall and you will observe multitudes of young people who shop as if credit cards have no maximum spending limit. With all this push for extravagance, is it even possible to raise your teens with money sense and save them from making serious financial mistakes?

Although I have yet to have teenagers of my own, I was blessed to be raised by parents who taught me from a young age to be a wise steward of money. Let me share some things my parents did to instill in me that money is a limited resource and must be spent with care.

1. Start Early

Just because your child is too young to have a real job, does not mean it is too early to start teaching basic financial principles. From the time we were little, we always received an “allowance” from our parents. We only received this money if we had done all of our daily/weekly chores. This taught us that money is not free; it is earned.

2. Set An Example

You cannot expect your teens to wisely spend money if you do not set a good example for them. Do your children see you buying things on credit because you want them now and do not have the patience to wait until you are able to save up enough money? My dad was an excellent example in this area. Before making any large purchase (such as a car), he first decided what he could afford. Then, he began shopping around. Sometimes it would take him close to a year to find what he was looking for, for the price he wanted to pay. His patience always paid off and it left an indelible impression upon me.

3. Don’t Buy Everything For Them

It is easy for many parents to want to “help teens out” by buying most everything for them. But, is this truly “helping”? When your teenager enters the real world on their own, they are going to have some hard lessons to learn if you always bought everything they needed and wanted for them. As soon as we were able to begin earning money, my dad had us start paying for some of our own things such as clothes, gifts for other people, things we wanted, and so on. Because my parents did not buy everything for us, it taught me the value of hard work, to think before I spend, and to look for the best buy.

4. Teach Your Teens the Value of Hard Work

In a day when laziness is rampant, teach your teens instead the importance of being a hard worker. What you work for, you usually appreciate more. If your teenager has worked hard to buy themselves a car, it can be almost guaranteed that they will appreciate it more and take better care of it.

5. Train Your Teens to Think Before They Spend

This might seem like a no-brainer, but learning to think before I spend has literally saved me hundreds of dollars over the years. Teach your teens to ask themselves at least three questions before making any purchase:

•  Do I have the money on hand to pay for this?

•  Do I need this?

•  Can I buy this somewhere else for less?

Oftentimes, in asking these questions, I will talk myself out of making the purchase! I will realize I don’t really have the money to pay for it or I don’t need the item. Other times, I will think of a way I can purchase this item for less.

6. Encourage Your Teens to Get the Best Buy

In addition to asking these questions, also train your teens to look for the best deal. It is amazing what variation in prices you will find out there. For instance, the water pump burst on one of our vehicles recently. When we took it into auto shop for repair, they said that we would have to take it to a more specialized shop, since the engine would need to be taken out in order to replace the water pump. The first price we were quoted was $775. Knowing that was out of our current budget, my husband began calling around to different body shops. One place quoted him around $500 another quoted him a little over $300. By calling around to find the best deal, we are going to be saving hundreds of dollars on this repair job.
Read more at http://www.momadvice.com/Parenting/financially_responsible_teens#CDrKwXASTvHqo4O8.99
So what do you think?

Raising a Financially Responsible Teen!!!

Teen boy with money

My husband and I have been discussing what we should/should not do to assist our teenage son in regards to financial responsibility. Both of our kids get a weekly allowance if they have completed their chores for the week; their allowance is also prorated based on what is or is not completed by the end of the week. My husband does not think we should be giving our son an allowance since he is working and I admit I have been completing most of his chores because he is working. Secondly, both kids have always had to put a certain amount of their money in a savings account monthly. Since our son is working he has more that could be put in his savings account. I think we should encourage our son to add additional money to his savings but I also feel that he should be able to decide what to do “within reason”  with what happens with the money he earns.   My son now has a debit card tied to his checking account, again my husband wants to restrict the amount of money he has available on his checking account.  The other day my son bought something he really wanted that was not very pricey but my husband was upset that he bought it because it was unnecessary. I agreed that it would not have been at the top of my list of things to buy but our son bought something he wanted with his money. I have also noticed that our son seems to want to hold on to the money he makes more so than he has in the past with his allowance. So what do you think? Where is the happy median?

Talk to Your Kids About Sex

sex talkA lot of parents are scared to have “The Talk” with their kids. Similarly, a lot of kids dread getting “The Talk” from their parents. Regardless of our inhibitions, however, it is absolutely necessary that we as parents take responsibility for our children’s knowledge of sex.

First let’s dispel a few myths:
1. If I don’t talk about sex, my kids won’t know what it is and won’t do it. Um, no. That’s dumb.
2. If I talk about sex, my kids will see that as permission to do it. No: if you talk to your kids about sex, you will have the opportunity to clearly share your values and expectations with them; if you don’t talk to them they are likely to feel lost and feel the need to blaze their own sexual path.
3. Abstinence-only education is sufficient: Please, please, please share your values and expectations about sex with your kids. But don’t think for a minute think that kids can’t or won’t make a different choice sometimes. MANY studies on abstinence-only education have been done, and NONE of them show a reduction in teen sexuality or pregnancy.
4. Talking to my kids about sex is hard. Well, it’s only as hard as you make it. It doesn’t have to be super awkward or weird. Buy a book, plan what to say, and don’t stress out.

When to talk:
1. From a young age, use the real words: vagina, penis, breasts, etc. Using code words for body parts makes them seem shameful and embarrassing. It’s not embarrassing to have penis or vagina. Every single person in the world has one or the other.
2. BEFORE your son or daughter has friends who start having their periods or spermarche, talk openly about these things. Also talk about body development and what to expect. Have this talk around the age of 9, or better yet have several little talks over the years.
3. BEFORE your son or daughter starts dating or has friends who are dating, have the full-on sex talk. Or better yet, have several small talks over the years.
4. If your child has movies or classes in school on sex, this is a great time to follow up, answer any questions, and add your own family’s values.

What to talk about:
1. EVERYTHING. Yup. How it works, what it’s called, birth control, how a baby happens, rape (and protecting yourself from it–both guys and girls). Make sure they know that no, you can’t get pregnant from oral or anal sex, but you CAN get diseases. And yes, oral and anal count as sex. Condoms don’t always work. Pornography. You can get pregnant the first time. Your body isn’t the only thing to love about you. It IS possible to wait till marriage.
2. Talk to young kids (toddlers and up) about not letting people touch their body without permission. Tell Mommy or Daddy if someone touches you or if a grown up tells you to keep a secret from mommy.
3. Masturbating is developmentally normal. If your religion is against it, be clear with your child that moral restrictions are different from being abnormal. And repentance is possible for masturbation just like any other sin. Repentance is also possible for unwed sex.

The best sex education a kid can get is seeing parents who love and honor each other. Parents don’t get naked in front of the kids, but they are physically affectionate in front of the kids (hugs, kisses, cuddling, etc.). This gives kids the unspoken message that sex is part of a healthy marriage relationship.

Abuse Is Not Love

Teen Dating Violence Awareness

Teen Dating Violence Awareness

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention month. According to loveisrespect.org 1 in 3 teens has experienced physical, sexual, emotional or verbal abuse from a dating partner. If you are a parent of a teen or you’re a teenager yourself follow my blog posts this month as I share important information about dating violence.

When we think of abuse the first things that come to mind are black eyes and bruises. However physical violence is not the only form of abuse that occurs in relationships. Emotional and verbal abuse is often equally damaging to a person and occurs more frequently. The victim in the situation will often question, “Is this really abuse?” because there are no scars. Check this list to see if you or someone you know may be experiencing emotional or verbal abuse.

Some behaviors that qualify as emotional or verbal abuse by a partner:

  • -Name calling and put downs
  • -Screaming and yelling at you
  • -Isolation, keeping you from family and friends
  • -Controlling your behavior  ( i.e. what you wear, where you can go)
  • -Requiring constant check ins through phone call, texts, or other means
  • -Blaming you for their abusive behavior or words (“you made me do this”)
  • -Threatening to commit suicide or harm themselves if you break up with them
  • -Monitoring and controlling your use of the phone, computer, etc..
  • -Using threats to expose your personal secrets in an attempt to control you
  • -Starting rumors about you, including on social media

If you think you or someone you know is experiencing emotional/verbal abuse please reach out for help. The counselors here at Family First Counseling are ready to help.

For more information on teen dating violence or to find help in your local area check out www.loveisrespect.org

Today’s Teen

In today’s society teens face many real-life troubling issues, regarding, school, family life, teen violence, relationships in and out of their home, health, daily stress, rejection, bullying, teen sex, teen pregnancy, abuse, drugs, drinking, depression, body image, etc. During many of these troubling issues teens are experiencing: hormonal growth, finding a balance between their desire to conform, but also establish their own independent individuality, wanting to fit in, going through an emotional roller coaster, and thinking no one cares.

Many issues teens face are connected or can be connected to one problem, like a chain reaction. For example, abuse, whether it’s within a relationship or in the home can lead a teen to drink, abuse drugs, depression, body image issues, stress and/or self mutilation. Some may turn to other teens for guidance and acceptance and end up in a gang, feeling rejected if not accepted, or in the end being pressured into doing something that will get them accepted by the wrong people.

Teens are known for having a hard time communicating with adults about their life. Sometimes there is a need for a therapist or some type of intervention. Teens should know that therapeutic intervention or counseling is not here to put them down or belittle them, or make them feel as if they cannot do better or change. Teen counseling can be a help towards moving in the right direction.

Latrina Majors

LaTrina graduated in 2009 from American InterContinental University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice with a concentration in forensics. In 2011 she earned her Masters of Arts degree in Forensic Psychology, as well as a certificate in Applied Forensics from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology.