Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Teens and Financial Responsibility: Should Your Teen have a Summer Job?

As summer is approaching many parents question whether their teen should get a job or go to summer camp.  It is a personal decision and a depends on the teen and the family.

Teaching your teen how to be responsible with money is very important. So many teens enter adult hood unaware of the workings behind their finances, which leads them into a lot of financial hardships down the road.

Here are a five ways to start teaching your teen to be financially responsible:

1)  Get a Job:Your child’s education should be first priority and their job second, so a job that requires a minimal schedule is best. Look at lifeguarding, restaurants, retail or babysitting. Even if the job doesn’t have epic responsibilities it will teach them about paychecks, pay periods, taxes and what to do once you get that pay check. Be sure to check your state’s legal working age; some differ from others anywhere from 13 to 16 years old.

2)  Allowance: Your teen may be too active with school and extra circular activities to find a part time job, so make them earn an allowance. Chores around the home, dog walking or watching their younger sibling is a good way for them to earn their money. Pay them what you would normally pay someone to do that job. Just because they are your child doesn’t mean you should pay them less.

3) Save: Teaching your teen to save is so important and probably the most important habit they carry on into their futures. The money they earn, whether it is allowance or from a job, have them save a portion, Teach them the reasons you save and why it is so imperative for their futures.

4)  Pay for own things: Going to the movies, concerts or buying a new pair of shoes that they ‘must have’ should come out of their own pocket. As parent you are not entitled to buy them new video games or supply cash for pedicures. Teach them that that these things are just extras and they will have to pay for it themselves. Have them pay for their own gas too will help them see how quickly money can disappear.

5)  Give them a Credit Card: This may be a stretch for some parents and could seem an extreme. But sitting down with your child and going over how credit cards work can help them when they run off to college one day. College students are easy targets for credit cards because they do not understand how to use them. Start early and let them use the family credit card and monitor every spending and show them how quickly things can add up.

As in any lesson you are trying to teach your teen, don’t beat a dead horse. Avoid the nagging and pestering and let them make the mistakes. Obviously you need to monitor them from a distance but be there to kindly guide them in the right direction. Follow some of these tips and you will see a little money saver in no time!
Special contributor: Jenny Ellis is a freelance writer, and a regular contributor for aupair care. She welcomes your comments at: ellisjenny728 @

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Thursday, March 22, 2012

Facebook, Teens and Bad Habits They Can Learn from Social Networking Sites

You had to have seen this one coming: kids are picking up bad habits from their extensive use of social media giant Facebook. This can’t come as too big of a surprise though, because it stands to reason that something so popular and fun would be bound to have some ill effects. Not that we’re condemning Facebook, mind you, but there are a few potential pitfalls to watch out for regarding your child’s usage.

The following are seven bad habits that kids pick up from Facebook:
  1. TMI – To be honest, many of us are already guilty of grossly over-sharing our personal lives on Facebook. When you have a place to update your status 24/7, though, it shouldn’t come as any real surprise that eventually one’s entire personal life is right there for anyone and everyone to read on their profile.
  2. Inappropriate Friending – It tends to be an automatic reaction for some to “friend” someone after they’ve added you, accompanied by the friend confirmation request, whether this person is someone you know well or not. While they may not like the idea of saying ‘no’, safety should have a higher priority than popularity.
  3. Posting Inappropriate Photos – Inappropriate photographs always seem to find their way onto people’s Facebook pages. For that matter, taking such photos in the first place is ill-advised, to say the least. Coupled with the prospect of being friended by stalkers and strangers, not to mention being available for any potential employers or school officials, this makes for a very dangerous mix.
  4. Poor Time Management – It’s very easy to lose track of one’s time while socializing on Facebook, and hours at a time can be lost without even realizing it, often at the expense of more important things like homework, chores, etc. It may be wise to install a filter software that can monitor use and block certain sites during specified time periods to ensure that your kids don’t spend too much time on the website.
  5. Indiscriminate Downloading – Facebook is notorious for third party apps that seek to gain access to personal data and the friend lists of members who use them. There’s a large risk associated with accepting gifts via some of these app, unfortunately, that could end up compromising your personal information.
  6. Poor Grammar – As with chat rooms, IM’s, and text messaging, all of which came prior to social media, Facebook posts can tend toward cyber shorthand, whether it’s in the interest of brevity or simply born out of sheer laziness. Although it’s acceptable – even necessary in some cases – to limit character usage, it’s very easy for this habit to leak over to your child’s more formal writing and correspondence.
  7. Not Safeguarding Personal Info – Facebook provides varying levels of privacy settings for its users. Members can share everything with anyone, or limit access to their profile to just friends and/or family. Kids today have become ok and even lax with the safeguarding of their personal information, and identity theft, stalking or harassment can end up being one of the penalties for your child being too open with his or her personal information.
Source:  Become a Nanny

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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Teen Drug Use and Your Medicine Cabinet

Many teens believe that taking prescription drugs to get high is safer than using street drugs.


Prescription drugs are dangerous when they are not used correctly as directed by a doctor.
  • One in five teens have taken a prescription drug that was not theirs to get high or to deal with problems.
  • Teens are abusing pain pills (Vicodin®, OxyContin®), stimulants (Ritalin®, Adderall®), and tranquilizers (Xanax®, Valium®).
  • Teens take these drugs right out of the medicine cabinet – at home, at a friend’s house, or when visiting family.
  • 5.2 million people, including kids ages 12 and older, said they had abused prescription pain relievers, as reported in a 2007 survey.
  • More people are visiting the emergency room because they misused prescription pain medication. From 2004 to 2009, emergency room visits due to misusing narcotic pain pills increased by almost 100%.
Fact:Prescription drugs are the most commonly abused drugs among 12-13 year olds. Many of these pills can be found in your medicine cabinet and around your house.  In an effort to help stop this growing problem, the DEA is hosting a Take-Back Day on April 28, 2012. If you have any unused prescription drugs in your home, you can drop them off at the designated collection site in your community on April 28.

The DEA coordinates with the local law enforcement and community partners to provide thousands of sites across the country, many of them at police departments, so that the unwanted drugs are disposed of safely and legally. Sites will accept pills, both prescription and nonprescription, for disposal.

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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Parent Support Groups: OPERATION PARENT

If you think toddlers can be a handful, brace yourself.

The teenage years today can be extremely challenging!

Whether it is a sense of entitlement, peer pressure, society, or an attitude of defiance, it seems some teens today are literally holding their parents hostage in their own homes.

Operation Parent is an organization that has recognized many parents feel they are alone.  They have created support groups and have offered resources and information for communities to start their own groups.
Operation: PARENT is on a mission to educate, equip, encourage and engage parents of teens and pre-teens. Welcome to our website where you can purchase our Parent Handbook, register for one of our many parenting classes, delve into a tough issue related to parenting teens, or learn more about our exciting Coffee Series

Bring part of a support group can help you and your family begin healing.  You are now part of our network of thousands of parents and their goal is to make sure no parent in any community ever feels alone while raising their teen or pre-teen. Together we can do this... together we can raise incredible teens!
For more information visit

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Friday, March 2, 2012

Inhalant Use: Teen Drug Use and Common Household Products

Recently we heard the news of a 14-year old dying after inhaling helium at a party.  Helium that is used inflate balloons – as innocent as it may seem, it also can kill when used inappropriately.  This is no different than many other household products.

Parents usually relate drug abuse with their teen smoking pot or taking pills.  They don't realize that their own home can be filled with products that teens are using to get high with.

What is inhalant abuse?

Inhalant abuse refers to the deliberate inhalation or sniffing of common products found in homes and communities with the purpose of “getting high.” Inhalants are easily accessible, legal, everyday products. When used as intended, these products have a useful purpose in our lives and enhance the quality of life, but when intentionally misused, they can be deadly. Inhalant Abuse is a lesser recognized form of substance abuse, but it is no less dangerous. Inhalants are addictive and are considered to be “gateway” drugs because children often progress from inhalants to illegal drug and alcohol abuse. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that one in five American teens have used Inhalants to get high.

Here is a list of inhalants that are in many homesclick here.

Warning signs and slang that your teen or child may be using inhalants:

Monitoring your child will make your child much less likely to use Inhalants or other drugs.
· Know where your child is at all times, especially after school
· Know your child’s friends
· If you find your child unconscious, or you suspect your child is under the influence of an Inhalant, call 911 immediately.

If you suspect your child might be abusing Inhalants, call the Poison Control Center at   1-800-222-1222; or call the ’1-800′ number on the label of the product.

According to the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, “if you talk to your kids about the risks of drugs, they are 36% less likely to abuse an Inhalant.” Parents can make a tremendous impact on their kids’ choices by talking to them.

Be an educated parent, you will have safer children and teens.

For more information visit

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