Friday, September 27, 2013
Prepare for Steep Expenses
The Consumerist extensively details how senior year can be the most expensive time of parenthood. There are endless investments to be made, and every single one of them appears to be dire. No amount of preparation can buffer the impact of steep charges, so it is crucial for parents to prepare for those expenses as early as possible. It’s not impossible for senior year to require more than $10,000 of extra expenditures. This spending is distributed across school portraits, yearbook purchases, prom, senior trips, class rings and testing costs. (And that doesn’t even count college application fees.)
Start College Applications Early
Summer is an excellent time to take advantage of universities that allow applications to be tendered early. This prevents in-depth forms from being compounded with the stress of schoolwork during the academic year. Parents should structure a calendar that gives them time to collaborate with their teenager about future plans. Help your college-bound child discern between his interests to make sure they end up going to the right institution of higher learning. To avoid excessive payments, applications should be initially sent to schools at the top of the list. Working together with a teenager bolsters their confidence in transitioning to the next stage of their life. U.S. News and World Report has more strategies for pursuing this process.
Keep Track of Extracurricular Activities
Academic resumes are bolstered by extra school participation, but some extracurricular activities are more valuable than other ones. Core studies should not be sacrificed for the sake of a frivolous after-school group. Parents can monitor their children’s academic commitments to help them fine-tune their approach to education as their schedules become more demanding. Ensure that stable transportation is available for important events, and make sure they have the freedom to experiment with their interests.
Follow Examination Schedules
Sharing a calendar can keep parents mentally attuned to the fast-paced needs of their high school senior. To help your child succeed, avoid planning distractions (nights out, family dinners, etc.) before big tests, and help enforce studying habits during these final days. Parents can keep their teenagers from becoming lost in piles of homework.
Emphasize Social Engagements
Don’t let your kid drown in the work, though. One of the biggest regrets seniors can have is failing to savor the social aspects of being young. This Huffington Post columnist talks about the importance of reveling in childhood friendships as youth comes to a close. After graduation, everyone is going to go down a different path, and this is the last chance for your senior to see many of his friends. Don’t forget that. If he appears to be overworked, then your best option is to encourage increased socialization. Spending time with friends will alleviate the pressures being externally placed on him.
Plan Graduation Parties in Advance
High expectations can incentivize focus during the final months of a high school experience. It also provides a proverbial light at the end of the tunnel for stressed out teenagers. This is the ultimate act of support, but don’t let the promise of a party or reward become a stress in its own right. A balanced strategy of positive reinforcement will help your child gradually achieve goals.
Avoid Excessive Interference
Even if the notion seems counterintuitive, it is actually important to trust a teenager’s instincts sometimes. Your child has made it this far, and he’s about to have to go a lot farther on his own, so it’s time to start letting go of the wheel. Listening is a vital skill for parents to practice at this stage of their child’s development. Often, teenagers just need more compassion. Giving them emotional support is preferable to inundating them with advice, but if your child asks, don’t be afraid to share your wisdom. The most important thing to remember is that he needs to be able to chart his own course. Do all you can do, and then be ready to let go.
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Friday, September 20, 2013
Friday, September 6, 2013
Tattoos are permanent, so spur of the moment decisions to get a tattoo are never a good idea. Even when the decision has been made for quite some time, there may still be good reasons to reconsider.
Here are ten of the ways that people use to try and convince someone not to get a tattoo.
- Pain – There is pain involved in getting a tattoo. How much pain will depend on where it is located on the body, the size of the tattoo and the pain tolerance level of the person receiving the tattoo. If the person has a low pain tolerance, emphasizing the pain involved in the process, and the time needed to complete the tattoo can sometimes be enough to get them to change their mind.
- Cost – Tattoos are not inexpensive, especially at the best shops. In addition, the cost of having one removed if you should change your mind about it in the future will be even more costly. Is a little bit of colored skin really worth that much money?
- Social impact – Not everyone has an appreciation for the art of tattooing. Your tattoo may negatively impact future relationships, both personal and in the employment/business arena. The cost of that is impossible to gauge.
- Bad results – What if it doesn’t turn out looking like you expected it too? Not everyone is happy with the results they receive from a tattoo artist. It doesn’t grow out like a bad haircut.
- Personality changes – What is appealing to you now may not be in 5, 10 or 20 years. Everyone’s personality continues to evolve with their life experience and level of maturity. What you will be like in the future is impossible to predict.
- Lifestyle changes – A tattoo may fit perfectly with your current lifestyle, but just as with personality, lifestyles change. Having to deal with trying to cover or explain the ‘fashion’ of your past could be something you’d rather avoid.
- Body changes – Ten years could mean adding or losing twenty pounds or more. With those changes in weight, the look of a tattoo is going to change too, in a negative way.
- Infection – In spite of precautions, infections do still occur. That can mean medical costs and disfigurement of the tattoo. Do you really want to risk that?
- Disease – It is possible to transfer incurable diseases like Hepatitis C with tattoo needles. You’re trusting in the word of your tattooist that the needles are sterile. In addition, tattoo ink is not regulated by the FDA. You have no idea what might be in that stuff that is going into your skin.
- Aged tattoos – Show them some pictures of people who have carried their tattoos on their body for a lifetime that are no longer colorful or appealing on their 70-80 year old bodies. Is that what they want to look like when they’re a grandparent?
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Tattoo laws for teens under 18 vary from state to state, and in some cases even from city to city. According to Florida Tatto Laws:
(3) No body of a minor shall be tattooed without the written notarized consent of the parent or legal guardian.
Be an educated parent, you will have healthier teens.