Monday, September 21, 2015

Four Secrets to Raising Responsible Teens

Growing up is hard to do (for both the kids and their parents) but if you are there for your child every step of the way, you can help make the transition far easier.

Stay Involved
Once your child starts high school, he might develop a keen sense of independence and may not request your presence at school functions or ask for help. However, you should always let your child know that you are there for him, even as he starts to take those first steps into adulthood. Attend parent/teacher conferences, monitor his grades online and request meetings with his teachers if you notice that he's struggling. As he grows, he should take more initiative into solving problems for himself, but even then, he should know that you will be there if he needs your help.

Help Earn a Driver's License
Hitting the open road on their own is the dream of many kids, something they've looked forward to for years. It's also a huge milestone for you, as a parent. You must learn how to let go and trust that your teen can and will make the proper choices. You can help transition him from needing a ride to being the ride by encouraging him to take the time to study his state's specific driving laws. If you're from Arizona, for example, he can study for his Arizona state written exam online, making the actual test far easier because he'll know what to expect. By staying involved in this vital learning process, it will help your teen understand the importance of doing well on the driver's test — and that it can have an impact on his future driving ability.

Teach About Bank Accounts
Your teen doesn't have to wait for his first job to open a bank account. And often, parents open a savings account for their kids when they're born (to start socking away money for college, of course). But opening a checking account is another story. Doing so will give your kids the groundwork for accepting direct deposit when they do get a job, and it will also give you the chance to stress the importance of personal finance. Lessons you teach your teen now can last a lifetime, and can help avoid serious problems down the road because he will already know how to budget and live within his means.

Go Job Hunting
Once your child is old enough, and she would like to secure a part-time job while she's in school, you can help her sort through possibilities and plan out how much time she can devote to working and what types of places are easiest to break into for first-time job seekers. A common first job is working fast food, but there are other types of flexible employment that can work well for teens, such as at bookstores, large retailers and even doing office work for businesses that have non-traditional or weekend hours. Also, once she's gotten a job, encourage her to save some of her money with each paycheck, which can help her learn to build up savings from the get-go — a lesson that is hard to learn later in life.