TEAM­WORK makes the Dream­work

There is some­thing deeply sat­is­fy­ing about work­ing to­gether as a team and feel­ing the sup­port and en­cour­age­ment of each mem­ber of the fam­ily.

Parenting - - Time Out -

hot tips mid­dle years

hot tips mid­dle years

Teenagers are ex­pen­sive! Ev­ery­thing they want costs money. Ev­ery­thing they wear costs money – and then they go and grow out of it be­fore it’s even ap­peared on your Visa state­ment. And they don’t want any old stuff – it has to have some brand or la­bel on it. If you let them rip they could bank­rupt the rich­est of us. Do brand la­bels re­ally mat­ter? Of course they do, if you’re a teenager.

1.Buy your teenager one or two re­ally cool items that they can wear of­ten. It might be a very stylish jacket or pair of shoes, some­thing they can be re­ally proud of. But they don’t need ev­ery­thing to be branded – they don’t need fancy brand undies, socks or shirts.

2.An­other idea is say to them, “I’ll buy the shirt, you buy the la­bel.” That means, if you can get a per­fectly suit­able shirt for $40, but they want the classy branded one that costs $70, you pay the $40 and they pay the ex­tra $30 from their own money.

3.I reckon the best so­lu­tion is to get them on to a bud­get. Work out what you would want to spend on their shoes and cloth­ing, en­ter­tain­ment and gifts, and give it to them to spend. Make them re­spon­si­ble for all their pur­chases of clothes, toi­letries and shoes. If they want to go to the movies or buy a friend a birth­day present, they can only do that if they use their money. You can even­tu­ally get to the point where the only ex­tra things you are pay­ing for are their med­i­cal and school ex­penses.

There are so many ben­e­fits to this. For a start, it helps you bud­get and watch your own money, but an even big­ger ben­e­fit is that it trains them to bud­get. You might watch your kids make spec­tac­u­larly un­wise pur­chases and you will want to step in. But you won't have to. Con­se­quences will teach your child far bet­ter than any of your lec­tures.

The way they learn to han­dle money will be the way they will han­dle life. Good bud­get­ing trains you to take con­trol of things, in­stead of things tak­ing con­trol of you. A good bud­get doesn’t just look af­ter your money, it looks af­ter your stress lev­els and your peace of mind. If they learn to save and de­lay pur­chases un­til they can re­ally af­ford it, you’ll see ben­e­fits in their char­ac­ter as well. They will work away at goals and sac­ri­fice to get what they re­ally want. This is called de­layed grat­i­fi­ca­tion – go­ing with­out some­thing now so you can have some­thing bet­ter later – it is one of the key skills to mas­ter in life.

By the way, they still have to be ac­count­able for how they use the money you give them. No, they can’t buy a minia­ture horse over the in­ter­net. One thing that takes some learn­ing is the ‘weight’ of money. They need to learn that cell phone calls and petrol and burg­ers all cost money. And they learn that early when it's their money they are spend­ing. I reckon if they are driv­ing or us­ing a cell phone, they should be pay­ing for it.

One of the things that has stuck with me is a phrase I heard ages ago – “An in­dulged teenager is just as mis­er­able as a de­prived teenager.” Teenagers that have to strug­gle a lit­tle and work a lot ul­ti­mately have more self-es­teem and bet­ter life skills than those who get handed ev­ery­thing on a plate. And never think that your money is go­ing to buy their love. There are teenagers with rooms full of elec­tron­ics and high-class gear who might have the stuff, but what they would re­ally love from their par­ents is a hug.

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