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Troubled Teens: Making the Difficult Decisions of Residential Treatment Centers

TroubledTeen5When it comes to sending your child to residential therapy it is probably one of the hardest decisions a parent can make.  It just doesn’t seem normal to send your teenager to a behavioral modification program.  Let’s face it – we all know that sending them to college is part of the circle of life, but no one prepares us for the potholes that some families face – residential treatment centers.

As the holidays approach a teenager’s behavior can sometimes escalate and this can leave a parent with a decision that they don’t want to make.  How can they send their child into a teen help program during this time of the year?

As a Parent Advocate and Parent Consultant, I share with parents that you have many years ahead of you to have many wonderful holidays together – however in some cases, it can mean saving your child’s life by removing them from not-so-safe situations – especially if they are involved in drug use or hanging out with unsavory groups of what they consider friends.  With the extra time off from school -it sometimes can add up to more time for trouble.

Are you struggling with your teenager?  Confused about what school or program is best for their needs?  I founded Parent’s Universal Resource Experts, Inc over a decade ago for parents that are at their wit’s end – after I was duped and my daughter abused at a program that mislead us.  Our experiences are only to help educate parents – there are more good programs than there are not so good one.  It is up to you to do your due diligence.

Remember, family is a priority – your child’s welfare comes first.  There will always be more holidays – let’s be sure your child’s safety and security are first and foremost.

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Teens and Money: Does Your Teen Respect Money?

Let’s have the talk….

Teaching your teen to be financially literate is a priority.

While encouraging good grades in school, sportsmanship and respectfulness are all a part of parenthood, teaching about money also plays a profound role. Educating your family about financial literacy and creating a healthy monetary environment will equip your children with the skills to make good decisions now and in the future.

Money management, credit card responsibility and valuing the dollar are lessons that will help your teen develop good characteristics and become a good member of society. Before you hand your teen a credit card and wads of cash, keep in the mind how financial illiteracy, money carelessness and even entitlement can have a significant negative effect on your teenager.

The Teenage Brain

If you’re thinking about providing your teenager with a credit card, remember to emphasize to your teen how this little plastic purchasing tool comes with high risks and long-term consequences that they’re most likely unaware of. According to CNN.com Health, the teenage brain is actually attracted to risk-taking behaviors. In other words, “teens’ senseless choices may result from biological tendencies.”

CNN.com explains that research shows teens are very aware of risks and consequences, such as unprotected sex and STDs, rather they’re more drawn to the unknown risks. Think excessive, irresponsible credit card use and frivolous purchasing. Agnieszka Tymula, the lead author of a study on adolescent risk taking behavior, stated, “adolescents engage more in unknown risks than they do in known risks.” Because of teenage information processing, they also tend to fixate on the rewards.

Rewards vs. Risks

Teens like rewards — rewards like the instant gratification from owning a smartphone or admiration from peers for wearing designer clothes to school. On the other hand, risks like a poor credit score, credit card debt and identity theft, go unacknowledged in the teenage mind. Teenagers want those rewards, and now, regardless of the risks associated with obtaining them. Teens aren’t thinking about long-term consequences, such as debt collection, or how Lifelock protection would safeguard their identity.

Purchasing a future home and credit checks, for example, aren’t typically going to have a profound effect on the decision to purchase something in the moment. Protect your teens’ future and spending habits by emphasizing how and when to charge a purchase. Teach your family to be financially literate with crash courses on how to use credit cards and practice healthy monetary habits that also contribute to good character traits.

Financial Literacy & Teen Entitlement

Teens feel invincible — invincible from consequences and free of responsibilities. You lecture them on the risks of drinking and having unprotected sex and then cross your fingers that when your teenager walks outside your line of vision, he or she will make good decisions. While trying to prevent car accidents, teen pregnancy or failing grades, teaching your teen about the value of a dollar may be a battle you choose to lose. Perhaps you enforced an allowance for walking the dog or washing the car, but eventually as life got busier and more complicated, you gave in.

What’s at stake with a financially illiterate teenager? A respect for work ethic, responsibility and gratitude. What’s to gain? Entitlement. Teenagers with a sense of monetary entitlement can start to develop character flaws such as disrespect and a lack of appreciation for money, working and earning the privileges that you’re awarded. Financial literacy is the idea of teaching our children at a young age about the exchange of money and what it takes to have that iPhone or wear those Nike Air Jordans.

Keep in mind teens don’t necessarily need to know about the family’s financial details, such as mortgage payments or 401(k) plans. Financial literacy starts with instilling good values so that they’re not only developing good character attributes, but preventing poor monetary habits that can lead to serious financial troubles in the future.

Money Management

Teach your teen to be financially literate by starting with basic money management and personal financial skills — tailored to the teenage life. From a new car and gadgets to social expenses and extracurricular activities, teenagers face decisions about money and challenges on how to pay for what they desire. Margaret Magnarelli, senior editor of Money magazine and author of Per$onal Finance, tells USNews.com that “the first step to [a teen’s] financial understanding should be taught by parents.”

Teach your teen money-management skills with the following:

  • Communicate: Make time for creating dialogue around desires and purchases. If your teenager asks for money for new clothes or video game, Magnarelli suggests asking, “what it would take for you to save up to buy that?” or “How many hours of your part-time job would it take to achieve that?” Once you’ve started the conversation, find a fair solution. As a team, establish a savings plan. For example, agree to match your teen’s $20 weekly savings for costly items such as an iPod. Make a bargain. For example, offer to pay for weekend activities with friends as long as your teen takes care of weekend chores.
  • Say No: Listen to your teen’s request and digest the reasons for why he or she wants something. According to CBSNews.com’s MoneyWatch, a quick no marks parents as “intransigent, uninformed, and simply out to make [your teenager] miserable.” Start a conversation, acknowledge your teenager’s point of view and explain why you decided to say no.
  • Practice What You Preach: Instill healthy money habits by setting an example. Show your family the value of budgeting and saving by vocalizing smart financial decision making. For example, explain how paying for piano lessons or going on a family trip are more meaningful to your family than bringing the latest gadgets into the home.
  • Set Priorities & Limits: Ensure that your teenager knows how to distinguish between a want and a need. New shoes for cheerleading could actually be a need that takes precedent over a designer pair of jeans. Although there’s nothing wrong with “wants,” establish limits and be consistent when you do buy something for your teenager. For example, while school shopping, provide a price range for a new pair of shoes or set a budget for how much you’re going to spend on clothes. Decide ahead of time what you’re shopping for to avoid impulse spending. Also teach your teen about delayed gratification to prepare them for responsible financial habits as an adult.

Contributor: Kevin Parker

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Teen Help Programs: The Internet Search

You have finally reached your wit’s end with your teenager.

You have exhausted all your local resources, your nerves are fried, you have removed all their privileges and nothing is making a difference – you are literally a hostage to your own child!

What now?

It is time for outside help… but you get online and realize first the sticker shock…. (price of programs and schools) then you see all these horror stories – EXACTLY WHO SHOULD YOU BELIEVE?

Your gut!

Years ago I was in your exact spot – and I didn’t listen my gut, and the results were not good, however it had a purpose.  The reason was to be a part of helping parents not make the mistakes I did.

When you get online you will see many toll free numbers going to places unknown.  Usually sales reps that will more than happily give you a list of programs that they believe will be perfect for your child – but how do they know?

Point is – you don’t want a sales rep – you don’t want a marketing arm, you want an owner, a director or someone that will be vested in your child’s recovery and healing process.  Someone that will be held accountable – their reputation will be reflected upon your child’s success.

I created an organization that helps educate parents to better understand the big business of residential therapy.  There are questions parents need to ask, that many don’t think about while they are desperate for help such as when will they be able to speak with their child or visit their child.

I encourage you to visit www.helpyourteens.com and find out more about residential therapy – especially if you are considering the next step.  Don’t wait for a crisis to happen.  Be prepared.

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Entitlement issues! Why it is important for teens to have a job

That is the teen trend of today’s society!

What happened to old fashioned work ethic?

With shows like “My Super Sweet 16” that glorify teens have extravagant lives and demanding over the top birthday parties we’ve become inundated with the idea that our teens need to be pampered and spoiled beyond reason. This mindset has led to teens believing that they deserve the most expensive clothes, cars, and cell phones, and that these things should just be handed to them on demand. The reality of it, though, is that our teenagers should be learning the importance of working hard for what they want, and one way to impart this lesson and have them reap the benefits of it is by having them work a part-time job. There are numerous lessons and values teens will learn from working:

1.     Time management:  Having to balance school and work will teach teens early on the importance of prioritizing responsibilities and managing their time. The sooner they learn how to do this the better off they’ll be when they leave for college and eventually branch out into the real world of full-time jobs and responsibilities.

2.     Help build a resume:  Being able to list work experience on a resume will help your teen get ahead of the crowd when it comes time to apply for college or find a full-time job. It will show prospective colleges and employers that your teen is a motivated, hard-working individual and will set them above the people who have no prior work experience.

3.     Financial independence:  There’s a certain satisfaction that is brought about by being able to buy something you want with your own hard-earned money, and having a job that brings in a paycheck will allow teens to learn how to effectively manage their money and rely on themselves and not their parents for different purchases. Learning to manage money is a life skill that everyone needs to have, so learning it early on will only benefit your teenager.

4.     Develop indispensable life skills:  Your teen will learn very quickly the importance of working as a team and having solid communication skills, two talents that are transferrable into almost any industry or experience. The experiences that they have, both good and bad, from a part-time job will help them to become better-rounded as an individual.

5.     Learn the value of hard work:  Unfortunately hard work is becoming more under-valued these days, especially with teens, and it’s important to teach our kids that hard work is a trait to be admired and respected. Learning to work for what you want is an advantageous tool to have.

While your teens may complain about having to get a job initially, it’s likely that they’ll end up thanking you for it in the long run. The lessons they’ll learn from having to work a part-time job are irreplaceable.

Author Bio

Heather Smith is an ex-nanny. Passionate about thought leadership and writing, Heather regularly contributes to various career, social media, public relations, branding, and parenting blogs/websites. She also provides value to nanny service by giving advice on site design as well as the features and functionality to provide more and more value to nannies and families across the U.S. and Canada. She can be available at H.smith7295 [at] gmail.com.

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Sue Scheff: Teens with Entitlement Issues – Spoiled Brats – What can parents do?

Generations earlier many kids saved their money to buy a record, or what some may call a 45 record.

Today some teens believe they don’t have to save their money or even be responsible for saving money since they can simply ask a parent or grandparent.  They expect their parents to afford cell phones, computers, text messages, those hundred dollar jeans and sneakers as well as having their hair and nails done at upscale salons.   We are in a society of entitlement issues!

Yes, this is as good as it gets and certainly can’t get much better for some teenagers.  What parents are not realizing is that all this giving is not helping our teens grow into responsible adults.  It is true, many parents want their children to have more than they did – or not have to struggle the way their parents did, however in reality, those struggles actually have taught life lessons.

Now, in the middle of a financial meltdown in many homes, teens are feeling the squeeze and are having a hard time giving up their tech toys, if they are being asked to.  Although this is not about depriving your children, it is about teaching accountability and responsibility during hard times. 

Asking your teenager to get a part-time job or summer job to help pay for their text messages or those highlights in their hair, is not being a bad parent.  It is about helping them to understand that learning to budget and save at a  young age can help them be better adults in their future.

Check out Teen Summer Job Sites. 

Parenting as good as it gets…. read more.