Becoming a parent is a life-changing experience. Suddenly you are faced with the prospect of caring for another person and unless you are a pathologically selfish individual, you will have to put the needs of your child before your own. In theory, being a parent does get easier once your kids are a bit older and less dependent on you for everything, but once your children turn into teenagers, you will be faced with a whole new set of problems.
The Cost of Parenthood
There is no doubt that raising kids is an expensive business and, unfortunately, it isn’t getting any cheaper as the years pass. Indeed, experts have recently calculated that the average cost of raising a child from birth to the age of 21 is more than £220k. A lot of this expense is attributed to education and childcare, including out of school clubs, child minders, uniform and trips, but if you send your child to private school, the bill will be even higher, and if you choose to have more than one child, it becomes truly scary.
The Cost of Teenagers
The older a child is, the more he or she is likely to cost – the most expensive years are between 18 and 21, largely as a result of parents funding further education. But even if your teenager is still at home, they are quite likely to treat you as a mobile cash point, open for business at all times of the day, the expense of which soon begins to add up, especially at Christmas.
Essential Items for Teenagers
- Games console
- Tablet computer
- Designer clothes
Most teenagers are heavily influenced by the media and are therefore very materialistic. They are continually bombarded with adverts for the latest gadgets, games consoles and designer labels and because their friends have these items, of course they want it all too, which as their parent is tough when you can’t afford to hand over cash loans every five minutes.
How to Handle Incessant Requests for Money
Handing over cash loans on a daily basis is not good for your bank account and not good for your teenager. Kids who are given everything they want end up growing up with a massive sense of entitlement, which is arguably one of the reasons why the benefits system is stretched to breaking point in the UK – why bother working for a living when you are entitled to a life living on state hand outs? So the answer to this problem is simple. Agree to a reasonable level of pocket money (if you can afford it) and stick to it. Hand over the money once per week (or month) and let your teenager learn to manage his or her own finances. It is a good life lesson and one that will pay dividends when they are older. And if they can’t manage on the pittance you give them, hopefully it will be an excellent incentive for them to enter the world of paid employment.
Teach Your Teenager a Work Ethic
Teenagers love to stay up all night at the weekend, playing computer games and chatting to their friends online. They then stay in bed until mid-afternoon before emerging for some food and (hopefully) a shower. Since this is not likely to help them find a job, make sure you start vacuuming loudly at 9AM every morning to encourage them to get up earlier. Once they are up, give them a long list of chores to do with the incentive of some extra pocket money at the end of the day. If they protest that extra pocket money isn’t enough and can they borrow some cash, tell them cash loans aren’t free so they need to go looking for job instead.
Sarah Fox is a writer who writes to support a teenager. Sarah reseaerches all her subject matter including research cash loans to help you keep your costly teens happy when they need something, providing you think they have earned it.
image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Polish_teenagers.jpg