Teens & Money: To Work or Not to Work?

online-jobs-concept-1417325-mDr. Marian C. Fritzemeier, Ed.D. © 2013

Maybe you’ve asked yourself, should my teenager get a job? If and when your teenager gets a job is a controversial decision.

Many parents don’t want their young person to work and focus only on school. Others expect their teens to work and contribute to the family’s income. This has become more of a reality for many families due to the economy.

Benefits of Working

A young person working has many benefits. First, they become more financially responsible when it comes to spending “their” money. They can purchase things that are beyond the family budget, such as a car or a stereo system. Second, they can save for long-term expenses, such as college or a down payment on a car. Third, they learn how to set priorities, and manage both their money and time more effectively.

Number of Hours

A longitudinal study showed that the number of hours 10th grade and 12th grade high school students work is correlated to their grade point averages. “The determining factors seem to be the number of hours worked during a week. Students who work less than 13 hours a week in the 10th grade and less than 11 hours a week in the 12th grade perform better than students who do not work but once students exceed the number of hours per week there is a significant drop in their GPA’s compared to non-working students.” 1

Work Experience

Teens also gain valuable work experience especially if they can find work related to their interests. Many colleges ask applicants to list work experience or volunteering related to the school they’re applying to. For example, if your child wants to become a veterinarian, help them locate work with animals. If they’re headed towards a medical career, find work in a doctor’s office or hospital.

Hidden Costs

There’s a hidden cost of your son or daughter not liking their future career upon graduation. It is cost effective to insure your kids like the field they are studying. I can’t tell you how many teachers I know who earned a teaching credential, only to find out within five years of employment, they don’t really like kids. What if they found that out in advance by working in your city’s recreation department or in a children’s Sunday School class? Getting a job after a college degree and finding out they don’t like this work is extremely expensive not only financially, but in time and energy as well.

After Graduation

A final benefit of teens working is that they gain work experiences that will assist them upon college graduation. Since there’s so much competition for jobs amongst college graduates, related work experience and volunteering adds to their potential employability. Yes, there are a few disadvantages of teens working, but what they gain towards becoming a responsible adult far outweighs the cons.

Source:

  1. Quirk, Kimberly J., Timothy Z. Keith, and Jeffery T. Quirk. “Employment During High School and Student Achievement: Longitudinal Analysis of National Data.” Journal of Educational Research, 95 (2001).

Teens & Money: Who Pays for College?

accounting-calculator-and-planner-90371-m-www.whitespark.ca_College expenses are rising every year and both students and parents alike wonder how they’ll afford a college education. If you have the finances to pay for your child’s entire college expenses, please reconsider.

When Parents Pay

As a college professor I’ve witnessed the results of parents paying for their kid’s entire expenses. These students are less responsible for their education because they have no vested interest. I hear students flippantly comment, “So what if lost my textbook. Too bad I failed that class. I can just take it again. My parents will pay for…”.

Your Student’s Share

Consider allowing your student to pay for certain expenses, such as their clothing, entertainment, car payments and insurance, textbooks, course materials, or even several of these categories. It will pay off in dividends. They will become more conscientious students which ultimately results in less overall expenses. When students are vested in their education, they’re more likely to attain their goals in a timely manner.

College and Car Insurance

If your son or daughter is attending college so their car insurance is covered under your policy, within six weeks, most of them won’t be attending classes. When I meet students each semester I share, “Your parents’ car insurance won’t motivate you to arrive twice a week for an 8:00 A.M. class. You must have your own personal reasons for obtaining a college education or you’ll drop out.”

College Drop Outs

Unfortunately many young people drop out of college. A new study by Harvard University reports that, “Only 56 percent of the students who enter America’s colleges and universities graduate within six years, while only 29 percent of students who enter two-year programs complete their degrees within three years, the study found.”1

Expectations

Raising financially responsible young people is possible, but requires advanced planning. In order to train your son or daughter, you need to know what your financial expectations are for your family. Then together with your young person, you can create a financial plan that works for everyone.

Source:

1. Study: Nearly Half Of America’s College Students Drop Out Before Receiving A Degree, Travis Waldron on Mar 28, 2012, thinkprogress.org/education/2012/03. Accessed 6/10/2013.

Disturbed. Very Disturbed.

The recent school shootings came closer to home today. Too close. While I was helping in my grandchild’s second grade class, three boys started talking to me. One said, “A six-year-old boy was killed at school.”

I asked, “How do you feel about that?”

They all replied, “Scared.”

I’m disturbed.

For years, I’ve repeatedly listened to parents’ and relatives’ share stories about their children being bullied. Often the bullying has gone on for years. They report that the bullies who began bullying their children in elementary school continued bullying into junior high and even into high school.

I’m disturbed.

A high school employee shared about a recent incident on campus with a student who’s being bullied. The bully said, “Go ahead and cut yourself. No one cares about you anyways.”

I’m disturbed.

Then the adult added, “Some teachers won’t let students out of class to talk to someone about a bullying incident because ‘it’s just part of life.’”

I’m disturbed.

The only thing in common I keep hearing over many years seems to be the lack of school response. I can’t tell you how many times a parent or relative has told me about an incident(s) and said, “Nothing was done.”

I’m disturbed.

Last week when I was I Jacksonville, Florida for Youth for Christ’s Mid-Winter Conference, I shared my concerns with a mother who lives in Denver, Colorado. “I’m afraid it’s’ going to take a horrible shooting for the schools in the Modesto area to wake up.”

“It won’t make any difference. We have shootings almost every week,” she said.

I’m beyond disturbed. I’m shocked.

The CBS headline on February 14 was updated February 15th to read, “17 school shootings in 45 days — Florida massacre is one of many tragedies in 2018.”

Editor’s Note: “A previous version of this story, using data provided by Everytown for Gun Safety, said there were 18 school shootings in 2018. Everytown has since revised that number down to 17 after the Washington Post published an article disputing the group’s figures.”

I’m disturbed.

I’m not going to get into how many incidents were suicides, how many were accidents, how many resulted in no injuries, nor am I going to get into gun control. To be honest, I don’t really know what to do. But I do know how I feel.

I’m afraid for my three grandchildren.

I’m afraid for the three second grade boys.

I’m afraid for children in my community.

I’m afraid for America’s children.

Donald Trump said, “No child, teacher or anyone else should ever feel unsafe in an American school.”

And yet children, teachers and grandmas helping in classrooms feel unsafe.

I’m disturbed. I’m very disturbed.

For more disturbing information, visit https://www.cnbc.com/2018/02/14/florida-school-shooting-brings-yearly-tally-to-18-in-2018.html to learn more and view graphs of school shooting incidents since 2013.

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Image source: whitehouse.gov

Completing the Circle

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[www.freeimages.com] Teak Sato teamwork-1-1236470

By Dr. Marian Fritzemeier, Ed.D.

If you are working with Restorative Practices in Schools then you know that there are not as many resources for working with elementary children as there are for junior and senior high students. I discovered a booklet focused on 9 to 12 year olds by Professor Rick Kelly George Brown College in Canada that is available to print online.

Principles. Although Completing the Circle: Conferencing for Children at Risk was published in 2004, the principles are relevant today. Kelly’s focus is on children under age 12. What I found refreshing and unique is his perspective on how some child development theories align developmentally with Restorative Justice Conferencing (RJC).

Vygotsky. Child development theorist Lev Vygotsky believes children’s learning is enhanced when an adult provides “scaffolding” (or support) near to the child’s developmental ability. This expands their capacity which results in the child’s development being enhanced and supported.

Developmental Areas. Kelly also identifies a number of developmental areas children experience between the ages of 9 to 12. Children are beginning to not only understand their own perspective, but the perspective of others. They are learning to determine the difference between what is right and what is wrong. Additionally, they are responding to the feelings of others. They are motivated by positive expectations, encouragement from others, and reinforcement.

Foundation. These developmental concepts lay the foundation for children ages 9 to 12 to participate in a valuable strategy known as Restorative Justice Conferencing. This structured method brings together each person harmed by the student(s) who caused the harm and is typically facilitated by a school administrator. Causes of harm in an elementary school could be bullying, fighting, damage to property, cheating or stealing.

Voluntary. RJC requires voluntary participation by all those affected by a problem. The focused goal is repairing the harm. Students are held accountable for their actions and making things as right as possible.

Support Needed. Sometimes students invite a peer friend and other adults to support them. Parents/guardians often participate in this collaborative approach. Conferencing is an excellent method for engaging parents and families. Parents often see this as a way for their students to resolve problematic behaviors, face consequences, and become more assertive.

Effectiveness. “Restorative Justice Conferencing has been seen to be effective when used with a variety of different behaviors, in a variety of settings, with diverse cultural groups and with different age groups. A growing body of experiences and research is demonstrating the effective[ness] of such an approach as an early intervention with children under 12” (p. 7).

To learn more about conferencing with children under 12, please read Professor Kelly’s work.

 

Source: Completing the Circle: Conferencing for Children at Risk, Rick Kelly, Professor, Child and Youth Worker Program, Centre for Community Services and Development, George Brown College in Canada, 2004.

http://justusrestorativepractices.weebly.com/uploads/8/7/9/9/8799956/manual.pdf. Accessed May 11, 2015.

New Christmas Books for Children

Are you looking for Christmas books for your children or grandchildren that tell the real meaning of Christmas? Every year I update the Christmas Book List for my readers. This year I only found a few new books I liked.

I’ve loved cats since I was four-years-old so its no surprise I was drawn to The Stable Cat’s Christmas. This Christmas story is written from the stable cat’s perspective. A number of books feature animals sharing the birth of Jesus from their view but I particularly like this one because it’s a kitty. You can’t go wrong with that.

You can access the list of Christmas books that features the book’s cover, information about the book as well as a brief description of the book. I know you’ll enjoy the list with over 35 Christmas books for children.

You can access the list here. http://fromdiaperstodiamonds.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Childrens-Christmas-Books-Updated-Nov-30-2017.pdf

3 Children, 2 Grocery Carts, 1 Blessing

This is one of my favorite blogs that I’m re-posting for Thanksgiving.

After I helped in the grandkids’ classes, I stop at the corner Walmart. Near the eggs, I practically cause a mishap.

“I’m sorry, I almost ran into you,” I say to the preschooler sitting in the cart. His mom is between two carts; pushing one and pulling the other. “You’ve got a big load. That must be heavy. I don’t think I could manage that.”

I turn the corner and proceed down the next aisle.588172201_how-to-make-a-countdown-vimeo-com

With a full cart, I get in the check-out line. Moments later, the preschooler’s mom gets in line with two overflowing grocery carts. “How long have you been here?” I ask thinking it would take me forever to select that many groceries.

“Only about an hour. It used to take me longer. I’m by myself. My husband’s in Sacramento. Once I figured out where everything is that all three kids like it goes pretty fast.”

“Your husband being gone must be hard for you and your family.”

“It’s hard but I’ve realized how strong I am. He hasn’t seen the kids in two years. He’s going into an addiction program pretty soon. He drinks a lot.” She pauses and adds, “I don’t drink.”

I finish unloading my cart. “It’s probably difficult to understand his addiction since you don’t drink. How old are your other children?”

“Six and ten. Both girls.” She adds, “We get along okay.”

The clerk begins to check my groceries. “I’ll pray that it goes well for you. It will be great to have your family back together again.”

“We started going to our neighborhood church. It’s different from what I’m used to, but I like it. The kids love it.”

“Sounds like you’re doing the right things. Getting involved in the church, including God. I bet you can get lots of support there.”

She leaves to get something else to add to her cart. I stare aimlessly at the food she’s loaded onto the conveyer belt. I hear God’s voice in my head, “Fifty.”

“Huh?” I question.

“Fifty Dollars,” He explains.

I ask the clerk, “Where are the Walmart gift cards?”

“They’re on the end of aisle five.”

“I’ll be back,” I inform the clerk. I wonder why the gift cards aren’t at every register while I wedge myself between shopping carts and customers to locate a gift card several aisles over. There’s only one Santa card and several baby shower cards left. Santa will do.

I return to my cart. “I’d like $50.00 on the gift card.” After the clerk validates the card, I put it in the tiny envelope. I pay for my items. But before I leave the checkout, I walk a few feet back towards the mom.

As I stand next to her I quietly say, “Here’s a gift card for $50.00. Blessings to you.”

She gives me the warmest hug. “That is so kind of you.”

“Merry Christmas,” I reply.

I float out of the store with a smile on my face and warmth in my heart. I think to myself, a mom parenting three children by herself, two overflowing grocery carts, and one blessing. The blessing is all mine. Thanks Lord, for prompting me with fifty.

 

Image source: 588172201_How to make a countdown [https://vimeo.com/180050155]

 

Stealing My Joy

For four days, I had to cancel my restorative practices school site visits due to illness. Finally, I was  well enough to venture out one day last week.

As I approached the school, I realized that I was really excited about working with the new Intervention Center staff at the junior and senior highs. Tears brimmed my eyes.

The previous six weeks had been discouraging. A training day didn’t go well. There was miscommunication about expectations. Too many participants crammed into a training room. A few PowerPoint slides weren’t updated and caused some confusion. The afternoon sessions were split into two groups but the noise made it difficult to focus.

Some site team members barely participated. If I used proximity, they’d pretend they were doing something. They were so disruptive in the morning, I almost gave them the choice to participate or return to their campus. Looking back, I wish I had.

The challenges grew in my mind as I spent days at home not feeling well. Not having interactions with others further isolated me. I couldn’t remember when I felt so dejected.

As the first tear dropped on my cheek, I remembered something. I’m not going to let circumstances steal my joy. “Lord, thank you for the opportunity to become a restorative practices trainer and consultant four years ago. You knew it would be a perfect fit for my skills and values.”

I wiped several more tears from my face taking care not to smear my makeup. “Lord, thanks for using my education and experiences to work alongside K-12 educators.” 

As I grabbed my briefcase-like black purse from behind my seat, my excitement increased. With a bounce in my step and a broad smile, I entered the school office.

I enjoyed my interactions with the staff. I was energized and engaged. The two hours flew by.

When I returned to my car, I dialed my husband on the speaker phone. He knew by my voice that I’d had a good day. After the call ended, tears re-appeared. More tears of joy and gratitude. “Lord, I’m thankful You reminded me that my joy can’t be stolen by circumstances.”

Psalm 28:7

“The Lord is my strength and my shield;

my heart trusts in him,

and he helps me.

My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.”

 

Sources:

New International Version. https://www.biblegateway.com

neon-expression-joy-sign [public domain pictures]

Proud Owner of Weeds

A few weeks ago I realized something that made me happy. Cheat grass, dandelions, carpetweeds, smooth crabgrass and other unidentified weeds had invaded my grass and the flower beds. Not just a few weeds but the weeds had proliferated.

I bet the backyard doesn’t have as many weeds. It’s a smaller area and I spend more time out there. But I was wrong. It actually made me happy. Spotted spurge (photo) covered over one-third of the grass – they reseeded rapidly. They have a dark purple splotch in the center of their leaves, making them an easy week to spot. I usually pull them when they are 2 to 3 inches. But not this year. They’d branched out like spider webs.

I smile. The reason I have weeds this year is because I’m not home day after day pulling weeds. I recall the first year I was on medical leave. It was seven years ago and if I did anything at all, I’d pull weeds. I sat in the front yard for hours. Neighbors often commented, “When you finish, you can start on my yard.” I could barely put together a coherent sentence to respond. But at least I got some sun and fresh air.

This was a different year. While I’d been writing a few articles, traveling to Arizona, Idaho and Palm Springs, presenting restorative practices workshops at schools, consulting with 16 site team leaders and doing research for new workshops – the weeds grew. And they grew. And grew. I barely noticed them.

My smile turns to a grin. The weeds are thriving this year. I’m thriving too. That makes me happy.

 

Using the 4 Ws and 1 H for Adolescents’ Adventures

Summer is almost here. And with summer comes a flurry of activities. If you’re the parent of middle schoolers or high schoolers, they are constantly bombarding you with requests like these:

“Can I go to the baseball game with Manual?”

“Can I go shopping with Maria?”

Sound familiar? There’s a way to make your life simpler, be better able to answer your adolescents’ requests, and help your emerging adults become more responsible.

Transition Responsibility. When your kids are younger, you verify activity details with the other parent(s). When your children enter early adolescence, you can transition this responsibility to them.

Getting Details. We used the 4 Ws and 1 H when our daughters wanted to go somewhere with friends. This placed responsibility on them for getting the activity details so we, as parents, could make an informed decision.

The 4 Ws and 1 H. Here are some questions that your adolescent will find answers to that corresponded to their specific activity. These answers will ultimately help you answer their question, “Can I. . . ?

W1: Who else is going? Who’s supervising you?

 

W2: What will you be doing? What do you need from me?

 

W3: Where are you going? Include specifics like which lake or which park?

 

W4: When are you going? When do you need to be there? When will you be done?

 

1H: How are you getting there? How are you paying for this? How are you getting home?

 

Quick Learners. It didn’t take long for our early adolescent daughters to catch on. We wouldn’t give them an answer until we had all the details. When they asked and had incomplete information, we’d mention what we still needed. We’d say something like, “When you know which movie you’re seeing and the time, we can make a decision.”

Accountability. When you transfer responsibility to your son or daughter, you are also holding them accountable for their plans. You also know what they need from you. Don’t be surprised if your answer involves negotiations like, “How about it we take you and Jessica’s parents bring you home?”

What about you? The 4 Ws and the 1H worked well for us. How do you think it could work in your home? How could it make your life easier? What would it teach your soon-to-be adult?

 

All images from pixabay.com