You can teach your teen a valuable lesson by insisting that he make a budget for his money. Included in the budget should be a regular savings plan—both for things he’d like to buy in the near future (for example, a personal digital media player) and for college or other education after high school.
If he doesn’t have a summer job, perhaps you can find ways to help him earn some money this summer. He could offer to baby-sit, for example, or do chores for an older neighbor who can’t manage by herself.
While you’re at it, have your teen make a time budget, too. It’s normal for teens to lounge around. But when they spend day after day in front of the TV, they’ll be bored at best, and possibly even depressed. Besides, kids tend to get into trouble if they have too much time on their hands.
Teens respond well to choices. If your teen seems to show no interest in getting off the couch, give her a choice of things she might do: organize the family photo albums, take neighborhood kids to the pool in the afternoon, volunteer at an animal shelter. When you give teens projects to do, you not only help them manage their time—you keep them interested in life.
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