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MomTalk.com October 22, 2017:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more


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20

Biggest Bully Apologizes


By Helice "Sparky" Bridges
Founder and CEO
Difference Makers International


"The deepest desire in the human spirit is the craving to be acknowledged."
-William James, Father of American Psychology


DID YOU KNOW?
• Children who bully are more likely to come from home situations in which there is little warmth and little positive adult attention.
• Two out of three teens are verbally or physically assaulted every year.
• A victim of bullying is twice as likely to take his or her life compared to someone who is not a victim.
-Source: Mental Health Systems, Inc. - San Diego, California


So often we hear people say, "kids are so mean today." The media is flooded with stories about bullying and cyber bullying. Front page newspapers tell the tragic stories of young people committing suicide because they were constantly bullied. In an effort to put an end to this social issue facing today's youth, Difference Makers International has begun a grassroots campaign that is helping all kids feel safe- socially, emotionally and physically.


"There are no bullies--only people who need to be loved." Helice "Sparky" Bridges


Can we make this change? You bet! In my opinion, there are no bullies-only people who need to be loved. Our work teaches young people how to eradicate bullying, avert adolescent suicide and make dreams come true through the power of acknowledgment. We are collaborating with the Mental Health Systems, Inc. Bully Prevention Training so that every teacher and student will know how to end bullying.


Our school, family and community Power of Acknowledgment Training Programs will soon be delivered to over 30,150 elementary, middle school students and high schools in San Diego with a community outreach to approximately 100,000,-creating conversations that shift the focus from what's WRONG to what is RIGHT.


Our "Who I Am Makes A Difference"® Blue Ribbon message has impacted over 30 million people worldwide and has been translated into 11 languages. The Blue Ribbon Story appears in Chicken Soup for the Soul recounting the story of a 14 year-old boy who did not commit suicide because his father honored him with a Blue Ribbon and finally told him he loved him. This story was made into a photo movie receiving over three million hits on YouTube.


Recently our school assemblies and student leadership trainings were delivered at Parsons Middle School in Redding, California and Northeast Intermediate School in Midland, Michigan with gymnasiums packed with nearly 1,000 students, teachers, parents and community leaders.


To show students how they could eradicate bullying in a minute or less, I gave them an opportunity to step to the front of the auditorium, speak into the microphone and do one of the following: 1) Publically apologize for bullying or harming anyone, 2) share their dreams and ask for support or 3) or tell someone how they make a difference and honor them with a "Who I Am Makes A Difference"® Blue Ribbon.


In an instant, students leaped out of their seats and ran down from the bleachers. One by one they stepped to the mike, said their name, and without asking were enthusiastically applauded.


"I want to honor my math teacher," one boy announced. "I always mess up in class but you just keep encouraging me." Then the boy placed a Blue Ribbon over his teacher's heart, cheered him on for his dreams and gave him a hug.


"I'd like people to stop putting me down for my weight," a girl timidly requested. The audience exploded with applause as a way of publicly saying that they were sorry.


"I want to be a football player," announced the small 5' proud 7th grader. "Outstanding," I shouted inviting everyone to cheer Mike on for his dream. They did!


"I want to apologize for bullying my little brother," said the 9th grader. "He's a really great guy and I love him." His younger brother raced down to the open arms of his big brother. They hugged and cried openly. The auditorium went silent. Later on the principal told me that the big brother was the biggest bully in the school.


"I am a bully," said the 15 year-old girl. "I want to apologize for being so mean. I don't really want to be mean, I just get so angry all the time. What I really want is to make friends and treat people nicely, but I don't know how." Everyone in the gymnasium leaped to their feet and gave her a thunderous standing ovation.


Following these assemblies, students continued to apologize, share their dreams and acknowledge their teachers and siblings. Many immediately called their parents to say there were sorry. Teachers were shocked with the kindness taking place in their classrooms and hallways. We would like to see this occur across campuses worldwide.


Together we can eradicate bullying. "IGNITE WHAT'S RIGHT"™ has exploded into a nation wide campaign. Students, parents, teachers, neighbors and clergy are inviting us to teach programs. Contact us to find out how your school (K-12), college, organization business and/or neighborhood can help all kids feel safe-socially, emotionally and physically. Contact us at: DifferenceMakersInternational.org, info@blueribbons.org or 760-753-0963.

... Continue reading Biggest Bully Apologizes.

Making Field Trips Possible Despite Budget Cuts



Education budgets are being cut nationwide, forcing schools across the country to eliminate valuable programs such as field trips. According to a recent report by the American Association of School Administrators, 11 percent of schools nationwide reported eliminating field trips in 2008-2009. This number grew to 24 percent in 2009-2010 and topped a staggering 51 percent for the 2010-2011 school year.


Many experts agree that field trips can be an integral part of a child's education, giving students real-life experience to supplement abstract classroom lessons-and parents and caregivers play an important role in creating great field trip experiences.


"Parents are vital to the success of their children's education," says Charles J. "Chuck" Saylors, National Parent-Teacher Association President. "Partnering with their child's teacher to chaperone, helping raise funds or creating trip opportunities through their personal connections in order to provide memorable learning experiences outside the classroom are just a few ways parents can have a tremendous impact."


Despite schools' limited resources, parents can suggest low-budget, high-impact field trip options that can engage students and add memorable experiences to their curriculum. Here are a few ideas:


* Colleges or Universities: Many local colleges and universities offer a rich array of field trip opportunities through performances, classroom visits and general college tours-often at a minimal cost. Not only do students get a unique learning experience, they're also exposed to what college has to offer. These visits can be especially beneficial for students who might not have previously considered attending college.


* Local Historical Societies and Sites: State and local historical societies allow students to experience history through hands-on, interactive activities. Whether it's seeing how their ancestors lived or discovering local connections to national events, these field trips take history out of the textbook and make it real. You can find information on your local historical society at http://www.aaslh.org.


* Museums: Bring art, science, pop culture or history to life with a trip to a local museum. Guided tours and special student programs help kids engage with the past and imagine the future. Find one near you at www.museumsusa.org.


* Local Businesses: Many local business owners are glad to give students a peek at what goes on behind the scenes. Local businesses can provide a unique learning experience for students with tours and hands-on experiences at a low cost. Whether it's watching how a product is made or seeing how a play gets produced, students will enjoy getting a behind the scenes look into local businesses.


Another way parents can get involved is by sharing information about the Target Field Trip Grants Program with their child's teacher or principal. The retailer launched the program in 2007 as part of its commitment to education. It is designed to promote learning opportunities outside of the classroom for students and educators across the country.


Applying for a Grant
This year, each Target store will award three Field Trip Grants valued at up to $700 to local education professionals throughout the U.S., enabling one out of every 25 schools in America to send a classroom on a field trip. The applications for this year's program will be available August 1 through September 30, 2010, and can be accessed online at Target.com/fieldtrips.



 


... Continue reading Making Field Trips Possible Despite Budget Cuts.

Summer Fun with Science


spacec.jpg


Kids love summer vacation, but parents often find it difficult to keep them engaged in productive activities. And most kids experience a summer learning slump during their time away from school. According to the National Summer Learning Association, at best, students show little or no academic growth over the summer, and at worst they lose one to three months of learning.


It's possible to give kids a fun way to keep up with learning by providing engaging books that feature hands-on activities. Three new books from DK Publishing will help kids of all ages fill their summer with science fun.


"One Million Things: Space" (July 2010). Perfect for backyard sleepovers and camping trips, this book serves up imagery and information about all things cosmic: from planets, moons, and comets, to black holes, nebulae, distant solar systems and more. Young readers won't be able to wait until sunset to start exploring. Elementary-aged kids will:
* Learn about spherical and irregular asteroids by playing a computer game.
* Find out about volcanoes in the solar system by comparing them to firecrackers.
* Explore the universe with stunning photographic galleries.




backyarda.jpg"I'm a Scientist: Backyard" (July 2010). Part of a new series for younger readers, this book introduces kids to the world of science with a wealth of outdoor experiments. With clear, step-by-step instructions, the book is full of bite-sized experiments that help children absorb science easily. Preschoolers and early elementary students will learn how to:
* Make a sun dial and tell time using the position of the sun.
* Find out a tree's age and then measure its height with just a stick and a piece of string.
* Learn about centrifugal force with a simple bucket of water.




bigideab.jpg"Big Idea Science Book" (July 2010). A comprehensive guide to key topics in science with a unique difference - an online component with 200 specially created digital assets that provide the opportunity for dynamic, hands-on, interactive learning. Older children can learn from video clips and interactive animations that take them:
* Inside plants.
* Around the human body.
* Deep below the surface of the earth.


Help kids flex their mental muscles during the summer with exciting projects and experiments that make learning fun. For more on these and other summer learning books, visit DK.com.



 


... Continue reading Summer Fun with Science.

Surviving Your Child's Adolescence


adolescence.jpg


Adolescence: "What the heck?!" (Do your kids say that all the time? Mine do.)


By Julie Burton


As I entered the parenting arena nearly 15 years ago, I began to hear all sorts of talk about colicky babies, the terrible twos, and the f-ing fours (sorry, that's what my friends called it). But I noticed that people started to clam up a bit as their kids hit the earliest stages of puberty. When I'd complain about something my toddler was doing, like wetting the bed or throwing food at the dinner table, people with older kids would respond with a little chuckle, "Oh yeah, just you wait." And that's about all they would say. But they would be grinning... in an almost evil kind of way.


Adolescence sneaks up on us and we are almost blindsided by it. It is a FORCE that takes hold of our angelic kids and throws them into an internal turmoil, and one that lasts for years. Adolescents are sweet and kind, they LOVE you; you are the BEST! And then, with a flip of a switch, they HATE you! They are NEVER going to talk to you again, they wish they had different parents, they tell you that you are doing everything wrong, you have no idea how to parent, you DO NOT UNDERSTAND them and that if only you would listen to them, then things would go smoothly. And for a split second you think that maybe they are right. You question yourself as a parent and as a person, "What have I done?!" You wonder if you are indeed qualified for this job. You know you are supposed to remain strong but you feel very, very weak--almost overpowered--but you can't let them see that. You cannot show any signs of vulnerability or wavering because you know what they do with that! They POUNCE!!! And your son is on you once again, explaining with incredible articulation that if he doesn't get to go to the concert that ALL his friends are going to without an adult chaperone, his life will surely fall apart. He will miss the most important event of his life and will NEVER be invited to another social gathering throughout junior AND senior high. His friends will tease him that his parents are over-protective and they will NEVER want to come over to his house to hang out so he just might as well just quit school because he is not going to have any friends! And P.S., IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!!!


It is a very strange time, adolescence. It is a time filled with internal contradictions: A time of independence and neediness; growth and insecurity; confidence and fear; socialization and loneliness. It seems as though you almost have to be a mental health professional to understand how to guide your kids through this time. But do you? Are there some basic presiding principles for parents that can help us to not only survive our kids' adolescence but to actually do some good during it? I am not a professional. I have four kids from the ages of 14 down to 4, and most of the time, I am learning as I go (don't tell my kids). So, I will share some things that I have learned over the years, and then will hand you over to a real professional who will share her insights and tips on raising adolescents by having a better understanding of them and what they are going through.


1) Don't be afraid to say no. Setting limits and sticking to them is crucial to getting your kids to understand and respect boundaries.
2) Know your kids' friends. Know their cell phone numbers. Look at their Facebook pages (as well as your own kid's, of course!) Attempt to know the parents of your kids' friends. And communicate with them. It takes a village to keep adolescents on the straight and narrow.
3) Communicate with your adolescent's advisor or teacher/s. Find out how she is doing is school (not just academically).
4) Take every opportunity to talk with your child. Ask questions. Listen. Remember. Check in. And keep doing this. And when they don't want to talk, come back later and try again, and again, and again. Do NOT give up on keeping the lines of communications open.
5) Remember to be the parent, not the buddy. They have buddies. They need parents to lead, guide, and advise them (even though they would never admit that). Not that you shouldn't have fun with them--au contraire, have a blast! But first and foremost, be a parent, not a playmate.
6) Stay cool when they "freak out." They need the comfort of seeing you stay calm when they are feeling out of control. A parent and adolescent both "freaking out" simultaneously... NOT a good thing (trust me, I've been there).
7) Show them love as much as possible. Even when they are "hating" you, they still need you to love them. And sometimes love comes in the form of tough love: "You can go to the concert with your friends under one condition; I will be sitting in the row behind you."


So, there's my stab at pretending like I know something about parenting adolescents. Who knows, maybe by the time my 4-year-old gets to be 14, I will look back on this advice and have a good laugh. But with a 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, I am certainly in the throws of trying to figure things out in the adolescent arena (and yes, still dealing with the f-ing 4s as well...and then there's my 7-year-old who will soon start to sneak toward the big A just as the older ones, please g-d, are through it!). Thank goodness for professionals, right?! So, here is Katy McCormick Pearson who has worked with adolescents for the past 20 years as a special education teacher, Outward Bound Instructor, and currently as the middle school counselor at the Breck School in Golden Valley. Katy is also the mother of two emerging female adolescents:


Adolescence can be an exciting, turbulent, time for both parents and the adolescents themselves. An adolescent person experiences changes in physical development at the rate of speed unparalleled since infancy. An adolescent's brain is not fully developed until a person is about 20-25 years old. The connections between neurons affecting the emotional and physical development are incomplete at this stage. Many adolescents have difficulty controlling emotions, impulses and judgment due to this incomplete yet ongoing brain development.


The upside of the adolescent brain is that teens are able to engage in more logical thinking. They can handle more options and possibilities in this stage of development and, therefore, can begin to grapple with abstract concepts such as faith, trust and beliefs. Many teens become activists during this stage in life and appreciate being taken seriously. They can be quick to see discrepancies with adult's words and actions. There is a strong sense of a need for justice at these ages. Adults can help by including adolescents in developing rules and consequences for themselves. It is important to provide structure for adolescents especially since their judgment/impulse control is not quite effective and many have a false sense of being invincible when in the throws of adolescence.


The main task of an adolescent is to establish their identity. They are in a phase of life between childhood and adulthood. They are starting to develop autonomy within relationships, establishing their sexual identity and learning how to further interact with intimacy in all of their relationships. An adolescent's body is often awkward as different parts align together. Many adolescents are self-conscious and a bit "me-centered."


Parents can help by encouraging healthy eating habits, exercise, and allowing time for those growing bodies to have a good night's rest. Don't criticize or compare your adolescent to others. Patience and understanding is key when living and loving an adolescent. Parents will need to be "the bigger person" and not take many interactions with their son/daughter too personally.


Remember that adolescence is a stage. Enjoy the journey together. Adolescence is a rite of passage and you are the guide.

... Continue reading Surviving Your Child's Adolescence.

FrugalMoms Guide to Kid's Sports Equipment


sportsequip.jpg


by Angela Heidt


We all want our kids to be involved in sports activities, as we know that doing so will keep them healthy, happy, and out of trouble. The problem is that all this involvement costs money. Depending on the sport it can run you a few hundred dollars or more every year for the equipment for just one sport, let alone the two or three different activities that most kids want to get into. Even sports that are done through school usually require that you pay for the equipment.


The trick is finding a way to balance your child's sports and your budget. Luckily, there are many ways that you can save money buying sports equipment. If you really want new equipment then the best thing to do is to pick up next year's pads, helmets and footwear at the end of the season when they are on sale. Otherwise, there are many options for picking up second-hand gear:


EBay

When it's time to pick up new gear you can find a large variety of new and used sports equipment online. The downside is that due to the size of most sports equipment you may find the shipping costs negate any savings you get. However, if you can find sellers in your area you may be able to arrange to pick up the items instead of paying for shipping.


Classifieds

Many parents can get great deals on sports equipment by combing through local and online classified ads. Since sports seasons tend to be quite short, most equipment is in near new condition and can be picked up for half-price or less. You can even lessen the sting of buying equipment by putting your own items up for sale.


Sports Swaps

Many communities have embraced the concept of sports swaps, where you drop off your sports equipment for sale and pick up whatever you need, at great prices. If you don't live in a larger city that has sports swaps, see if there are any within a few hour drive. The savings will make it worth it.


Friends and Family

Odds are that somewhere within your circle of friends and family members there is a boy or girl who is a bit older than you kids and plays the same sports. See if they are willing to pass on their used sports equipment, for free or cheap.


Consignment Stores

There are many places that will take your used sports equipment and resell it on consignment, or even buy it outright. Likewise these shops are a great place to find bargains on any kind of sports equipment - from soccer to hockey and even a great set of golf clubs.


From sports equipment, bikes and even musical instruments there are many ways that you can get what you need without breaking the bank. With a little luck and some searching your kids can get into the sports and activities that they like, and you can relax knowing that they are staying active.

... Continue reading FrugalMoms Guide to Kid's Sports Equipment.

Surviving Your Child's Adolescence


adolescence.jpg


Adolescence: "What the heck?!" (Do your kids say that all the time? Mine do.)


By Julie Burton


As I entered the parenting arena nearly 15 years ago, I began to hear all sorts of talk about colicky babies, the terrible twos, and the f-ing fours (sorry, that's what my friends called it). But I noticed that people started to clam up a bit as their kids hit the earliest stages of puberty. When I'd complain about something my toddler was doing, like wetting the bed or throwing food at the dinner table, people with older kids would respond with a little chuckle, "Oh yeah, just you wait." And that's about all they would say. But they would be grinning... in an almost evil kind of way.


Adolescence sneaks up on us and we are almost blindsided by it. It is a FORCE that takes hold of our angelic kids and throws them into an internal turmoil, and one that lasts for years. Adolescents are sweet and kind, they LOVE you; you are the BEST! And then, with a flip of a switch, they HATE you! They are NEVER going to talk to you again, they wish they had different parents, they tell you that you are doing everything wrong, you have no idea how to parent, you DO NOT UNDERSTAND them and that if only you would listen to them, then things would go smoothly. And for a split second you think that maybe they are right. You question yourself as a parent and as a person, "What have I done?!" You wonder if you are indeed qualified for this job. You know you are supposed to remain strong but you feel very, very weak--almost overpowered--but you can't let them see that. You cannot show any signs of vulnerability or wavering because you know what they do with that! They POUNCE!!! And your son is on you once again, explaining with incredible articulation that if he doesn't get to go to the concert that ALL his friends are going to without an adult chaperone, his life will surely fall apart. He will miss the most important event of his life and will NEVER be invited to another social gathering throughout junior AND senior high. His friends will tease him that his parents are over-protective and they will NEVER want to come over to his house to hang out so he just might as well just quit school because he is not going to have any friends! And P.S., IT'S ALL YOUR FAULT!!!


It is a very strange time, adolescence. It is a time filled with internal contradictions: A time of independence and neediness; growth and insecurity; confidence and fear; socialization and loneliness. It seems as though you almost have to be a mental health professional to understand how to guide your kids through this time. But do you? Are there some basic presiding principles for parents that can help us to not only survive our kids' adolescence but to actually do some good during it? I am not a professional. I have four kids from the ages of 14 down to 4, and most of the time, I am learning as I go (don't tell my kids). So, I will share some things that I have learned over the years, and then will hand you over to a real professional who will share her insights and tips on raising adolescents by having a better understanding of them and what they are going through.


1) Don't be afraid to say no. Setting limits and sticking to them is crucial to getting your kids to understand and respect boundaries.
2) Know your kids' friends. Know their cell phone numbers. Look at their Facebook pages (as well as your own kid's, of course!) Attempt to know the parents of your kids' friends. And communicate with them. It takes a village to keep adolescents on the straight and narrow.
3) Communicate with your adolescent's advisor or teacher/s. Find out how she is doing is school (not just academically).
4) Take every opportunity to talk with your child. Ask questions. Listen. Remember. Check in. And keep doing this. And when they don't want to talk, come back later and try again, and again, and again. Do NOT give up on keeping the lines of communications open.
5) Remember to be the parent, not the buddy. They have buddies. They need parents to lead, guide, and advise them (even though they would never admit that). Not that you shouldn't have fun with them--au contraire, have a blast! But first and foremost, be a parent, not a playmate.
6) Stay cool when they "freak out." They need the comfort of seeing you stay calm when they are feeling out of control. A parent and adolescent both "freaking out" simultaneously... NOT a good thing (trust me, I've been there).
7) Show them love as much as possible. Even when they are "hating" you, they still need you to love them. And sometimes love comes in the form of tough love: "You can go to the concert with your friends under one condition; I will be sitting in the row behind you."


So, there's my stab at pretending like I know something about parenting adolescents. Who knows, maybe by the time my 4-year-old gets to be 14, I will look back on this advice and have a good laugh. But with a 14-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy, I am certainly in the throws of trying to figure things out in the adolescent arena (and yes, still dealing with the f-ing 4s as well...and then there's my 7-year-old who will soon start to sneak toward the big A just as the older ones, please g-d, are through it!). Thank goodness for professionals, right?! So, here is Katy McCormick Pearson who has worked with adolescents for the past 20 years as a special education teacher, Outward Bound Instructor, and currently as the middle school counselor at the Breck School in Golden Valley. Katy is also the mother of two emerging female adolescents:


Adolescence can be an exciting, turbulent, time for both parents and the adolescents themselves. An adolescent person experiences changes in physical development at the rate of speed unparalleled since infancy. An adolescent's brain is not fully developed until a person is about 20-25 years old. The connections between neurons affecting the emotional and physical development are incomplete at this stage. Many adolescents have difficulty controlling emotions, impulses and judgment due to this incomplete yet ongoing brain development.


The upside of the adolescent brain is that teens are able to engage in more logical thinking. They can handle more options and possibilities in this stage of development and, therefore, can begin to grapple with abstract concepts such as faith, trust and beliefs. Many teens become activists during this stage in life and appreciate being taken seriously. They can be quick to see discrepancies with adult's words and actions. There is a strong sense of a need for justice at these ages. Adults can help by including adolescents in developing rules and consequences for themselves. It is important to provide structure for adolescents especially since their judgment/impulse control is not quite effective and many have a false sense of being invincible when in the throws of adolescence.


The main task of an adolescent is to establish their identity. They are in a phase of life between childhood and adulthood. They are starting to develop autonomy within relationships, establishing their sexual identity and learning how to further interact with intimacy in all of their relationships. An adolescent's body is often awkward as different parts align together. Many adolescents are self-conscious and a bit "me-centered."


Parents can help by encouraging healthy eating habits, exercise, and allowing time for those growing bodies to have a good night's rest. Don't criticize or compare your adolescent to others. Patience and understanding is key when living and loving an adolescent. Parents will need to be "the bigger person" and not take many interactions with their son/daughter too personally.


Remember that adolescence is a stage. Enjoy the journey together. Adolescence is a rite of passage and you are the guide.

... Continue reading Surviving Your Child's Adolescence.

Kids and Summer Jobs



by Katriena Knights



It's a question every parent will face eventually--should I let my child take on a summer job? Whether it's dog walking, house-sitting, or a formal job at the local grocery, there are many issues to consider before giving the go-ahead.




When kids start talking about summer jobs, too often their focus is on the money they can earn and how they can spend it. They spend much less time considering the logistics of the job itself and the responsibility that comes along with taking on this kind of activity. As a parent, you can help them through the planning stages and give them an idea of what they can realistically take on.




For the pre-teen or early teen set, intermittent jobs present a good opportunity to ease into the idea of having a regular job. Doing yard work for the neighbors, weeding gardens, walking dogs, or tending pets while neighbors are on vacation are all jobs a pre-teen or teen should be able to take on with minimal help from parents. Older kids could also tackle mowing, babysitting, or house sitting.




Money-making "events" can be fun, too, like garage sales, bake sales, a car wash, or the classic lemonade stand. These have the added advantage of offering opportunities for the younger set to help out. Have the older kids do the planning and setup, and give them a chance to supervise the younger ones--fairly, of course. Indentured servitude of younger siblings at the lemonade stand should be frowned upon.




Aside from all these traditional options, your teen might be interested in taking advantage of today's advancing technology. Some teens have found a chance to make useful spending money by coding websites for their friends. Others have marketed products online through eBay or their own dedicated websites. Some of these motivated and creative teens have gone far beyond just making pocket money and have literally become millionaires. While there's no guarantee your child will become the next Internet sensation, making him aware of the possibilities of having his or her own business could prove an important part of his education. This kind of endeavor could go beyond just a summer job, as well, and become a year-round activity.




For older teens, the lure of a "real" job starts to beckon, especially once they've achieved the Holy Grail of a driver's license. Local businesses might be in need of summer help, or check with employment agencies in your area for information about businesses or organizations that might be looking specifically for younger employees. For example, local summer camps might be in need of counselors or other staff.




Whatever your teen decides to do, be sure to consider the following before committing to a job or project:
• Is your teen legally old enough to work for a local company?
• Do you feel your teen is responsible enough to take on a job or project?
• If your child isn't old enough to drive, are you willing/able to shuttle her back and forth to work?
• If your child reneges on promised chores, are you willing/able to fulfill his obligations?
• What will be the consequences if your child doesn't fulfill her promises?



Sitting down with your teen and discussing these issues before committing to a job will go a long way toward impressing upon him the seriousness of the endeavor he's decided to take on. Also, if you discuss various contingency plans ahead of time, you'll be able to respond quickly and fairly in case your child becomes ill and can't do the job she's promised, or simply proves unwilling or irresponsible.




Whatever conclusions you come to about your teen's pursuit of employment, the idea offers many opportunities to educate your child about how the real world of work functions, and to give him or her a good idea about what life is like after school. Responsibility, financial management, a work ethic--all of these can be important lessons learned through a summer job.


... Continue reading Kids and Summer Jobs.