Tag Archives: teens

Charlotte Parent: Explanations Are In Order

Bedtime battles are a fact of life.

You’d think, as the young dudes and dudettes grow up, they’d stop fighting sleep so constantly. You’d be wrong.

Sure, tweens and teens are more likely to sleep through noon if left alone, but the odds are they also stayed up until dawn. So it’s not like they’re getting a lot of sleep, only timeshifting their rack time.

As much as we parents tell the young ‘uns they need more sleep, they just don’t listen.

But you might be doing about it the wrong way.

Today, over at Charlotte Parent, I’ll be talking about the thought that just telling your kids to go to bed NOW might not be the best way to make sure they get enough sleep. As usual, I’ll be blogging under our Stay-At-Home Dudes column name.

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Money-Grubbing Moochers


Money. Money. Money. Money. Money. Money.

There. I said it. Money. Like sex, money is something parents need to keep talking about with their little dudes and dudettes.

For something so many dudes and dudettes stress out about so much, money is an interestingly semi-taboo subject. Does anyone feel comfortable discussing how much you paid for a high-ticket item with, for instance, your neighbor? Like telling her how much you spent on that landscaping?

Do you want to try and justify the sparkling upgrades you paid for on your new phone with your dad?

Heck, many companies will do just about anything to prevent employees from knowing how much the other people with whom they work are actually making every other week. Although, I’m sure that’s less out of the taboo nature of money and more because the company doesn’t want someone to compare paychecks and realize they’re being appallingly shortchanged by working for the company.

Still, despite the uncomfortable nature of discussions of wealth or the lack thereof, it’s something we as parents need to talk to our young dudes and little dudettes about early and often.

When they little dudes are babies (and shouldn’t you be out purchasing another copy of A Dude’s Guide to Babies right about now ?It’s the perfect Christmas present for the new dad or dad-to-be. Go buy it. Now.*) there’s not much call for them to understand about money.

However, as they start growing older and understanding that there are different ways with which they can interact with the world, knowing what money is, where it comes from and how it works becomes more and more important.

When the little dudettes are toddlers, they think they know all about how the world works. Ask mom or dad for that thing you want and, in the fullness of time, it shall be given to you. From this perspective, Mom and Dad pretty much own everything in the world and it’s only a matter of asking for them to give it to the little dude at the right time.

Which can be, frankly, a pretty dangerous perspective to have.

And that makes the fact that they pretty much keep thinking this sort of thing straight through to their middle teens a horrifying proposition. Of course, they can be trained to forget this mistaken impression, but it’s going to be tough and it mostly involves a lot of tears and runny noses. Sometimes the little dude will tear up a bit as well.

Seriously, one of the best ways to teach your young dudette the power of money is to say — early, often and loud — no to requests for, well, just about anything. Don’t make the mistake I might have done and say to the kid, “I’ll give you this, but, in return, you need to do that.”

Go with that sort of logic and you’ll soon have a child with an armful of this, but be waiting forever for that to get done. Young dudes need to start working just like the world does (or should). That is, if they want something, they have to pay for it (be it through actual money or through sweat equity) before they can get it.

Whether or not the child gets an allowance is something parents need to work out for themselves. Included in the discussion is whether the young dude gets an allowance no matter what, or if money is earned from chores done, or if there is a baseline allowance and they can earn extra bucks with more chores. That sort of thing.

If the young dudes don’t feel the occasional pinch of poverty, they’re going to grow up with some severely whacked ideas about how money works. And, considering how easily almost anyone can get a credit card these days, that can be a very dangerous thing, indeed.

Money talk: important.

We’ll talk more tomorrow on a specific aspect of that discussion, namely what to say when your kid asks you how much money you have.



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It Can Wait. Or Else.

More American teens die from the result of texting than drinking.

Serious as a heart attack here, dudes. It’s not drinking and driving that is taking out our teens (although it is doing its share, no question), but, rather, it’s texting and driving.

Chilling new research from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New York suggests that texting while driving has become the number one cause of death amongst teenagers behind the wheel, surpassing drunk driving for the first time.

An estimated 3,000 teenagers die each year due to sending and receiving text messages while driving, as compared to the 2,800 who died due to drunk driving. Another 300,000 teenagers were injured via texting – a number again higher than the 282,000 injured due to intoxicated drivers.

This is bad, dudes. Appallingly bad.

I mean, really. Just how important is it to know that your friend laughed. Or knows which is the 11th letter of the alphabet.

To sound just like the advertising campaign started by AT&T and now endorsed by the four major cellphone carrier companies, It can wait!

Seriously. We as parents need to drill this into the heads our our teenaged drivers and, more importantly, the young dudes and dudettes who aren’t drivers yet, but will be soon.

The best way to teach these impressionable minds not to text and drive is by making sure you — VISIBLY — don’t mess with your phone when you drive. Talk to them. Lecture them. Show them newspaper articles or vids from the nets. . . Whatever it takes.

Texting is not worth someone’s life. It’s not worth my son’s life. It’s not worth your life. My wife. Anyone. It’s just a text. Heck, if it’s that important, pull over and stop before taking the text. If it’s that important, you’ll want to give it your full attention.

And, you know, it’s not just teenagers who are being stupid behind the wheel. I mean, it’s not like they have a monopoly on the practice, even though it might seem that way sometimes.

The researchers involved in the study suggest that the problem isn’t that texting behind the wheel is more dangerous than driving under the influence. The problem is that teenagers text far more often than they drink, especially while driving. Having more opportunities for accidents results in, predictably, more accidents.

Though the survey only took a look at the driving habits of teenagers, it would be safe to assume that texting while driving is just as dangerous to adults. A recent study by AT&T showed that nearly half of all adults text while driving– a rate even higher than amongst teens.

Do yourself a favor. Heck, do me a favor. Stay off the phone when you’re behind the wheel. Show your young dudes the right thing to do.

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