Los Angeles based teen therapist–Sandra Dupont MFT, was recently interviewed by Teen Vogue about how money affects teens and their friendships. The following are some questions and answers for parents to reflect on:
What advice would you give teens on how to deal with the recession?
Focus on who you are as a person, whom you enjoy spending time with, and things you enjoy doing. If some activities are no longer financially possible, then perhaps its time to discover the wonder of hiking and/or picnicking in nature, cooking a meal for and with your friends, creating a clothes swap (with your parent’s permission of course), renting DVD’s and having sleepovers, volunteering at an animal shelter or children’s hospital, doing art projects, starting a small business, or getting a part-time job.
How can parents teach teens to have a healthy relationship with money?
Parents can help teach teens respect for money by inviting them to present a proposed itemized spending budget for their weekly allowance. By creating discussions around why they think they need certain items, what is or isn’t financially feasible at this time, and having the teen turn in a summary of their spending, with receipts, at the end of each week before replenishing their allowance, you help teens gain an understanding of money management.
What’s at the heart of class envy?
Teens are often focused upon other’s perceptions of them. If a teen believes their self-worth is determined by material possessions, then they will feel the need to keep up appearances. Envy can arise when teens see other teens having or doing more than they feel they do.
Does money matter in the way we form friends, how we choose colleges etc?
This basically comes down to whether the teen has the freedom to move beyond cultural and familial values to seek out experiences that are in integrity with who they feel themselves to be; in friendships, colleges, partners, careers, and lifestyles.
What are some healthy ways to deal with teens that have more/less than we do?
Be very careful not assume that other’s life experience is the same as yours. Listen carefully to what they share, and follow their direction. Ask questions to learn more about what is important to them.
To read the actual Teen Vogue Article entitled “Money Talks” just click on this link.
*Note: If your teen is struggling, I can help you to discover the cause and remedy it. Help is just a phone call away! Click on the following link for more information. – Sandra Dupont–LA Teen Therapist