Kids Need Money Mentors

With the level of consumer debt skyrocketing and the cost of housing, education, and health care increasing at double digit rates, younger generations are facing unprecedented challenges to achieving economic security and financial independence.  Therefore, helping our youth to learn effective money management skills, and to adopt good financial habits and attitudes, is more important than ever.

So what can you do if you are worried about the financial future of your children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews?  The place to start is by considering the positive influence you can have in shaping their financial well-being.  Next, think about and choose specific ways that you can be a proactive Money Mentor in their lives.  Here are suggestions and resources to get you started: (more…)

Parenting as an Ally, Not an Adversary

Guest Post by Cynthia Klein, Certified Parent Educator, Coach, Speaker, Author

When I work with parents, I present an approach I call being your children’s ally. You  set limits and expectations in a manner that usually feels like you are on their side. They can still get upset when their needs are blocked. Yet ultimately, they feel your love and support.

I’m in the process of writing a book that will give you a big selection of new thoughts and phrases so you can start to be an ally rather than an adversary. Below is a skit which is a sample of what you will find in my book. The parenting approach still applies whether you have a teenager or a school-aged child. (more…)

Parenting – Learning from My Mistakes

I became a mom for the first time in 1999. Three kids and nearly 14 years later, I have used many ineffective parenting techniques. Time-outs turned out to be one of the least effective. Especially with my youngest, Sammy, time-outs turned into a real battle – a losing battle – and MOM was the loser! (more…)

Stay-At-Home Parent is a Valuable Job – Where are the Benefits?

dad-laundry-kidsDo you remember the 1983 movie “Mr. Mom,” in which Michael Keaton struggled with the role reversal of being a stay-at-home dad? Do you remember all the things he had to learn to run the household? It was hilariously funny to watch Keaton struggle to do all of the tasks that Teri Garr handled so effortlessly. Moms of the day could relate! The movie shone a spotlight on the value provided by the stay-at-home spouse and difficulty in replacing that person’s skills.

The role of the stay-at-home parent is an incredibly valuable job. Just imagine the cost of hiring someone, an outsider, to perform all the tasks required to efficiently run your household on a daily basis. One estimate of the value of the tasks performed by the stay-at-home parent, in 2009 dollars, was over $122,000. (more…)

Understanding Teen Behavior: Maturation of the Brain’s Prefrontal Cortex

pre-frontal-cortexBy Cynthia Klein

The prefrontal cortex, the part of the frontal lobes lying just behind the forehead, is often referred to as the “CEO of the brain.” This brain region is responsible for cognitive analysis and abstract thought, and the moderation of “correct” behavior in social situations. The prefrontal cortex takes in information from all of the senses and orchestrates thoughts and actions to achieve specific goals.1,2

The prefrontal cortex is one of the last regions of the brain to reach maturation. This delay may help to explain why some adolescents act the way they do. The so-called “executive functions” of the human prefrontal cortex include: (more…)