Teens, Financial Independence & Parenting

Jodi - posted on 11/17/2010 ( 11 moms have responded )

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Extending from the other thread, and also touching on the conversation on the Welcome Page....

Do you think that IF a teen (under 18) has an independent income, that you as a parent cannot still have some say over the things they are spending it on? For instance, if they pay the cell phone bill, you can no longer control its use. If they pay for a TV in their room, you can no longer control its use. They pay for the game machine (be it an XBox, iPod Touch, PSP, Nintendo DS, etc), you can no longer control its use.

I was interested that some people felt that once a 16 year old was paying their own cell phone bill, a mother could no longer apply certain controls.....how do you feel about teens, their *hard earned* money, how they use it and your parenting?

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Even if a teen is paying for a privilege, we are still parents.

What I said on the Welcome page was basically...
Allow privileges until the child proves untrustworthy. If she pays for her phone, see how she does, on her own, with no parental controls. If grades slip, attitude changes for the worse, or she uses it while driving...parental controls go back on the phone.

I believe in letting kids feel out their own way, little by little. If they start doing something harmful, it's time to pull them back in a little. I don't care who pays for the phone.

Rosie - posted on 11/18/2010

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i am in agreement with dana. i think they should be able to spend it how they like, but if they do have issues then it's time to step in and guide them into the right way.
i really don't think there would be much that i would be able to control at that age. i don't care if my children listen to music with explicit lyrics now, so the same would obviously apply when they are 16.
oh, well i did just think of one, if they bought the tv and game system i would control the amount of time they spent on it, not what they bought for it. that's really all i can think of that i would still control.

Dana - posted on 11/18/2010

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I do think children at that age should have some control, after all they're almost of age but, I think the parents should be guiding them to be responsible with each thing mentioned. If your child is running up a huge bill, it's time to step in. If they're staying up late playing a game, it's time to step in, etc...

Jenny - posted on 11/18/2010

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My house is not a democracy. I am a benevolent dictator. I do not attach money to power over situations . If you buy something fun then you have something fun to play in your down time, when allowed. If the privilage is abused, it belongs to me now.

Desiree - posted on 11/18/2010

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I have no problem with a 16 year old paying for her way that's fine. But if you live under my room my rules regardless. I agree there is part that they should have more responsibilities but seeing as she is still a minor she is still my responsibility..,I would expect the same of anyone living in my home under my roof

Jenn - posted on 11/18/2010

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I don't care who bought it, you're still living under my roof, therefore my rules still apply. As for what they can spend it on, I wouldn't tell them what they could or could not buy, as long as it wasn't something illegal or inappropriate.

Louise - posted on 11/18/2010

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Well we have dealt with this problem differently. My son bought himself an x box and was sat glued to it night and day and was ignoring his household jobs and not doing homework or study so we turned off the power to his room. We could not take the x box as we did not buy it so we would simply flip the switch which shut down the plug sockets upstairs. He soon got the message!

Stifler's - posted on 11/18/2010

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I can control it's use under certain circumstances. If they're spending ALL their money on phone bills/alcohol consumption and "forgetting" or paying board late and never have money for anything else and ask to borrow money - the phone goes and drinking is banned or they can move out. If they're not going to work because of video games/computer games the games go. If they're being used in moderation then I am not going to check their incoming calls or texts or care what games they play etc.

Cassie - posted on 11/18/2010

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Under 18, the parent is still the final say in the child's upbringing even if the child is financially independent in many ways. It is still the parents job to take care of the child even if that means monitoring or taking away things the child has paid for with his/her own money.

Becky - posted on 11/17/2010

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My house, my rules, no matter whose money it is! They may have paid for the TV in their room, but I still pay the cable bill. Well, my husband does, lol, but we're a team! If I don't like what they're watching on TV or how much they're watching, they can go ahead and keep the TV, but their cable connection will be cut off.
Bottom line, their well-being is still my responsibility. I still have a responsibility to ensure that they are receiving an education, are physically and emotionally healthy, and are well-rounded. If I feel that their cell-phone use, video gaming, TV watching, job, whatever, is interfering with their well-being, then I will take it away. Of course, I'd talk to them and try to come to a less extreme solution first, but if all else failed, whatever the offending object/activity was would be taken away/terminated.

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