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Your Teens Money Skills
Number One Benefit to Teaching Teens Great Money Habits & Attitudes : R-E-S-P-E-C-T  
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Written by Lauren Blue Schifferdecker, MA, LPC, Life Coach

We all know adolescence is a challenging time. Why, though?  It’s the end of childhood and the beginning adulthood. As a parent, this time is critical to help your kids embrace and ultimately thrive as an adult.

It’s no secret that money is a critical part of adulthood. We can’t survive without it. How we use it greatly impacts our lives and security. In order to prepare your teen to be independent, teaching them about the responsibly of money is paramount. In order to educate your adolescent about the overall responsibility of money, one of the most important principles to teach is respect. And, here’s how.

Model Respect Yourself. Talk to your teens with respect. Use a tone of voice that you’d use when talking to a friend or colleague, not like a child. Explain how you have learned to use money wisely. Don’t be afraid to tell them if you have struggled at times and how you’ve learned from those experiences.

Give them A Salary.  A lot of jobs pay bi-monthly or monthly.  Give your child a taste of this experience and pay an allowance (you’re comfortable with) on a set schedule. If they run out of money, they will have to wait until the next pay period, just like any adult would have to do. If it’s lunch money they need, empower them to pack a lunch.

Give them a Commission. Plenty of jobs are commission based. Determine an amount you’re comfortable paying for services around your house—from picking up little brothers and sisters, making dinner, cleaning, grocery shopping to mowing the lawn or other household duties. Don’t force them to do any of the services, let them decide how much money they want to make.  Watch how fast they start volunteering! Paying for a service is a great way to help your teen respect the money they have in their pocket.

Give Some Breathing Room. Now comes the hard part, give them a chance to use their budget. That means letting go and let them make mistakes. (I must note, this assumes you don’t think your child is using the money for anything illegal or dangerous.) Remember, most of us don’t get anything right the first time. When your child makes a mistake, don’t shame them. Talk them through it. Be kind, loving and understanding; but, remain firm to your salary and commission contract. In order for your teen to really respect money, they are going to have to feel what it’s like to not have it at some point.  

Pay Taxes. Taxes are a part of life. With the salary or commission you give your kids take a small tax. You can put it in a jar somewhere for family pizza night, a rainy day or an upcoming vacation.  The principal you’re teaching is that earning money as an adult means contributing to society. It also means you have to work even harder if you want more money.  

Remember, the main reason to teach your teens about respecting money is to prepare them for adulthood. Letting go can be difficult and painful. Watching them make mistakes (especially one’s we’ve made ourselves) can be brutal. But, if they are going to learn, they will have to do it themselves. We can’t learn for them. At the end of the day, it’s better for them to practice and make mistakes at home with you, than in the real world as an adult. Be respectful, gracious, kind and firm, while supporting them during this time of learning and transition. I can tell you personally, once I was an adult I did actually thank my mom, your kids just may thank you one day. Just maybe.

Lauren is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Life Coach who loves working with teens. She has spent more than a decade combined studying psychology, counseling and participating in her own growth work. As a teen who attended counseling herself, Lauren knows firsthand what it is like to participate and how to empower adolescents in coaching. In her personal life, Lauren is a mother of two young kids, a wife of eight years, a mom-blogger and she serves her community as a Youth Commissioner for the Northbrook Village Government. 


Article published in
"WH! What's Happening Northshore!"  
September 3, 2011
Written by Lauren Blue Schifferdecker, MA, LPC, Life Coach

Top 5 Ways to Get Promoted

Promotions are exciting. That is, when it’s your promotion. When colleague’s promotions are announced, it can leave you scratching your head—or worse—feeling overlooked. Promotions are no accident. There’s an art to getting to the next level. Here are five skills to advance your title (and your paycheck).

1.) Ask for a promotion. It may sound obvious, but it’s often something people feel uncomfortable doing. Don’t wait for someone else to notice you. If there isn’t an official next level to be promoted to, create one. Be proactive. Showcase your hard work and let your supervisor know what you want. Schedule a meeting to discuss your performance, create a handout listing your accomplishments. Even if they don’t immediately give you a promotion, you’re more likely to be considered if you ask.

2.) Be Open to Feedback. Knowledge is power. If you’re supervisor doesn’t initially agree with your desire for a promotion, ask what specific goals they want to see you accomplish. Be open to hear what areas you need to develop in order to secure your new title. Then, set up a monthly meeting with your boss to demonstrate specific examples of your progress toward those goals.

3.) Think like your boss. Want to be noticed by your boss? Notice them first. Think about what would make their life easier, what would help them do their job better. What would you want if you were the boss? If you meet their needs, they’ll notice. If you’re having trouble imagining what would make your supervisor’s job easier, just ask.

4.) Do a good job for yourself. Everyone likes to be noticed and acknowledged for their achievements. This is a fundamental human need; however, it can be a set-up for failure if you’re only doing a good job to be noticed. Work hard to satisfy you first. Ask yourself if you would be proud to put your name on your work. Ironically, when you’re not working simply to get attention, people notice. They see you have ownership and care about your work.

5.) Notice your feelings. We’re all human. That means we experience basic feelings throughout the day – sad, angry, scared, happy, excited and tender. If you’re having difficulty at work, ask yourself: “What am I feeling?” When you’re in tune with your feelings, you’re more connected to yourself, which translates into increased personal power. For example, if you’re scared or nervous and recognize that feeling, you can choose to make friends with fear and dive in, instead of sabotaging yourself by procrastinating or not doing your best work.

The bottom line is that it’s up to you to get your promotion. Once you’ve made up your mind that you’re ready, don’t give up. With honest, hard work, initiative, increased self-awareness, and an open mind to receive feedback, you can succeed at work and life.

Lauren Schifferdecker M.A., LPC is a Life Coach at Blue Life Coaching LLC, based in Northbrook and Northfield. Call 847-272-3684 ext. 120, email or visit for more information