Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, August 27, 1994, Image 45

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by Rebecca Escott
Penn State
Extension Home Economist
For Lehigh County
Encouraging Responsible
Money Handling
As teens head back to school
and off to college, now’s a great
time to talk with them about im
proving the ways they manage
money. Spending money for
books, food, gasoline, football
tickets and other living expenses
can quickly eat up summer sav
ings. Parents can help prepare
their children for this and set some
ground rules about the support
they will provide.
This is especially important if
you have a teen who is consider
ing buying a car or if your child
has been hounding you saying the
spending allowance you provide
for each semester is “just not
enough to live on.” I learned my
best lesson about money manage
ment one semester when a profes
sor required all her students to
keep a running tally of the every
day expenses they incurred. I
learned more from that experience
than from many other technical
budgeting and investment lessons.
1 challenge you to do a similar
exercise. I also recommend that
you reward any teen who agrees to
do the same thing for at least one
month. What might they learn? “I
didn’t realize how much I spend
on a date!” “Wow! I spend a lot of
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money eating out" “The prices for
my books this semester are much
higher than last year.” “It’s cheap
er to do my laundry at a laundro
mat than in the dorms.” “Jennifer
borrows money from me every
week and doesn’t repay it”
“Effective money management
is a disciplined behavior. It is a
difficult concept to master, and
one that is easier when learned
early in life,” according to the ex
perts at the College for Financial
Planning. Author Dorothy Rich
explains that self-discipline goes
hand in hand with being responsi
ble. If parents find themselves do
ing things like turning in kids' li
brary books, feeding their pets,
watering their plants, finishing
their homework, it’s time to stop.
According to Rich, a parent’s
“urge is to protect, perhaps even to
ovcrprotect. At times we become
responsible for our children, often
to protect them from unpleasant
But fora teen, experiencing real
consequences is critical. The Col
lege for Financial Planning sug
gests that teens need to leant a
core group of lessons about re
sponsible money management.
They include:
• determining the differences
between needs and wants. (Needs
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gL Societies f
are necessary for survival. Wants
make our survival more comfort
• writing clear, realistic goals.
• developing die habit of regu
larly saving.
• recognizing that getting into
debt is much easier than getting
out of debt.
Rich explains that children be
come responsible through an “ac
cumulation jtf experiences.” So
start now. PRIOR to making an
expensive purchase or before your
teen spends a chunk of hard-earn
ed money, talk out how much time
and money the routine mainten
ance will cost. Discuss what you
will do (if anything) and what
your teen will be responsible for.
Also outline the consequences of
breaking that responsibility (just
in case anyone wants to change his
or her mind). Write down these
decisions and post them.
These lessons don’t come easi
ly. Rich reminds all of us that,
“All the lectures in the world will
do no good if children see that it’s
just ’talk.’ It’s hard, if not impos
sible, to hold children to certain
rules when parents brag about
breaking laws. It’s hard also when
parents seem too good to be true.
Have we never beat tempted to do
anything wrong? It can help when
we tell about a temptation and
how we handled it”
As the school year begins, pro
vide your teens with opportunities
to develop responsible money
management skills.
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lor mart Information
York County Group 26 met at
Beshore’s pavilion for the groups
annual picnic. Athena Beshore
was hostess and Martha Yost was
in charge of the program.
Sixteen members were present.
Leah and Jessie Beshore pro
vided entertainment for the group.
Help Your Child
Get Ready For School
approach of a new school year can
be an exciting, unnerving, even an
intimidating experience for chil
dren especially those who are
entering kindergarten or first
grade. Although many children
have already been cared for out
side their home in day-care cen
ters. play groups and nursery
schools, entering a “real” school is
still a major event in their lives.
“Preschools and day-care cent
ers generally are geared to give
children at least some of the indi
vidualized, personal care they re
ceive at home,” says Dr. Billie
Frazier, a human development
specialist with the Cooperative
Extension Service-University of
Maryland at College Park.
“Kindergarten, on the other hand,
is part of an institution designed to
help children meet the require
ments of society.”
Although a happy preschool ex
perience may promise a comfort
able transition into grade school, it
isn’t a guarantee. To help children
move smoothly from home or a
day-care center to school. Dr. Fra
zier offers the following advice:
• Don’t make school a topic of
daily conversation during the last
weeks of summer, but be willing
to honestly answer your child’s
Lancaster Farming, Saturday, August 27, 1994-85
York Society 26
The groups By-Laws were read.
Group 26 will entertain Group
25 at Dover Family Restaurant in
Tickets were handed out to the
members for the raffle prizes to be
chanced off at the November
County convention.
• Treat going to school as part
of the normal course of events,
something that is expected. Ex
plain to your child that everyone
has a job; your job is going to
work every day, his or her job is
going to school.
• Don’t allow older children to
frighten or tease younger children
with tales of how awful school is.
• If you work, try to make spe
cial arrangements that allow you
to be home the fust day or two
when your child returns from
school. If this isn’t possible, find
other ways to give a little extra at
tention, such as calling your child
at home after school or making
plans to do something together
when you get home.
• Make sure your child under
stands any transpoitatioin plans
and arrangements for before- and/
or after-school care if you work.
• Let your child know what you
will be doing while he or she is at
school. Mentioning concrete
tasks, such as laundry, vacuum
ing, writing a report or going to a
meeting, can be very reassuring to
• Plan ahead for any changes to
daily schedules, adjusting meals
and bedtimes as necessary; imple
ment the new schedule before
school starts to give you and your
child time to get used to it
Ullnola only, call
• Make arrangements
to visit your child’s
teacher and classroom
with your child before
school starts so that he
or she will know where
to go.
• Plan to attend meet
ings and social events
for teachers and parents.
Get involved in your
child’s education.
Despite the best plan
ning and reassurances,
there is always the
chance that your child
may balk when it’s time
to go to school. “That’s
when you have to grit
your teeth, control your
protective instincts and
push,” says Frazier.
“Usually, the hardest
part is the actual mo
ment of separation.
Most children recover
quite quickly after that.”
By being supportive,
interested and patient,
she adds, parents can
help children overcome
their initial fear or un
easiness within a few
days. As youngsters be
come comfortable in
their new surroundings,
develop trust in their
teachers, make friends
and discover that some
fun and interesting
things happen in school,
they’ll look forward to
going to school and for
get they were ever