Friday, July 29, 2016

Managing anger

Radio Commentary

Everybody gets angry, but you can help your child take responsibility for heading off angry outbursts.
Start by asking your child what situations seem to make him angry. He might say:
When I lose a game.
When someone says something untrue about me.
When my little brother uses my things.
When I want to do something that I can’t.
Then brainstorm alternatives with your child about how to diffuse the emotions.
Ask, for example, “If you’re losing a game and you know that can make you angry, what might you do instead?”
One technique is to help think of a few phrases your child can repeat over and over until the anger subsides, such as, “It’s only a game,” or “I can stay cool about this.”
You should also help your child practice things he can say to others to avoid a situation where he’s likely to get angry.
He might say, for example, “I have to go home now,” or “I’m too mad to talk about this right now.”
Other suggestions to help a child control anger might include listening to music, running around the yard to wear off some energy, or writing a story about the situation.
With parents’ help, most children can learn to take responsibility for managing their anger before it gets out of hand.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

No free lunch

Radio Commentary

More than two dozen “lessons for life” were outlined in a book written by Marian Wright Edelman, best known for her position as president of the Children’s Defense Fund.
Edelman wrote the book as a letter to her own children, but the wisdom that permeates it can serve as a lesson for us all.
The first lesson is quite simple: There is no free lunch. Don’t feel entitled to anything you don’t sweat and struggle for.
She writes:  “Each American adult and child must struggle to achieve, and not think for a moment that America has got it made.
Especially in the days of instant fame and celebrity through the sports and entertainment fields, it is sometimes difficult for young people to keep their lives and their goals in perspective.
Edelman reminds us that rewards are so much richer and more fulfilling if we have earned them through our own hard work.
She says we must teach our children, by example, not to wobble and jerk through life, but to take care and pride in work, and to be reliable. 
A life well lived is embodied in those who serve others, who share their successes, and who give back to those who have helped them.
Many of us know of philanthropists who have accumulated great wealth but are moved to share it in ways that benefit others. 
Those we admire most are those who do it quietly without fanfare or without need for public acknowledgment. They do it not for self-glory, but for what they see as the public good.
It’s a good value to instill in all our children.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Car safety tips

Radio Commentary

More parents are traveling these days with ever-younger children in tow. When it comes to traveling safely, there are two practices that could save a young life.
First, when traveling in a car, always secure an infant in a car seat in the back seat.
The rear of a car is a far safer place in the event of an accident. Above all, never use an infant seat in the front of a car that has a passenger-side air bag.
If the bag deploys, it can seriously injure an infant by striking the back of the safety seat.
In a case where an older car only has lap belts in the rear, or shoulder straps that cross over the neck or face of a toddler, it is still important to use a safety belt.
In fact, any belt is better than no belt. Use a booster seat for a young child who has outgrown an infant seat. This will elevate the child so that the shoulder strap crosses the chest, not the neck.
If the rear seat has no shoulder straps, buy a booster seat with a harness or a shield. These devices have saved young lives.
Second: Remember that preventive and defensive driving is always the best bet — and drivers should take special precautions when traveling with young passengers.
But sometimes unforeseeable circumstances occur, or other drivers are not exercising the same care as you are. 
At those times, it is far better to be prepared by making sure your child is adequately protected.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Work ethic

Radio Commentary

Author and child advocate Marian Wright Edelman wrote a book for her children, “The Measure of our Success,” that outlines 25 lessons for life.
In it, she states: “Don’t be afraid of hard work or of teaching your children to work. Work is dignity and caring, and the foundation for a life with meaning.”
She writes that far too many children of privilege, of the middle class, and of the poor, are growing up without a strong work ethic, and too many are growing up without work at all.
It once was a given that children would work, sometimes after school, sometimes during weekends, always during the summer.
Though the goal was to earn money, these jobs were also a way to instill a work ethic, providing meaningful use of a young person’s time.
Edelman said too many people today are obsessed with work for the sole purpose of “ensuring their ability to engage in limitless consumption.”
She adds: “An important reason much of my generation stayed out of trouble is that we had to help out at home and in the community, and did not have time — or energy — to get into trouble.”
This is not the case with many of our children today. Leisure pursuits are highly valued by young and old alike.
Recreation, sports, and entertainment have filled the space once reserved for employment. And many of the values learned in the workplace are finding no method for delivery in a society obsessed with fun and pleasure.
There is dignity in work, and it’s never too early to learn that lesson. We short-change our children if we imply that fulfillment can be gained only from activities that are fun.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer tips

Radio Commentary

During the summer and year-round, it’s good to bolster the three R’s for your children. To start, have your children keep a diary of their activities.
Also take time every day for the whole family to read. Even 10 or 15 minutes is fine. Have your children follow a favorite newspaper comic strip.
It’s also fun to have them write letters or send postcards to relatives and friends.
For math reinforcement, they can review cash register receipts, checking for accuracy when you’re unloading groceries.
You can also teach youngsters to compute gas mileage. If you hold a yard sale, allow them to make change.
You can also help children get organized. Have them start a collection of anything. It could be rocks, stamps, baseball cards, bottle caps, labels, marbles, leaves, or bugs.
Have the children arrange them in some orderly fashion by categories, by color, or alphabetically. They could even keep a written log to go along with the collection.
You can also ask youngsters to organize photos in an album by date or activity.
Or, they can save newspaper or magazine photos of favorite athletes or heroes to create a scrapbook. These ideas can add to summer fun while bolstering the 3 R’s.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Getting organized

Radio Commentary

Growing children may look and even act mature, but they will not yet have the planning skills you might wish for more often than not. They may need some help to keep their world organized.
Here are some tips to help your children build the skills they will need to keep their lives running smoothly:
Decide what is important. Your children may not need to have every aspect of their lives organized, so figure out together what activities or times cause the most stress and make sure routines are set for those.
Does the morning routine always cause stress? Plan this out carefully. Is soccer practice driving everyone crazy? Develop a plan for when the gym bags get packed.
Stick to the routine. Once you make plans, be sure to follow them as well as possible. This will help your children understand how routines can keep life running smoothly. Reinforce that connection. Say things like: “We got to practice with no problems today — your morning checklist really worked!”
Reinforce your child's successes. Acknowledge the times when children are able to stay organized, and help them problem-solve when the routine doesn't work.
Stay involved. Once your children get a handle on a routine, they will still need your support. Check in and ask how the routine is working. This will also make it easier for you to help brainstorm problems and solutions if obstacles arise. These are important life lessons.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

We must help make the killings stop

By Bill Cirone, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools

The shootings continue. The deaths continue. We hear that Americans are angry, divided, fed up. But we are all horrified by the outcome in blood. And almost everyone shares the same reaction: make the violence stop.

There are two changes we can make to help stem the killings. One involves attitude and the other involves action.

After the shootings at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, S.C., that community showed us how attitude matters. The victims’ families sought healing and reconciliation, and offered forgiveness. While others pursued bigotry, hate, and retribution, the families of Charleston chose a hopeful path. Columnist David Brooks said those families demonstrated a “depth of graciousness of spirit that is almost beyond fathoming.” 

We can all learn from their reaction and use it as a model for how to start turning the tide. Anger, shock, hatred, and belligerence following acts of horrific violence are all completely understandable, but they do not point to a helpful path forward. Uniting to make a difference together is the only way that provides hope.

And what would that path be? What are the actions we can take as a nation?

First we must acknowledge that no other modern, civilized country on earth has the gun deaths we do here in the U.S. It’s not even close. Only two countries on the planet enshrine the right to bear arms in their constitution: the U.S. and Yemen.

Capitol Journal columnist George Skelton laid out the problem recently by referring to the National Rifle Association’s mantra after every mass shooting since Sandy Hook Elementary School: “The only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.” Skelton says that nonsense was given the lie in Dallas. 

“Twelve good guys — law enforcement men and women trained to shoot — were stopped by one bad guy. Five officers were killed and seven wounded. Two civilians also were injured before the bad guy was finally stopped by a bomb-carrying robot.”

“How many good guys with guns were there trying to subdue this bad guy? Maybe 100? More?” Skelton asked.

Then he added: “The bad guy himself, like so many killers, apparently also was a good guy, until he wasn’t anymore — until he decided to shoot white cops… (He) had no known criminal record … He was formerly a U.S. Army reservist stationed in Afghanistan. Clearly not all terrorism is wrought by radical Muslims, let alone immigrants.”

Skelton’s conclusion? “The better way to have stopped this ambushing assassin would have been to deny him his guns in the first place, especially any assault rifle.”

According to the most recent polls, the vast majority of Americans — including the rank and file members of the NRA — agree. Background checks. Bans on assault weapons. Keeping guns out of the hands of terrorists. These should not be controversial measures.

The alternative, of course, is to do nothing and to accept continued mass shootings as a fact of life. But most people agree we have been through this too many times as a nation. We have to change. We have to protect our children.

When terrorists flew planes into the World Trade Center towers on 9/11, we created screenings and restricted carry-ons. Columnist Nicholas Kristof asked some years ago, why can’t we regulate guns as seriously as we do cars?

“The fundamental reason [people] are dying in massacres … is not that we have lunatics or criminals — all countries have them — but that we suffer from a political failure to regulate guns,” he wrote.

Kristof urged that we treat firearms as the center of a public health crisis that claims one life every 20 minutes. He pointed out that in school buildings nationwide, building codes govern stairways and windows. School buses have to pass safety standards, and those who drive them need to pass tests. We regulate school cafeteria food for safety.

“The only thing we seem lax about are the things most likely to kill,” he said.

“What do we make of the contrast between heroic teachers who stand up to a gunman and … politicians who won’t stand up to the NRA?” he asked.

Kristof wrote that as a lifelong gun owner, he knows that guns are fun. But so are cars, and we accept that we have to wear seat belts, use headlights at night, and fill out registration forms. Our driving backgrounds are checked when we seek a license, and we mandate air bags, child seats, and crash safety standards. We have limited licenses for young drivers and curbed the use of cell phones while driving. In doing so, we have reduced traffic fatality rates by nearly 90 percent since the 1950s.

Some argue that restrictions won’t make a difference because criminals or deranged people will always be able to get a gun. And they will. We won’t ever be able to eliminate gun deaths altogether, just like laws governing cars will never eliminate car accidents. But reducing gun deaths even by one-third would mean 10,000 lives saved each year.

Here’s another sobering statistic Kristof cites: “More Americans die in gun homicides and suicides in six months than have died in the last 25 years in every terrorist attack and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq combined.” Read that one again.

Kristof said that many of us are alive today because of sensible auto safety laws.

“If we don’t treat guns in the same serious way, some of you and some of your children will die because of our failure,” he wrote.

Some argue that ownership of cars is not enshrined in the Constitution. But neither are assault weapons. When the Second Amendment was written, the “arms” one had the right to bear were muskets that had to be reloaded after each shot.

When guns become prevalent, we become numb to their use. When did police start using deadly force so often? Is it because the populace is so much better armed as well?

Now is the time to take a stand for the safety of our children and our families. We need to initiate serious policy changes. Clearly we need to deal with mental health, with racism and bigotry, with power and financial inequalities, and all the issues that factor into our current challenges. Gun safety measures must be part of that mix. There have already been too many deaths. If we do nothing, we are to blame for the next ones. As another famous quote dictates: “If not us, who? If not now, when?”

Prediction skills

Radio Commentary

Reading skills are often enhanced through the use of prediction skills.
Good readers use prediction throughout their reading. They constantly anticipate what will happen next.
When reading with your child, find time to have the child write down what he or she thinks is going to take place.
Do this at the end of a chapter or in between the illustrations of a picture book.
Beginning readers need stories that are highly predictable. This predictability may take the form of rhyme, repetition, or patterned language.
Help children write down their prediction of the next word in a sequence.
They can then compare their choice with the one in the book. 
One good exercise is to make up short stories and have children write several endings.
You can then talk about which ending is “most predictable” or “most unbelievable” or “most inventive.” 
Experts agree: When helping your child become a strong reader, writing down predictions can be a valuable tool for improved reading skills.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

TV rules

Radio Commentary

In setting up rules about television viewing — especially over the summer — be sure to monitor what your children watch.
Encourage them to choose programs that make them think; that are free of violence and sex; and that feature characters whose values are similar to your own.
When watching TV with your children, ask questions like, “Why do you think that person did what he did?” Encourage your children to ask questions as well, and answer them honestly.
Limit overall television viewing time. During commercials, review what you just watched and ask children to predict what will happen next.
Turn off the television if you see things on it that you don’t like — but be sure to explain to your child why you are doing so. Say: “I don’t like what those people are doing because . . .”
Remember that when children are watching TV it takes them away from other activities like reading and sports. Plan games, trips to the library, and trips to parks and playgrounds to take the place of TV.
Once you’ve established a basic foundation for TV viewing, try to find new ways of using the television to teach and to have fun. Television can help teach your child geography and math, for example.
Have reference materials or a computer near the TV so additional information is available. Have your child look up new words in a dictionary, or look at an atlas to find places mentioned in a show. This way it’s fun and educational.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Teen partying

Radio Commentary

Where there are teenagers, there will be parties, and summer vacations are often a likely time for these to occur. 
If your teenager is attending a party, here are some key points to consider:
Know where your teenager will be. Get the name, address, and phone number of the host. If the party's location changes, have your teen let you know the new location.
Contact the parents of the party-giver to verify the party location, offer your help, and make sure that an adult will be present. You’ll also want to confirm that alcohol and other drugs will not be allowed.
Transportation to and from the party should also be discussed.
Let your teen know that you or a specific person can be called on for a ride home, no questions asked.
Discussing possible scenarios ahead of time gives teens a good idea about how to respond in a variety of situations.
Another important point to consider is curfew. Let your teen know when to be home. Stay up or have your teen wake you when he or she gets back. You may find it’s a good time to ask how the evening went.
Sleeping over at the location of the party may also be appropriate, but talk to your teen and the host's parents ahead of time.
Communication is essential. Build a sense of trust with your teen and you're more likely to get honest information. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Beating the heat

Radio Commentary

In the excitement of a good pickup basketball game or even a leisurely game of tag, children might not notice the temperature rising.
But as the day progresses, their bodies react to the heat, and if children aren’t careful, they could come down with heat cramps, heat exhaustion, or heat stroke.
The body’s natural control mechanisms normally adjust to the heat. But those systems could fail if exposed to high temperatures for prolonged periods.
Here are some tips for beating the heat and staying cool:
Limit most exercise or at least the most strenuous exercise to the coolest part of the day — early morning or late afternoon.
Have children wear clothing that is loose, lightweight, and light-colored. Choose clothing that draws perspiration away from the skin to keep the body cooler — cotton T-shirts and shorts, for example.
Make sure children drink plenty of water – don’t wait until they say they’re thirsty to take a drink. The thirst mechanism kicks in only after a body is too depleted. If children are exercising heavily in hot weather, aim for two to four glasses every hour.
Stay away from liquids that contain caffeine or lots of sugar — these actually cause the body to lose more fluid. Also, remember that a drink that is too cold might cause stomach cramps.
Make sure children periodically take a break in a shady area to cool down.
These are all smart, effective practices for beating the heat.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Fitness for children

Radio Commentary

Experts say that many American children may be on their way to an inactive adulthood, based on observations of how they spend their days.
That thought is a bit frightening, considering that physical inactivity is one of the primary risk factors for heart disease. 
Experts agree that coronary disease is a hereditary condition, but behaviors that begin in childhood can increase or decrease the risk of heart disease.
Here are some ways to help children get fit and stay fit, for a lifetime of healthy living:
  • First, provide a good example yourself. Children who have active parents are more likely to be active than children who do not. Plan family activities, or even after-dinner walks, several times a week. Make these activities fun for all involved.
  • Make sure children are active at home. Keep sports equipment on hand and encourage lifelong activities such as tennis, biking, or running. Children who enjoy these activities may well continue them into adulthood.
  • Unplug the TV. There’s a correlation between TV watching and low fitness rates, eating more junk food, obesity, and high cholesterol. 

Watching TV and playing computer games are passive activities usually involving no movement at all. We’ve all seen young people mesmerized by what is on the screen, often unaware that they are sitting still for so long. 
The inactivity may be more dangerous, in the long run, than any potentially objectionable material on the screen that might soon be forgotten.
So make fitness a family affair and it will have benefits that last a lifetime.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Empathy important

Radio Commentary

Understanding others begins with empathy. It is the act of putting yourself in another’s shoes.

Often teenagers can have difficulty in this area because their own problems seem to loom so large in their minds. The teenage years are the period when it is hardest to genuinely feel the emotional plight of others.

To help develop empathy, it is important to be a really good listener. When your children are speaking to you, regardless of the topic at hand, always listen to them with respect.

React to your teenager as you would to an adult friend. Make a real effort to listen as much as you talk.

When you have information to convey on an important topic, speak for half a minute or so, and then stop and let your child have a chance to react.

Accept the fact that most teens will complain sometimes. Let them air their grievances fully and completely. Try not to interrupt while they are expressing their feelings. 

Most importantly, take time to have relaxed conversations alone with each of your children on a regular basis. 

Frequent talks will help you spot difficulties before they become real problems. 

It’s important that all involved be encouraged to talk AND to listen.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Swimming safety

Radio Commentary

Children have great fun swimming in pools or at the beach. But it is important that children stay safe any time they are around water.
All children should know how to swim well enough to survive an emergency. They should always swim with a buddy who has the ability to help them if needed.
Children should stay out of the water if they are overheated or overtired. They should never dive unless they know the area well enough, and they are certain the water is deep enough.
Make sure children check with a lifeguard about beach and surf conditions before swimming in the ocean.
Tell them if they ever think they are being pulled out by a rip current, they should stay calm. Instead of fighting the current, they should swim parallel to the beach. Once they feel free of the current, they should then swim to shore.   
Finally, children should not overestimate their swimming ability. Weak swimmers should stay in the shallow end of a pool, or within an area marked off for them with buoyed lines.
In the ocean, swimming short distances parallel to the shore is safest.
Swimming can provide great exercise and fun. But it is important that children understand the dangers and stay “water safe.”

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Inexpensive toys

Radio Commentary

Parents on a budget should not worry about buying expensive toys, especially during the summer. 
Children learn just as well — and maybe even better — when they play with household items and simple toys. The trick is to see things “through a child’s eyes.”
Don’t throw away empty paper towel tubes. Four-year-olds love to look and talk through them.
A stack of discarded envelopes can be just the thing for playing “office.” And an old purse may be ideal for toting a child’s treasures.
Children love to use paint, crayons, pencils, and chalk to scribble or practice drawing. Cookie dough and clay are great for making sculptures, letters, and shapes. 
Other free or inexpensive things that children love to play and learn with include:
  • Aluminum pie tins
  • Wooden spoons
  • Balls of all sizes (except those small enough to swallow)
  • Sponges
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Blocks that stack or fit together
  • Plastic dishes
  • Old clothes for dress-up
  • And boxes galore.

Children can play with simple toys in many ways. The best part is that there’s no one right way.
Exploring different ways to play with a toy helps children be creative and solve problems. These are useful skills for school success.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Local Leaders with Bill Cirone (Col. Christopher Moss)

Colonel Christopher Moss
Commander, 30th Space Wing
Vandenberg Air Force Base

Schools of Thought with Bill Cirone (Ali Bailey)

Ali Bailey
Orcutt Children’s Art Foundation

Talking with Teachers with Bill Cirone (Lisa Maglione)

Lisa Maglione
Oak Valley Elementary School

Promoting culture of reading

Radio Commentary

What can parents do to excite their children about school and learning? A former national Teacher of the Year provided the following suggestions.
First, he said, promote a culture of reading at home. Reading is the gateway to all knowledge and is fundamental to academic excellence.
Computers are wonderful tools, but they cannot replace books. Reading stimulates the imagination and encourages creative thinking.
So read with your children. Discuss a book or an article in the car, while walking, and at the dinner table.
Turn reading into a pleasant event by taking children to libraries and bookstores once a week. 
Give them an allowance and let them choose the books they want without questioning what they’ve chosen. 
Don’t insist that they always read “educational” material. A lifelong love of reading can start with almost any book or magazine. 
Stimulate your children’s curiosity. Children need to be encouraged to ask “Why?” when they don’t understand something. Learning is a constant process, and children sometimes think this process is over once they have an answer.
They need to be taught to push for more answers. So when children ask “Why”? -- Don’t respond with a pat answer. Ask, “What do you think?  Or “Why do you think that’s so?”  Or, “I’m not sure; let’s look it up.”
The goal is to spark their curiosity so that it becomes fun to learn new information.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Local Leaders with Bill Cirone (Fran Forman)

Fran Forman
Community Action Commission

Summertime reading

Radio Commentary

Experts agree that children who read during the summer gain reading skills, while those who do not can lose some of them. 
As children’s first and most important teachers, parents have a major role to play in motivating children to read during the summer. 
Here are some tips to help keep your child learning and reading.
Combine activities with books. Summer leaves lots of time for children to enjoy fun activities such as going to the park, seeing a movie, or going to the beach. 
Why not also encourage them to read a book about the activity?
If you’re going to a baseball game, suggest your children read a book about their favorite player beforehand. In the car or over a hot dog, you’ll have lots of time to talk about the book and the game.
Visit the library. If your child doesn’t have a library card, summer is a great time to sign up. In addition to a wide selection of books to borrow, many libraries have fun, child-friendly summer reading programs.
Lead by example. Read the newspaper at breakfast, pick up a magazine at the doctor’s office, and stuff a paperback in your beach bag. 
If young people see the adults around them reading often, they will understand that literature can be a fun and important part of their summer days.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Childhood stress

Radio Commentary

Many adults think of childhood as a happy, stress-free time. However, experts in child development say that in many ways childhood is as stressful as any other age.
Young people also report that stress can make some of their days miserable. Fortunately, the following activities have been found to help stressed-out children at any age:
Help them get exercise. Learning good exercise patterns can help them release stress.
Teach them to breathe deeply and slowly. This can help them calm down if they feel themselves tightening up.
Have them get involved in an activity that is just for fun.
And, probably the most effective stress-reducer for children is for parents to reduce the stress in their own lives. Studies show that the ways parents deal with stress has a strong influence on their children’s ability to cope.
Parents can model good coping skills by keeping themselves in control at all times.
Parents should set aside time every day to do a stress-reducing activity with their children, like taking a walk, gardening together, playing cards, or cooking.
And parents can help relieve children’s stress just by listening. Children need to be able to tell someone when they are worried, scared, or angry.
These steps can go a long way toward helping children manage stress.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Developing financial literacy

By Bill Cirone, Santa Barbara County Superintendent of Schools

Jill Schlesinger, a syndicated columnist and a business analyst for CBS News, recently reminded readers that “Talking to kids about money is a great way to lay the groundwork for healthy habits.”
Citing research from Cambridge University, she observed that money habits start to form by age seven. That means that parents’ good and bad habits can be passed on to the next generation.
Dr. David Whitebread, co-author of the study, said habits of mind, including financial ones, “are largely determined in the first few years of life. Early experiences provided by parents, caregivers, and teachers ... can make a huge difference in promoting beneficial financial behavior.”
Ms. Schlesinger suggests parents visit the website, created under the auspices of the federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, for suggestions as to the kinds of conversations you should be having with your children at various ages.
For example, between the ages of three and five, the site recommends that you identify coins and their value and discuss the difference between something that is free, like playing with a friend, and an item that costs money, like an ice cream cone. You should also introduce the concept of work and the idea that you may have to wait for something you want.
When kids enter elementary school, you may choose to start paying an allowance. If you do, Ms. Schlesinger points out that most experts agree that it should not be based on household chores. Rather, it's better to choose an amount based on what you already spend on small discretionary items your child likes but doesn't need, like a toy.
Ms. Schlesinger suggests you talk about the concept of sharing money with those who are less fortunate. Like the savings habit, the concept of philanthropy and community service is best learned early.
Topics like savings and choices are also covered. Regarding savings at an early age, parents can encourage kids to save 10 percent of their allowance or any cash gifts and put it in a savings account.
Then you can explain the concept of earning interest and even consider a “matching plan” for your child's savings: You put in 25 cents for every dollar she saves.
Part of this process is helping kids understand that once you spend the money, you no longer have it. This leads to a conversation about choices. How will your child learn to allocate the money between spending, saving, and donating? encourages you to use your daily routine to help: “When you are out shopping, point out essentials such as food and clothing, and ask your child to describe items that he may want but are optional. ... Talk about how your family decides what to buy and what to pass up.”
With teenagers and young adults, you can begin the first of many conversations about debt. As soon as kids get their first job, discuss the difference between gross pay (before taxes are taken out) and net pay (the amount you take home), and as they enter high school, you can start talking about the cost of college and about whether or how much the family plans to contribute toward education.
This is all excellent counsel from a financial pro. Ms. Schlesinger offers more than advice. She is outlining a process, from kindergarten through high school, of developing financial literacy and responsibility—one that will pay dividends throughout a lifetime.