News From Our Blog

Talk through what you do with money—your children are listening

By CFPB and FDIC

Parents tell us they want to help their children be smart about money. But they’re not always confident about how to go about it.

We’ve got a suggestion: Talk through your money choices with your child as you go. (If you already do this, great!) You don’t have to change anything that you choose to do with your money. But your kids need a window into how to think about spending, saving, borrowing and more. You can show them how you think about these important choices.

Next time you pay a bill, or buy something online, or go grocery shopping, try speaking your thoughts out loud. “Now I’m looking at our electric bill, and I’m checking to see if it’s the right amount. And I’m looking at the due date, so I know whether the payment is on time or late.” This talk helps your child start to understand how to think about transactions. Over time, your child can turn these thoughts into good habits.

Raising Non-Violent Kids

Your child’s environment – whether at home, at school or socially – can greatly influence how they may behave in the future.

FindYouthInfo.gov, a government website focused on youth issues, found that in 2012, more than 630,000 young people between the ages of 10 and 24 were admitted to the hospital due to violence-related injuries.

If you’re worried that your child is at risk for violent behavior, there are some factors that may indicate a problem.

Risk factors for violent youth

During their teen years, some kids may behave violently because of some risk factors found in their environment.

Note: Some of these risk factors may be out of your control. However, it is recommended that you keep them under consideration.

At home

From an early age, young people could be exposed to:

  • Violent behavior between parents
  • Severe punishments
  • Parents who are frequently absent or don’t pay attention to their children
  • Rejection or emotional distance from parents
  • A broken home

At school

Youth may exhibit behavioral problems such as:

  • Teasing or bullying other students
  • Skipping class
  • Exhibiting either aggressive or introverted behavior
  • Difficulty concentrating or exhibiting hyperactive behavior
  • Developing learning issues or failing classes

In society

Young people could be considered violent if they:

  • Harass or provoke kids that are their same age or younger
  • Have been arrested before age 14 for committing a crime
  • Belong to a gang or other violent group
  • Take drugs or drink alcohol
  • Have been treated for psychological or emotional issues

Tips to prevent youth violence

You can help prevent violent behavior in your child by following these recommendations:

  • Spend more time with your child and include everyone in family activities.
  • Don’t argue with your spouse in front of your child.
  • Form a bond with your son or daughter. Communicate with your children if they have any problems or issues.
  • Make respect and open communication a priority in your home.
  • Do not give out severe or violent punishment.
  • Be aware of your child’s friends, but do not be overprotective.

Resources

STRYVE is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s national initiative helping families and communities prevent youth violence.

FindYouthInfo.gov is a collaboration among 18 government agencies that supports programs and services for the prevention of youth violence.

Read this note in Spanish.

You don’t have to give children an allowance—but if you do, talk about it

By CFPB and FDIC

Giving children an allowance is a topic many parents discuss. Even within families, parents can disagree about whether it’s a good idea.

Research doesn’t conclusively prove whether or not having an allowance helps children achieve better financial well-being as adults. However, research does suggest how to make an allowance work well for your children, if you do decide to give one.

Don’t just hand over the money and leave it at that. Make it part of your conversations. Talk about what the family budget still covers. For example, you can clarify that the child’s meals with the family, school clothes, and school supplies are the family’s responsibility. The child’s own expenses, like clothes he wants to buy or apps she wants to add, should come from the allowance.

If you give the allowance weekly, check in each week and ask about what the child decided to do with the money. Did she save any of it for a future goal? What did he learn about spending, saving, or planning ahead? Does she want to make changes to how she spends money next time?

Some families decide to pay children for certain chores. If this sounds like your family, you can have similar conversations about what your child earned.

Whether to give an allowance at all is a choice each family should make. To make the most of an allowance if you choose to give one, commit to giving your child some of your own time and guidance along with it.

Back to School: Beware of Bullying

Many students across the country went back to school this week, or are going back in the very near future.

While returning to the classroom is an exciting time, it can also be challenging for some— not because of homework, but because of bullying. The devastating effects of bullying can last into adulthood, but luckily there are resources to help you recognize when your child is being bullied, or is a bully himself.

For more information, see stopbullying.gov.

Prevent Bed Bugs from Infesting Your Home

No two ways about it. This is gross. But, it can’t be ignored. Bed bugs are becoming prevalent throughout the country. Recently, three subway trains were taken out of service in New York City, because they were infested. What can you do to prevent bed bugs from coming into your home?

Bed bugs tend to be “hitchhikers,” so be sure to check your luggage and clothes before bringing them into your home after you have traveled. Change and wash your bedding often. Also, don’t bring in any second-hand furniture until it’s been thoroughly inspected.

When traveling, inspect your hotel room’s mattress and bedding upon arrival. Don’t put any luggage on the bed — place suitcases on a luggage rack. When you return home, unpack clothing directly into the washing machine for cleaning. If you can’t do wash immediately, seal your belongings in plastic bags until they can be cleaned.

Bed bugs are not harmful, but they also don’t discriminate. They can be anywhere. The most important thing you can do is be cautious, and act fast. The sooner you spot an infestation, the better. You want to deal with the problem before they have the chance to multiply.