A teenager’s life can be both fascinating and tumultuous. Fascinating because you get to see firsthand how your child or young adult grows and changes over time. Tumultuous because while some children may be fortunate enough to have a “normal” and “structured” lifestyle, many others may experience multiple school transitions, moving away from home, and developing personal interests and hobbies that don’t necessarily align with those of their parents or guardians.
For those parents whose child is now a teenager, the last few years have been a combination of fascinating and tumultuous. While your child was growing up, you may have witnessed changes in personality, interest, and behaviour patterns that were both surprising and at times challenging to manage. This article will explore some of the ways in which technology has changed the way we as parents entertain ourselves while also allowing our children to make extra money online so they can have some independence and be their own financial support.
The Rise Of The Digital Generation
When it comes to money management, there has been a fundamental shift towards digital technology and the internet. With the introduction of online banking and the spread of mobile money management apps, consumers have much easier access to their financial information and can make payments and transfers more easily. As a result, the financial industry has seen a boom in interest from people aged between 13 and 24. According to the Financial Planning Association, the interest of this group in financial planning has risen by 50% in the past five years. Many big names in tech and business have recognised the benefits of this trend and established online businesses specifically designed for teens and young adults.
Some of the biggest names in technology have set up businesses that cater to this generation. For example, Facebook owns WhatsApp and Instagram, both of which are popular platforms for users between 13 and 24. These businesses allow for easy and convenient creation of social networks for users that have more immediate access to friends and family than would typically be available through traditional social structures. In addition, YouTube creators can target this audience by creating specific channels or groups specifically for teens and young adults.
Self-expression And Independence
One of the most important aspects of a teenager’s life is their independence. Between the ages of 13 and 24, your children will make countless personal decisions that will shape their adult lives. For those aged between 13 and 17, it is extremely important that they develop their identity and separate from that of their parents. During this time, they may experience an explosion of interest in fashion, music, and other areas that can be explored through the platforms mentioned above. This exploration can result in your child developing an interest in a career that may not have been considered previously.
For those aged between 18 and 24, the decision-making process will be more formal. Your children will have to consider what college to apply for, which degree to study, and other similar decisions. At this stage in their life, they may also be setting up their own households and must consider how to manage their money responsibly.
The Changing Nature Of Parental Supervision
While many aspects of a teenager’s life will change dramatically over the next few years, the way parental supervision will change is more gradual. Instead of being physically present to monitor their every move, today’s parents need to be digitally connected to their children throughout the day. Thanks to tools like Google Alerts, parents can stay informed about what their children are up to, whether it’s schoolwork, social media activity, or any other aspect of their day-to-day life. Furthermore, many schools have implemented strategies similar to Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), which means students can use technology such as laptops and tablets both in and out of class. This allows parents to keep an eye on their children’s schoolwork and helps reduce inappropriate use of technology in other parts of their life.
Even when parents are physically present, technology allows for more effective supervision. Thanks to tools such as Skype, parents can keep in touch with their children even when they are physically distant. While some schools still prohibit internet access, due to the positive influence that technology has on learning, more and more educators are becoming receptive to the idea of allowing students to use their mobile phones and laptops both in and out of the classroom.
This flexibility allows for better engagement between the parent and child, which is important because a healthy parent-child relationship will benefit your child in numerous ways. For instance, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, adequate levels of parent-child interaction can help children develop social skills that will help them interact with other people. Furthermore, a close relationship with their parents will provide your children with security and help them establish a good financial base. A secure foundation will allow them to pursue their dreams and be their own financial support later on in life.
The Possibilities For Extra Income
If your child is now a teenager, this is a stage in their life when they can begin generating their own income. Depending on the age of your child and how much free time they have, they may decide to pursue a career in technology, marketing, or management and begin to build their finances accordingly. Many top tier business schools offer specialised Bachelor’s degrees in Finance, so if your child is interested in becoming a future CFO, this could be a route to take.
If your child has spent the last few years exploring fashion, style, and social media, they may decide to cash in on their popularity and set up a blog or other similar online platform where they can share their insights and tips with others. Thanks to the ease of set-up and the increasing number of fashion-related businesses built on platforms such as Shopify, your teenager can have their own eCommerce store in no time at all. As a result, they can work remotely and set their own schedules, which may result in more free time for them to pursue their hobbies and interests.
Many tech-savvy teenagers will decide to monetise their skills and use their extraordinary technological know-how to benefit others. If your child is now in year 11 or 12 and has developed an interest in coding or software development, they can look into specialised higher education courses that will allow them to develop their skills and gain valuable job experience. With the right qualifications and a good employer, they can gain a healthy living wage and be their own boss.
Beyond The Finances: The Influence Of Technology On Teenagers’ Lives
Beyond the finances, technology will have a massive impact on your teenager’s life, both good and bad. On the one hand, technology can be a great tool for connecting with others, gaining knowledge, and making extra money. On the other hand, it can be an instrument of manipulation and distraction, taking away time from other areas of life that could be better spent preparing for the future.
While it is important to establish boundaries and guidelines for your children’s use of technology at this age, it is also important to remember that they are still impressionable and need guidance and protection from negative influences. This influence can be easily gained through positive parenting and involvement in family life. For example, many kids’ clothing companies have designed their products with a social consciousness in mind, using materials and strategies that are both sustainable and affordable.