Opinions from Contributors:
You must reinforce the concept that they are not entitled to do whatever they want to do and whatever they want to have.Know where they are at all times. If they say they will be at a friend's house call to check in with their parents. At this age, they are frequently exposed to drugs and other dangerous behavior on a daily basis, and it takes an incredible parental effort to pull them through high school unscathed. Remember that your role as a parent is not to be their friend. They have plenty of friends who will try to influence them in the wrong direction
Teach them about the responsibilities that they will soon be facing as they head out toward adulthood. Teach them about the kinds of scams that people will try to use to take advantage of them. Teach them about the importance of a good education, and a college degree. Teach them about the importance of following the laws of this country, and doing what is right and moral. Too many young people these days are impulsive and do not understand the consequences of their actions. A person can ruin their life in just a matter of seconds by making a foolish decision.
I think the parents of a 16 year old child should be there to guide the child through life, and that is letting them make their own mistakes. The parents cannot give up on setting and keeping the rules. Keep them as safe as you can without getting too restrictive by not letting them explore the world. That's what I needed when I was 16.
Try to give them advice on what to look for when doing things like buying a car, a house, insurance, investing for their future. Emphasize the importance of saving for their retirement. Explain the foolishness of buying the glittery things like video games, expensive clothes, cell phones, CDs and DVD, a flashy sports car. Those things don't last. Saving even just a little bit of their monthly income each paycheck, can mount up to thousands of dollars by the time that they want to hang up their working clothes and enjoy retirement. Living out your last days in a nursing home, or an efficiency apartment and trying to live off of your social security check is not a fun way to enjoy your last years. They really won't feel the reduction in spending money.
Emphasize the importance of not running up debt. Teach them that the credit card and loan companies will try to offer them all kinds of things, and try to brainwash them into feeling that they 'deserve' that expensive car, rent-to-own furniture, stereo, or computer equipment. Teach them to live within their income. Teach them to develop a budget and stick to it.
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