It’s getting harder to raise children in a highly mobile, digital, fast-paced society. While there are no magic formulas to solve all the potential problems and minimize challenges, there are several techniques that dads and moms use to make sure their youngsters are safe, well-educated, healthy, and happy. The bottom line is that you can raise a family in the 2020s without losing your sanity or serenity. Millions do it every day. Consider the following suggestions for navigating the modern era’s parental tasks.
You Really Can Protect Youngsters in the Digital Universe
It takes a little doing, but a few effective cyber fences can keep your younger kids safe while using connected devices in any room of the house. Still, it’s wise to have regular chats with grade schoolers about safety on the phone and in chat rooms. Explain, in general terms, the potential dangers of interacting with people they have never met. Have them inform you if anyone asks them for sensitive information or wants to meet outside the home for any reason. Predators imitate children and ply the forums and chat groups pre-teens and other youngsters frequented. Down the line, this will help self-image because your children will know from a young age that their worth and value are not to be determined by an online presence.
Equity Can Pay For College
If you want to help your son or daughter pay for a college education, use a HELOC (home equity line of credit). The arrangement can be an ideal financial solution for parents who have built up equity in their property. The line of credit comes with a flexible spending limit, low-interest rates, and commonsense terms. Even when kids utilize federally subsidized loan programs, they can reach the caps rather quickly, depending on the total cost of attending the school of their choice. Once that option is exhausted, many families take advantage of their home equity via a HELOC and use the cash to cover some or all of a college education.
It’s Easier Than Ever to Work From Home
Two decades ago, it was nearly impossible for working parents to remain at home and earn a full-time income. Today, thanks to the internet’s universal reach, just about anyone can have a career without leaving the confines of their house or apartment. For busy moms and dads who work, this unique situation makes it possible to oversee young children at home without giving up the chance to earn a regular income. However, while there are many jobs that can be done at home, not every job is set up for telecommuting, so you and your spouse will need to make a detailed plan to have one stay home with the children while the other works outside the home.
Enforce the No Secrets Rule
The no-secret guideline has been around in one form or another for generations. The digital version is different from the former incarnations of the rule. It’s about being transparent with children that they should never keep a secret from you, especially when another adult instructs them. It applies to all adults, including neighbors, family friends, relatives, teachers, guidance counselors, doctors, dentists, and anyone who tries to convince your daughter or son not to tell anyone else about a particular subject.
Drug Use is Widespread
The 800-pound elephant in the room in the 2020s is widespread substance availability among teens. Illegal drugs have been a problem for more than 50 years, but because kids are gaining social independence at a younger age, the situation affects pre-teens more than ever. What can you do? Step one is to speak with your children frankly about dealing with people who offer them drugs or pressure them to get involved in the illegal substance scene. One of the unique factors of modern times is that the most potent, dangerous substances are inexpensive and easy to buy. Don’t ignore or gloss over the issue. Make sure your youngsters know that you view it as a serious, potentially life-threatening problem that can be avoided by common sense. Always be open to questions and discussion of the topic and create a non-threatening environment so they’ll feel free to inquire whenever needed.
Teens & Cars
There was an era when teenagers couldn’t manage high school, activities, and part-time jobs without having access to a car. Nowadays, the situation is quite different. There is a broader mass transportation network, and many jobs are online affairs, which means teenagers don’t need cars as soon as they pass the driving test. Families handle the vehicle situation in various ways. Some are strict about no vehicle ownership until after age 18 and a full round of driver education courses. Others are looser about the rules and occasionally let kids borrow Mom’s or Dad’s car. Regardless of which system you use, consult your insurance agent and get the right kind of coverage when younger family members have access to a parent’s vehicle.