Obtaining a driver's license signals a new road to independence for teenagers. Parents often worry about their kids when they get behind the wheel of a car. What about a motorcycle? Many teens also want to hop on a bike and take off. While you may be concerned, there are steps you can take to best prepare your child to get their motorcycle license.
Before anyone can become a licensed driver, they usually must practice with a permit. Requirements vary from state to state, but the consensus is that applicants must at least be between 14 to 17 years old and able to pass the specified tests. The main tests include a DDS knowledge exam, a road skills test, and a vision exam. Your state may also require you to sign on your child’s behalf.
While you may not always need a permit, there are some advantages to having one. For example, holding a learning permit gives your teenager the time they need to master the skills of driving a motorcycle. Always check with your state's DMV before letting your teen hop on a bike.
Training and Safety Courses
Before your teen gets on a motorcycle, it's a great idea to enroll them in a training and safety class. It's critical that they learn everything they can before embarking on their journey. Courses vary from location to location, but they typically teach the same material. Students will have classes in things such as shifting gears, navigating, and braking while enrolled in their course. Motorcycle accidents are prevalent, so always practice defensive maneuvers. With roughly 88,000 motorcycle accidents in the U.S. in 2015, it's pretty clear that riding a motorcycle can be incredibly dangerous, something that can be at least somewhat mitigated by taking training and safety courses.
Obtaining a License
Once your teenager has spent the necessary time to learn the basics of driving a motorcycle, it's time to get that license. The typical requirements are about the same as getting a permit; they'll have to be able to pass the necessary tests to prove they're competent at driving. The applicant will also have to pay a fee for their license to be valid. Once approved, their license will show "M" class, proving that they're a registered motorcycle driver.
While your teenager is learning, stress the importance of being patient. As you know, your teen always needs to be cognizant of what's happening around them. You're a great parent to help your child get that license they want so badly, so enjoy the ride.
Did your teen pass their driving test? We recommend reading this article before investing in a new or used vehicle.
If you're buying a car for your teen, safety is probably your highest priority. After all, teenagers aren't exactly known for their driving prowess. However, other considerations, such as your budget and the vehicle's reliability, are important too. Before you turn over a set of car keys to your family's newest driver, take the following considerations into account.
It's Probably Going to Break
Like it or not, the car you buy for your teen is probably going to break. If you're like many parents and buy your teen a low-cost car with a lot of miles on it, it'll simply be more likely to break down due to age. Furthermore, teenagers are usually harder on cars than more experienced drivers. They tend to brake harder, accelerate more quickly and disregard necessary maintenance tasks. Teaching your teen how to maintain their car will help extend the vehicle's life, but you should expect breakdowns and plan accordingly. There are some cars that are safer for teens, but you should still encourage safe driving.
Consider the Upfront Expenses
Knowing the upfront expenses of buying a car for your teenager will help you budget and prepare financially. First, decide whether to pay for the car upfront or to take out a loan. Then, consider having your teen pay for part of the cost of the vehicle. Not only will this take a little financial strain off you, but it'll build a sense of responsibility in your child. Finally, don't forget to budget for car insurance. Adding a teen driver to your insurance is likely to increase your premiums considerably.
Find the Right Car
The car you want for your teen is probably different than the one you want for yourself. To encourage safe driving, look for cars that don't emphasize horsepower, and keep in mind that larger cars are typically safer than compacts. Newer cars generally come with more safety features than older models, but they also come with heftier price tags.
Handing over the car keys to a new driver is a big deal regardless of how prepared you feel or how responsible your teenager is. Adequately preparing yourself and your child for this milestone will give your entire family peace of mind. Know that the car you choose is likely to break down, establish a budget, and take your time finding the right vehicle for your new driver.
(BPT) - Headlines filled with news of opioid abuse, overdoses and reports that 90 percent of addictions start in the teen years could make any parent worry. Yet parents remain conflicted about opioids: While more than half express concern their child may be at risk for opioid addiction, nearly two-thirds believe opioids are more effective at managing their child’s pain after surgery or a broken bone than non-prescription medication or other alternatives, according to a nationwide survey commissioned by the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA).
“The survey results shed light on the country’s conflicted relationship with and understanding of opioids,” said ASA President Linda J. Mason, M.D., FASA. “Opioids may not always be the best option. It really depends on the type of surgery and how long they are required. It is important for parents to know that there are many alternatives available that are as — or more — safe and effective for pain management.”
During Physician Anesthesiologists Week (Jan. 27 to Feb. 2), ASA wants parents to know that a physician anesthesiologist can create an individualized plan to best address patients’ pain based on the condition or type of surgery and decrease the risk of opioid misuse and addiction.
Parents aren’t asking about effective alternatives
While opioids can help with pain management for a few days after surgery or injury, there are effective alternatives that do not have the side effects and risks of opioids. But the survey results suggest parents often don’t ask about alternatives, or aren’t aware of the range of options.
* 59 percent said they would talk to their physician about pain management options, but only 37 percent of those whose children were prescribed opioids actually did.
* 88 percent recognized non-opioid, over-the-counter medications, such as acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin) and aspirin, are used to effectively help treat pain. However, few were aware the same applies to other non-opioid options, including steroids (23 percent), antidepressants (9 percent) and anti-seizure medications (7 percent).
Beyond medications, a number of non-drug therapies can help with ongoing pain, including nerve blocks, physical therapy, biofeedback, meditation, virtual reality, massage and acupuncture.
Parents are unaware that safe storage and proper disposal are key
More than half of people who misuse prescribed opioids get them from a friend or relative. That’s why safe storage and proper disposal of the drugs are important to help curb the epidemic.
* Only 50 percent said they stored or would store opioids in a safe and secure place.
* 60 percent of those whose children took opioids said they needed fewer than were prescribed and had leftover medication. But only 39 percent of all parents disposed or would dispose of leftover opioids as recommended, including taking them to a local pharmacy or health clinic, flushing them down the toilet or mixing them with dirt, kitty litter or coffee grounds before throwing them away.
* 61 percent correctly identified the ideal method of disposing leftover opioids, which involves taking them to a collection center at a local police station or drug disposal program at a pharmacy or health clinic.
Parents understand importance of communication
When a child is prescribed opioids, parents need to have an open and honest discussion about the potential side effects and risks — not only with the child taking the medication, but other family members as well.
* 74 percent said they have talked to their child about the dangers of abusing prescription and over-the-counter medications and 20 percent said they intend to have the conversation.
* 89 percent of those whose children have been prescribed opioids said they’ve had those discussions.
* 91 percent said they are confident their children know that prescribed and over-the-counter medications can be just as dangerous as illegal drugs.
Parents recognize naloxone saves lives
Naloxone (Narcan) is a lifesaving medication administered via nasal spray or injection that rapidly reverses the effects of an overdose. It’s important to know about naloxone because anyone who uses opioids may be at risk for an overdose.
* 71 percent agreed that having naloxone on hand is the same as having other life-saving medication available for people who suffer from conditions such as allergies, asthma or diabetes.
* 80 percent said they would be more comfortable having it at home if their child or another family member was taking opioids.
* 92 percent thought all first responders should carry it.
The 17-question Engine Caravan Omnibus Survey was conducted online Nov. 25 to Dec. 2, 2018, among 1,007 parents of children ages 13-24, one-third of whom had been prescribed opioids.
Visit ASA’s website for information about all aspects of pain management and to access an opioid overdose resuscitation card that provides guidance on symptoms of an overdose and how to help.
The American Society of Anesthesiologists
Founded in 1905, the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA) is an educational, research and scientific society with more than 53,000 members organized to raise and maintain the standards of the medical practice of anesthesiology. ASA is committed to ensuring that physician anesthesiologists evaluate and supervise the medical care of patients before, during and after surgery to provide the highest quality and safest care that every patient deserves.
For more information on the field of anesthesiology, visit the American Society of Anesthesiologists online at asahq.org. To learn more about the role physician anesthesiologists play in ensuring patient safety, visit asahq.org/WhenSecondsCount. Like ASA on Facebook; follow ASALifeline on Twitter
While the holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year for children, the gifting season can quickly spiral out of control for unprepared shoppers. These four tips can help you conquer holiday gifting like a pro.
4 Ways to Survive Holiday Gifting
(Family Features) While the holidays might be the most wonderful time of the year for children, the gifting season can quickly spiral out of control for unprepared shoppers.
These four tips can help you conquer holiday gifting like a pro:
Get organized. The secret to conquering the holiday season is having a plan. Take 10-15 minutes to update your calendar with all your holiday parties, family engagements, secret Santa exchanges or any other gifting commitments. Make sure to include dates, locations, times and even specifics, like themes, if they’re available. If you have multiple holiday events, you might even color-coordinate your planner for an easy visual reminder. Sync your events across all smart devices for an easy glance at the touch of a button.
Find your go-to gifts. As an adult, deciphering what kind of gifts a child wants in this digital age can be tricky. Some classics like brick toys are still a hit with kids of all ages. Studies show that 60 percent of children love playing with brick toys and more than half of parents love that their kids do, according to Mattel Global Consumer Insights. Try product lines like Mega Construx and Mega Bloks, which combine the fun of brick toys with popular franchises to create exciting products for kids. Find more holiday gift ideas at shop.mattel.com.
Wrap gifts early. Now that you have your plan in place, save time by purchasing all the gifts you will need for the holidays and wrapping them at one time. Prevent the stress of a last-minute gift wrap run by pre-wrapping gifts and simply labeling them with removable sticky notes.
Build a gifting closet. Once you have your gifts wrapped and ready to go, consider using an old crate or storage container and turning it into a “gifting closet.” Insert dividers to separate the gifts by age range and set aside your treasure trove in an easy-to-reach storage area. You can even use this closet year-round for birthdays and other gifting events. On the day of the party, simply open your gifting closet, grab a gift for the right age and head out the door.
Another option to save time and money this holiday season is to enter for the chance to win a gifting closet with $1,500 worth of MEGA products to help you conquer the gifting season. To enter the sweepstakes, post an original holiday photo to Instagram or Twitter with a short caption that includes why the entrant likes to give or receive construction toys as gifts. For full details, visit rules.prizelogic.com/MegaSocialSweeps.
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.SOURCE:
Helping teens learn to handle money can be a tricky proposition. Mistakes can quite literally be costly, but there’s really no substitute for hands-on practice when it comes to managing finances. Children are the ultimate investment, so teach your teen to be a smart spender with these savvy tips.
Empowering Teens through Smart Spending
(Family Features) Helping teens learn to handle money can be a tricky proposition. Mistakes can quite literally be costly, but there’s really no substitute for hands-on practice when it comes to managing finances.
Children are the ultimate investment, so teach your teen to be a smart spender with these savvy tips:
Start with saving. As a first step, open a savings account for your teen and involve them in the process. Use this opportunity to teach good habits, such as putting away a percentage of every paycheck, creating an emergency fund and setting savings goals for big purchases. Visit the bank together and explore the account options. Many banks offer incentives for high-balance accounts, and while your teen likely won’t qualify, it’s a valuable lesson to see the incentives available to big savers.
Move on to basic checking. Although most banks still refer to their most accessible accounts as “checking” accounts, chances are that your teen is more likely to shop with a debit card or cash rather than checks. Still, knowing how to write a proper check is an important life skill – as are conducting debit transactions and understanding any fees associated with using the account.
Create safe zones. Even after teaching them the fundamentals, letting teens make their own purchasing decisions can be a frightening prospect. Fortunately, if you know where to look, there are options available that offer teens a customizable level of autonomy while still under the oversight of a parent. For example, Amazon introduced a way for teens ages 13-17 to shop using their own, independent login linked to a parent’s account. In addition to product recommendations, order histories and lists tailored specifically to the teen's shopping history and interests, teens can exercise smart shopping decisions with access to customer reviews and comparison shopping tools.
Parents have the option to review and approve every purchase, or set spending limits that offer teens the freedom to place orders up to a certain dollar amount on their own. In either case, parents receive notifications for every order and shipment. Find more details at Amazon.com/forteens.
Set a budget. Part of smart spending is learning to shop within your means. Whether your teen’s income is from a part-time job, allowance or a combination of the two, building a budget that defines expenses and expectations is essential. Like any budget, it should include all income sources and all expenses he or she is responsible for, including auto maintenance, gasoline, insurance and beyond. Reinforce the importance of saving by including a regular savings allocation. Putting all of these numbers to paper lets your teen see clearly where the money is going and how much is left over for extracurricular spending.
Put safety nets in place. No matter how much planning is done in advance, surprise expenses will inevitably pop up. Teens can prepare for these expenses while also guarding against mistakes and the temptation to over-spend by taking advantage of special services available through banking institutions, such as setting a per-transaction or daily spending limit and investing in overdraft coverage.
Ultimately, money management skills come with time and practice. Creating a safe environment for your teen to practice these life lessons sooner rather than later can pay dividends down the road.
Photo courtesy of Jeannette Kaplun, HispanaGlobal.net.SOURCE:
Rushing out the door for another busy day of hitting the books can mean important things get left behind. Keeping a ready supply of everyday essentials in a backpack or locker can help ease the stress of a forgotten item. Be prepared for whatever a busy school day may bring by stocking up on these necessities.
Ease School Day Stress
Must-haves for lockers and backpacks
(Family Features) Rushing out the door for another busy day of hitting the books can mean important things get left behind. Keeping a ready supply of everyday essentials in a backpack or locker can help ease the stress of a forgotten item.
Whether it’s rehearsing for the school play, gearing up for athletic practices or just spending time after class with friends, teens seem to always be on the go. In order for teens to focus on their fun extracurricular activities, rather than the stresses of remembering everything they need, it’s important to keep a few items on-hand.
Be prepared for whatever a busy school day may bring by stocking up on these necessities:
Backup school supplies. You may have a favorite pen that you use every day, but if it goes missing, be sure you’re still prepared for class with a ready stash of extras. Same goes for note-taking paper in case you leave a notebook at home. Take inventory of the things you use every day and add an extra just in case something goes missing or gets left behind.
Personal care essentials. There are few things worse to realize you forgot than hygiene supplies. Keep a backup supply of items like deodorant available for days when you really need them. It’s also a good idea to keep a brush or comb handy. If you’re prone to oil, some dry shampoo can help, and for longer locks, don’t forget extra elastic ties.
Spot treatment. Acne seems to make its appearance on its own time, and it’s never a good time. With solutions like the OXY On-The-Go Acne Stick, there’s no need to waste precious minutes on treatment. The stick is conveniently packaged in a slim, solid form, so it provides a portable, bathroom-free solution that can easily be placed in a small bag or backpack. Because it goes on clear via a handy mess-free applicator, you can spot-treat at any time. Learn more at oxyskincare.com.
Organization apps. Whether you’re more of a write-it-down or key-it-in person, keeping track of the details in your life can help you be sure you stay on track with practice schedules, homework deadlines and other important information. You probably never leave your phone too far behind, but try and occasionally use it in a productive manner with an app you’ll easily remember to update.
Spare change. A small stash of cash (say $5) is a good idea to keep on hand for any number of after-school activities. It could also certainly come in handy for a minor “emergency,” like forgotten lunch money or leaving your water bottle at home.
Forgetting things on a busy morning is bound to happen, but if you prepare for the inevitable you can keep a simple mistake from ruining the day.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
(BPT) - You don’t have to grow crops or raise livestock in order to understand the vital role both play within society, nor do you have to reside in rural America to understand the value of the farmers and ranchers that do. From the food we eat to the health of the local environment, the importance of agriculture is boundless.
But for agriculture to continue to advance, it’s essential to educate and inspire young minds, invest in the next generation, and turn today’s youth into tomorrow’s agricultural leaders.
That’s where youth agricultural organizations come in.
According to Phil Reiter, vice president of marketing at Tractor Supply Company, the nation’s largest rural lifestyle retailer and a longtime supporter of AG-centric programs like 4-H and FFA, members of these organizations are not only learning invaluable life skills but they’re also having a great time while doing it.
“These programs were designed to be a fun and effective way for students to explore a critically important industry,” said Reiter. “Aside from learning about responsibility and leadership, members also have the ability to form strong, long-lasting relationships with peers that share similar interests and passions.”
Through involvement in youth agricultural programs, students can look forward to the following:
Agricultural organizations give students the opportunity to be actively engaged in projects and events that involve socializing with friends and meeting new people from across the country. From attending local fairs to competing in contests and career development events, members have the opportunity to travel and work alongside classmates that have similar interests as them.
Group meetings provide a fun setting for members to interact with both peers and adults. Throughout the year and during fair season, members are often required to address large crowds. Whether it’s presenting animals to a panel of judges or giving a speech, high-pressure situations like these teach students about preparation, poise and public speaking.
Both 4-H and FFA focus on empowering young people to take on leadership positions within their respective organizations. While in FFA, members elect their own officers and are responsible for planning and conducting activities throughout the year.
Giving back is a primary component of 4-H and FFA, and throughout the year members spend ample time coordinating various fundraising campaigns to benefit their communities.
Participating in youth agricultural organizations means being surrounded by a variety of adult role models. Throughout the year, members attend events and meet executives from some of the country’s top corporations, through which many members form connections and receive recognition for their hard work.
Tractor Supply frequently recognizes individuals who have displayed exemplary service and commitment to their community. Last year, the retailer presented dozens of hardworking 4-H and FFA members with commemorative certificates during special ceremonies at state and county fairs.
From June 8 to October 22, the company will send its Mobile Fair Tour to 19 fairs across the country where they will continue to acknowledge members of both organizations. This year, honorees have been selected as winners of Tractor Supply’s first ever “Great Neighbor” Essay Contest, which encouraged 4-H and FFA youth to submit a short essay detailing how their participation in these organizations has empowered them to be a better neighbor.
Tractor Supply’s Mobile Fair Tour will offer visitors the “Out Here” experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to lasso a “runaway pig,” test their strength on the high striker bell-ringing game, and attend the special recognition ceremonies.
To stay up to date on the tour or learn more about the interactive experience, follow Tractor Supply Company on Facebook and visit www.TractorSupply.com/FairTour.
(BPT) - For most teens, high school is an exciting time, one that offers the opportunity to set their own path and make some of their own decisions. However, with this added independence comes additional responsibility, especially regarding money.
Today teens are spending $260 billion a year in the U.S., yet only 17 states require completion of at least one financial literary course for high school graduation.
"So many teens don't realize how important saving is," says Angel Carter, an Atlanta teen who was selected by Boys & Girls Clubs of America to serve as national ambassador for its financial education program called Money Matters: Make it Count, created in collaboration with Charles Schwab Foundation. "They don't understand the importance of saving for their future needs and tracking or prioritizing their purchases."
Taking part in this program had a profound impact on Carter, along with more than 725,000 other Club teens who have completed Money Matters. And because April is Financial Literacy Month, now is the perfect time for Carter to offer a few tips she learned to help others manage their money.
* There's no such thing as "too young" or "too much." Because of the way compound interest works, the earlier you begin to save, the less of a burden it is. For example, regularly saving 10 percent of your income is a good savings goal if you're in your 20s or younger; however, if you wait until your 30s to start saving, that number increases to 20 percent in order to reach the same long-term goal. And if you wait till your 40s, it goes up to 30 percent. So it's better to start putting money away as early as possible. Talk to your parents or another adult you trust about setting up a savings account, and how much you should regularly set aside.
* Recognize needs vs. wants. Being smart about money doesn't mean you can't enjoy life, or do fun things with your hard-earned cash; but it does mean you need to plan for them. An easy rule of thumb is to figure out how much you need to set aside in order to meet your expenses, including savings, every month. Anything left over is for having fun. It might seem contradictory, but knowing ahead of time how much spending money you have available helps you know when you can comfortably say "yes," and when you're better off passing on an event or an impulse purchase.
* Know where your money goes. It may not be particularly fun, but tracking where and how you spend money is just one of those healthy habits that's good for you, like eating spinach and exercising. You can record this information with a notebook or an app, but just remember to log your purchases, including all those "small" ones. Being aware of every dollar you spend will help you understand yourself and your spending habits - and can help you find ways to reduce your spending and save even more.
* Credit is like social media. You know how parents and teachers are always telling you to watch what you post on social media channels, because someday you're going to have to apply for a job? Good credit is to your future purchasing what a clean social media history is to job applications: it takes time and commitment to build, and only moments to lose. A good credit score and a history of responsible spending give you options, which is priceless when you want to buy or lease a car, or apply for an apartment or even buy a house later on. How do you build good credit? Manage your checking account carefully, always pay your bills on time, and if you do choose to get a credit card, never charge more than you can afford to pay off in full every month.
* Keep it real. In today's economy, managing money responsibly is a tall order, but it is possible, especially if you take control! Think about the kind of lifestyle you want to live, and figure out how much it takes to support yourself in those circumstances. Once you've done that, it's simply a matter of solving for "x." One good way to be astute about finances is to look for a financial education program geared for teens, one that covers budgeting, goal setting, and planning for the future. Some programs, like Money Matters, even offer virtual reality games to practice for the real world without real-life risk.
These tips are just a few Carter learned through the Money Matters program at her local Boys & Girls Club. A new component of the program, the digital game $ky, is now available to all teens. The game challenges teens to navigate financial decisions in a fresh, fun way that will keep them thinking prudently about their finances not only in April but in the months and years ahead.
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