The Starter Life

   By drodriguez  Feb 23, 2011

Giving your kids the opportunity to deal with real world problems has never been easier with some new tools parents can use.  From a simple lesson in economics to the way we communicate with others, there are some interesting new ways we can give kids a few pointers to lead them in the right direction toward becoming a responsible adult.  

One new social networking site called Everloop, designed for kids ages 8 to 13, is being dubbed the new Facebook for tweens.  A recent report from Time’s Techland Blog discusses the new start-up website and the differences between Everloop and more adult sites like Facebook.  In order to ensure a child’s safety and privacy, there is a lot more parental control and around-the-clock site monitoring on Everloop.  Everloop requires that a parent register for an account with the child.  The parent can not have their own account on the site, but can control how much of their child’s activity they can see and whether or not their child can receive friend suggestions or instant messaging.

In order to prove they are serious about child-safety, Everloop has teamed up with iSafe, an internet safety education program, bringing the platform into some 56,000 schools.  Parents may think of Everloop as a Facebook with training wheels.  

Another training wheels type of program aims to show kids how to become responsible consumers and work with a set budget. The new PASS prepaid and reloadable card from American Express allows parents to track their teen’s spending 24/7.  Teens are also encouraged to keep track of their spending online and through text messages.  The PASS cards can be reloaded 24/7 online or by phone.  One benefit to kids is that PASS can not actually affect their credit score and they can only spend what is preloaded on the card.  

What do you think of some of the new programs aimed at parents and kids that may help with some life lessons?

Do you think using one of these programs can give a child some valuable real world experience?

Make a Comment

sydandzoesmom by sydandzoesmom | Daphne, AL
Mar 29, 2011

My parents made me get a credit card when I turned 18 to build my credit. I was only allowed to put gas on it and pay it off every month, but it built my credit up and taught me a lot. I have perfect credit as an adult now and feel like I have a good foundation. I will instill this in my children as well. They should learn these life skills before going out on their own!

cry_snow by cry_snow | unsubscribe, OH
Feb 28, 2011

I absolutely believe that the PASS card can help children understand their spending habits. It gives the child an opportunity to see the spending power of a set amount of money. When you give a child a $20 bill....that feels like grown folks money and gives them a sense of spending power that really doesn't exist. But when you give a child a PASS card and access to, for example, Toys R Us, they get to see what little spending power they actually have after shipping and/or tax is included in the total.

mardel by mardel | SCHAUMBURG, IL
Feb 24, 2011

I agree with mmi284! I don't fully trust any program with my children information just like that. How long has this program been running? Who is supervising the people that do sign up and how do they know it's really a kid and not some sick pedophile? No thanks

mmi284 by mmi284 | NEW BRIGHTON, PA
Feb 24, 2011

How does everloop control who opens an account. I thnk the same issues play out here as with anywhere else for social media. Anyone can create an account pretending to be a child. In fact this may be more of a danger because predators will know that only children are on the site. Also does everloop scrren who works for them? What kind of back ground check is in place for them?

Von411 by Von411 | El paso, TX
Feb 23, 2011

I do think the New Passprepaid and reloadable card from American express can help our kids in life lessons of responsibility. Credit is so important and I think sometimes when we are young with take this very lightly and then when we want to purchase a car, house etc it is then we realize what we have done.