Quick Hits: Teach kids about money. After they put down the game controller. A camp stove that charges your cell phone.
Back when I was growing up as a, my education regarding sex was made up of one uneasy lecture by my mother, a surprisingly dull sex-ed lesson in the fifth grade, and almost a decade of juvenile conversations with boys my own age who had no idea what they were talking about. Believe me, this produced laughable and shameful results in a number of ways. Still, all of that was better than my education regarding money. Strangely, among my young friends, the topics of economics and investing never came up. My school made us all complete a lesson on how to fill out a checkbook. (How useful is that in the age of Debit cards and Amazon.com?) And my parents had most of their money fights in private. In both cases, a bad education led to bad decisions and difficult consequences. Stop it. You need to know the secrets of talking to your kids about money. (And sex, too, but I’m not going to Google ‘children’ and ‘sex’ in the same sentence anytime soon.)
It’s been said that it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to master a skill. The sad thing is that by the time they’ve graduated high-school, most teenagers have spent 10,000 hours playing video games. Now, that sounds bad, and I’m sure that we can argue that a life spent glued to a screen would lack some very necessary elements. But we need to be careful not to throw out the good with the bad, because there are some benefits to your child being a gamer.
I’ve started camping more since my son joined the scouts, which means I’ve had to start buying more and more camping gear. We now have a tent, some sleeping bags, a heavy tarp and a camping cooler. With more and more of the basics out of the way, it’s time to start looking for some camping toys. I am sorely tempted to get a BioLite CampStove, because it would be so cool to charge my crappy cell phone while cooking dinner on a vortex of flame using only a pile of twigs. Great price tag, too.