Monday, January 1, 2007

Teenagers- a Great Asset to Save You Money, Time, and Heartache!

Teenagers- a Great Asset to Save You Money, Time, and Heartache!
by: Shevach Pepper

When I was a young child I thought that my father knew EVERYTHING. It might have been true in my father's case, but now that I myself am a father (twelve times over) I see that this is as far from the truth as London is from Los Angeles! With the never ending technological and social changes it is almost impossible to be aware of all that is going on. But, do you know what, it really doesn't matter. Vickie L. Milazzo recently wrote in Entrepreneur.com that one of the ways that she grew her business 300% to be worth 12 million dollars was by not only listening to experts but also by listening to $8 an hour employees! Obviously she made the final decisions but she listened to EVERYONE'S ideas. Instead of spending lots of time researching what kind of car to buy, what is the best restaurant in town or even where you should shop, asks your teenagers.

Here are a few areas where they can you money, time, and heartache.

* Big Purchases. If you are planning to buy something expensive for the house, let's say a new dining room set, a new kitchen or a new home entertainment center then ask your teen to ask their friends (if they haven't already) or go on line to compare prices and quality between different brands. Ask them also to investigate which stores in your city have the best service. You'll be saving yourself a lot of time and, if you are like me, also a lot of money. (I usually lose my patience after I compare one or two stores.)

* Home improvements. You'll be surprised what great ideas your teens have to fix up your house. They have seen all types of good ideas at their friends houses and they are not lazy to go on line to find better ideas and to compare prices. An added benefit is they might do it themselves! The other day, after I asked my son how to fix a leaking washing machine he told me that he'll take care of it. He saved me a good few hours and probably did a better job than me!

* Family get togethers. Planning a holiday dinner for the whole family (cousins, parents, parent-in-laws etc.)? I'm sure your daughter will love to help you find new recipes that she heard from her friends. She canalso look through magazines for original ways to set the table. An added benefit you might gain is that since she helped plan the dinner she will help more willingly.

* Vacations. Researching where to take the family on a vacation could take a long time. Your teen can research for you hotel prices, plane schedules and fun and interesting activities in that area. Tell them the time that you are planning to go and basically where and see what they come up. If you feel uncomfortable to discusss with them the financial limitations, tell them to look at different price ranges and then you'll decide in the end. Remember, like all CEO's, you make the final decision. You'll be amazed at the cheap flights and hotels that they will discover. Also, if you choose to listen to what they suggest and it doesn't work out, they won't be able to complain since it was their suggestion!

* Younger children. The area in which they are most helpful is to help you with younger children. As long as you know that they really care about their younger siblings (don't pay attention to their petty fights) then they will help you find out what the younger brothers and sisters are really up to and with whom they really hang out and what they feel is a good intervention. Remember, they understand better than us what, nowadays is considered "normal" behavior and what is bizarre. This can save you much heartache and trips to the school's counselor. Just remember, the younger sibling can never catch on that you discuss him with the older siblings. You have to make sure not to use any information you receive from the older sibling in a way that the younger one will figure out how you know it.

One last word. Don't only listen to their facts and figures and totally disregard their opinions. You surely should decide what to buy, where to vacation, and what to do with your other child but show your teens that you appreciate and respect what they did for you. If you do this, I'm sure, you will probably be pleasantly surprised at how much they helped you.

About The Author

Shevach Pepper is the happy father of twelve children and is a family and life coach helping successful people to utilize their business and leadership skills in their personal life. For more information and helpful tips on family issues visit Great Family Man.

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