UCB Parents Advice about Teenagers

Song Girls

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My daughter just finished playing soccer and now wants to tryout as a song girl. Isabel seems to be doing this because her friends want to do it and her reasoning is "It should be fun". This doesn't seem to be an adequate enough answer for us to give the Okay and pay out approx. $1,000.00 for a fad or something to do with the friends. Any suggestions on how to approach this? -- Yolanda (3/99)
I personally think a 16 year old, who after all is only 2 years away from legally being an adult, should be able to make decisions on how to spend her time provided there isn't something drastically wrong with it like it's dangerous or immoral. However, if it's going to cost $1,000 of, i presume, your money then that affects you. I think your discussions with her should focus on whether you think it's a worthwhile way to spend that amount of money and if there is anyway for her to compensate or contribute to offset the cost. (3/99)
How about requiring Isabel to earn some or all of the money needed to participate in song girls? It sounds like a big financial commitment; she's old enough to have a summer job, or babysit during the school year. Of course, she'd have to juggle a job and song girls with her commitment to her academic schedule; this is as good a time as any for a 16-year-old to begin to learn that you have to make choices about how to balance your time and priorities, and that you can't always do it all. Having to put in some hard-earned dollars of her own, and giving up free time to earn them, will probably cause her to get very real about how important song girls is to her. (3/99)
I think it's great that your daughter wants to be a song girl! Any time teens are interested in participating in the activities provided for them by school I think they should be supported and encouraged. It gives them a niche and helps to develop a sense of community and enables them to contribute to school spirit. It's expensive, but I have the sense that all such team participation is costly. Find out if she is willing to contribute to the costs. Maybe you can help her think of sources of income if she currently has none. (3/99)
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