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Culture’s message Pg.2

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Working teens Lack of generosity.


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Needs vs. Wants

Name that Price quiz

Credit Cards


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Success definition Parent Check Up


Snap Shots: Culture at a glance.

Money money money! It seems like that’s all we hear about anymore. The subject of money is at the root of so many issues in our lives. We work at a job to make money to pay the bills. We fight with our spouses about making ends meet. We daydream about the purchases we would make if we had more money. And of course everywhere we turn our culture is obsessed with money. The most popular songs, movies, and magazines strongly encourage us to strive to get more money. Our teens are no exception as a target for the message of money. For example Fergie’s song “Glamorous” talks about being at the top of the world since she’s accumulated so much wealth. She even states “if you ain’t got no money take your broke self home”. In the movie Oceans 13 the character Reuben is cheated out of his fortune, which causes him to slip into deep depression. Throughout the movie he spends most of his days in bed without speaking or eating. In this day and age money is powerful and we are taught we are nothing without it.. But is that message true?

ShowmetheMoney! Howmuchmoneydoteensreallyhavetospend? In 1983 people aged 13-19 spent more than $40 Billion dollars per year. In 1983 people aged 13-19 had about $200 dollars a month discretionary money. The Parent Source is composed by: Upside Down Ministries Teen Culture Specialist Robert Smith P O Box 232 Lawton, Ok 73502

Currently people aged 13-19 spend more than $190 Billion dollars per year. Currently people aged 13-19 have about $118 dollars per week of discretionary money. In 1984 children influenced about $50 billion dollars a year in parent purchases. Currently it is estimated that kids now influence over $600 billion annually in parental spending. 1

49% of teenagers have reported having a job during the school year. Teenagers who work for the money they receive have a better appreciation for money and are more likely to choose wisely in their spending. A job can teach responsibility . Employees must be on time, carry out their tasks well, and work well with fellow employees. Teens can develop an understanding of what it means to work hard in order to maintain the basic necessities of life. This shows them a realistic look at adult life and prepares them for the inevitable task of earning money to pay bills. •

Most adolescent part-time work is not because of financial need; the higher the family income; the greater is the probability that a teen would work

Many teen’s grades suffer from trying to balance school with their job. It is possible that it might be beneficial for a teen to be able to enjoy being a “kid” as long as possible. Once they reach adulthood they will experience plenty of years working at a job. Adding another responsibility to a teen can add to the busyness we see so much in teens. They are constantly on the go with school, sports, church, family activities and jobs. Rarely do they slow down to really think about who they are becoming and what their goals are in life. •

Only in the U.S. is part time work widespread among high school students; while it is rare in other countries where students are only expected to continue their education.


Lots of research has been done to examine exactly how teens spend their money. Currently people aged 13-19 spend more than $190 Billion dollars per year. A recent study shows that teens spend a lot of money, but on what costs less. 51 percent of teen’s weekly purchases are for items costing less than $25 (CD’s, snacks and beverages, gasoline and impulse buys) and 86 percent of teen’s weekly purchases are for items costing less than $100 (clothes, school club dues, expenditures related to hobbies and interests). Although they are purchasing smaller items on a weekly bases research has also shown that a majority of teens do own some pricey possessions. Such as TV’s, I-pods, Computers, Home stereo systems, and in many cases cars. This need to have big ticket items might explain in part why so many teens feel a need to have a job while still in high school. As you look around at what teens are buying do you notice that something is missing? No where in this list do you see teens spending money to help meet the needs of others less fortunate than themselves. Instead their money is being spent on a selfish pursuit of happiness. Almost no money is spent on charities, missions or the work of the local church. Sadly enough, this has become the American way. A recent barna survey shows that households with incomes of $40,000-$100,000 give away the lowest proportion of their income, while those who make less than $20,000 annually contribute a higher portion of their earnings. We can only suppose that if our kids make all the money they hope for they will be giving less away. Jesus doesn’t have a problem with us having possessions but he has a problem with us being greedy. If you think of the story of the rich young ruler, you see a man who has made money his God. The love of his possessions held him back from being a part of something much larger than himself. The moral of the story is still the same for us and our teens today. Greed will hold you back from serving God wholeheartedly. Our teens need to view money not as a means to further their greed but as a vehicle that help meet others needs.

“There’s enough for our need, but not for our Greed.”


Needsvs.Wants…Have you ever been guilty of referring to your needs as wants? When I think of needs I think of something that is a necessity. Something that you absolutely cannot live without. Water, food, clothes, housing, etc… I think we all get the point. But have you noticed that in our society these two words are considered interchangeable? Upon many occasions I have heard teens talking to each other about their “needs” and it makes me wonder do we really understand the difference? I “need” that new cell-phone. I “need” those pants. I “need” to see that movie. I “need” that new video game. Things that should be considered as wants are often referred to as needs. This is not entirely our teens fault. We live in a world that teaches us we can “have it our way.” The average American’s standard for living is often set so high that things like a flat screen TV, nice cars, laptops, and name brand clothing become something we view as necessities. Today’s teens and even adults don’t have a good perspective on material luxuries. We are consumed with ourselves and the thought that “our” world is “the” world. The level of poverty in many countries matters very little to the average American teen. There are plenty of examples of this mindset all over today's popular culture, but one in particular seems to stand out. MTV has a show called “My Super Sweet Sixteen”. It is a reality TV show that documents very rich families who want to give their child the best birthday bash ever. The show documents the sweet 16er as they plan every detail of their party. During the planning of the event, the birthday boy/girl usually lashes out claiming their parents aren’t getting specific details right. In some cases, disputes arise over drapery or center pieces. In other cases, arguments arise over grand entrances, the birthday present, or the musical guest. If the parent mentions cost or suggests that something might not be achievable you wouldn’t believe the fit these teens will throw to get what they want. Although they call these details “wants” they most certainly treat them like “needs”. This show exemplifies the idea that what I want is what's best for me. The reality is that we shouldn't always get the things we want. The things that I want often cause me heartache, pain, and lots of unnecessary debt. 

Over 80% of graduat-

1. 1. P.Diddy’sbirthdaypartywasestimatedtocosthowmuch? P.Diddy’sbirthdaypartywasestimatedtocosthowmuch?  A.$50,000 B.Hedoesn’tcelebratebirthdaysforreligiousreasons  C.$500,000 D.$150,000 2.HowmanycarsdidFrankieMunizbuyinoneyear? HowmanycarsdidFrankieMunizbuyinoneyear? HowmanycarsdidFrankieMunizbuyinoneyear?  A.5  B.1–veryexpensiveLamborghini  C.12  D.9 3.MariahCareyowns500 MariahCareyowns500  ? MariahCareyowns500  A.DesignerPurses B.HighHeelShoes  C.SequinDresses D.Pets ? 4.KateHudsonspent$30,000on KateHudsonspent$30,000on KateHudsonspent$30,000on   A.Dentalwork B.Workoutequipment  C.Pajamas D.Gettingherhairdyed. 5.ParisHiltonreceivedherfirstcreditcardatwhatage? ParisHiltonreceivedherfirstcreditcardatwhatage? ParisHiltonreceivedherfirstcreditcardatwhatage?  A.13  B.5  C.18  D.Shedoesn’tusecreditcards,justcash. 6.OprahhasBaltimorecrabcakesflowninforhowmuchperdozen? OprahhasBaltimorecrabcakesflowninforhowmuchperdozen? OprahhasBaltimorecrabcakesflowninforhowmuchperdozen?  A.$55   B.$132  C.$23   D.$189 7.Itwasestimatedthatitwouldtake$20Billiontosupplythewholeworld Itwasestimatedthatitwouldtake$20Billiontosupplythewholeworld withthebasicneedsoflifeforoneyear.(food,water,shelter,etc.)Thatishow muchAmericansspendon inoneyear. muchAmericansspendon inoneyear.  A.SchoolSupplies B.IceCream  C.MovieTickets  D.ChewingGum  Answers:1.c,2.D,3.B,4.C,5.A,6.B,7.B

ing college seniors have credit card debt before they even have a job! The credit card marketers have done such a thorough job assuring us that a credit card is a rite of passage into adulthood. American teens view themselves as adults if they have a credit card. Without the maturity needed for such financial responsibility young people find themselves overwhelmed with debt in no time flat. The results can be devastating. Recently, two college students in Oklahoma gave up on their credit card debt and committed suicide with the bills lying on the bed beside them. The reason why lenders market so aggressively to teens is brand loyalty. The lenders' studies have found that we consumers are very loyal to the first bank that certifies our adulthood by issuing us plastic. Brand loyalty is real and marketers are preying on teens, so beware! 3



Ourteensaregrowingupinaculturethatteachesmoneyequalssuccess.Itishardevenasan adultnottogetwrappedupinthepursuitofmaterialthings.Weallwanttobehappyandfeela senseoffulfillmentandoursocietyteachesthatthemorethingsapersonhasthehappiertheyare. Fromtheoutsidelookinginthiscansometimesappeartobetrue.ButifwestoppedandreallyexaminedthismindsetIthinkwewouldquicklyfindthatthisisanemptypromise.Thereareplentyof peopleinourworldrightnowwhoarerichandabsolutely miserable.Bytheculture’sstandardLindsayLohan&Brit49% of teens feel they neySpearsaresuccessfulbusinesspeople;theyhave fameandfortune.Yetthesetwoyoungladiesarestrugglingwiththeirlifedeciwould be happier in life if sions. they had more money. Moderndayteensarechasingthe“AmericanDream”Thesensibleplanistodo wellinhighschool,gotocollege,getapromisingdegreesoyoucangetahigh payingjob,thenyoucanhaveabighouse,nicecar,andeveryitemthatwillmakeyoucomfortableandhappy.Achieving thesegoalsisnotnecessarilybad,butisthatreallywhatitisallabout?Ifearthatmanyofourteensarechasingafteran unattainablegoal.Thehungerformoneyneverseemstobesatisfied.Onceweobtainonethingwemoveontothenext. Whathappenswhenthebarforsuccessissetsohighourteenscanneverreachit?Maybethebetterquestionwouldbe whathappenswhenourteensreachtheirgoalfor“success”anditstillleavesthemfeelingempty? Ourmoderndayteensarethemostmoneyhungrygenerationtoexist,andyetthenumberofkidsconfusedabouttheir purposeinlifeisatanalltimehigh.Whatdoesthissayaboutthevaluestheyhaveabsorbed?Asadultsweshouldexaminethemodelwearesettingfortheyoungergenerationinthisarea.Iftheylookedatthewaywelivehowwouldthey saywedefinesuccess?Isitbygreatjobs,fancycarsandbighouses?Orisbybeingapersonwhofindstheirjoyinloving Godandlovingothers?AsthebookYouthCulture101says,“wemustteachourkidsthattherealmeasureofsuccessin  lifeishowmuchthey’dbeworthiftheyhadabsolutelynothing.”

1. Which is more important to pass on to your kids– material items or Godly traits? 2. How much does your lifestyle reflect the values of our materialistic society? 3. What are your goals for the next 5 or 10 years? Are they primarily money oriented? 4. If your kids wrote a definition of “success” based on what they’ve seen in your home what would they say? 5. Do your kids see you competing with or jealous of your neighbors? 6. Do you wish for things your don’t have, feeling having these items would make your life better? 7. Do you refer to your “wants” as “needs”? 8. Would your kids say you focus on what you don’t have or are you grateful for what you do have?

Someone once said, “You tell me who or what you spend your time daydreaming about, and I’ll tell you who or what your god is.”

What do you daydream about?

Youth Culture 101 by Walt Mueller 4

SNAP SHOTS: Culture at a Glance The most popular comedy in America right now is Superbad, and the title doesn’t even begin to describe this movie. Jonah Hill and Seth Rogen play two high school seniors and best friends who prepare to graduate and head off to separate colleges. In an effort to make their final days memorable they come up with a plan to have sex with a girl sometime before the summer is over. Producer Judd Apatow has made 2 successful raunchy comedy’s prior to Superbad (40 Year Old Virgin, and Knocked Up) and is now considered the expert for movies that cross the line. This film is packed with inappropriate material and parent’s should take this R rating seriously. Superbad has countless sexual innuendos and scenes. It also includes drug use and 175 F words. This is a film you should definitely check out on before you consider watching it yourself or allowing you teen to view it.

Cheese, Scrilla, Chedda, Loot, Funds, Benjamins, Dead Presidents, Duckets– Money Feen– When you think about something all the time and you can’t get it off your mind, like craving something. Balla– someone who has lots of money. Big Timer– Someone with lots of cars, clothes, and money.

Among America's young people, godliness contributes to happiness. An extensive survey by The Associated Press and MTV found that people aged 13 to 24 who describe themselves as very spiritual or religious tend to be happier than those who don't. When it comes to spirituality, American young people also are remarkably tolerant — nearly 7 in 10 say that while they follow their own religious or spiritual beliefs, others might be true as well. On the whole, the poll found religion is a vital part of the lives of many American young people, although with significant pockets that attach little or no importance to faith. Forty-four percent say religion and spirituality is at least very important to them, 21 percent responded it is somewhat important, 20 percent say it plays a small part in their lives and 14 percent say it doesn't play any role. The poll's mission was to figure out what makes young people happy. And it appears religion helps. Eighty percent of those who call religion or spirituality the most important thing in their lives say they're happy, while 60 percent of those who say faith isn't important to them consider themselves happy.

Walmart uses Facebook To attract young people This year, Wal-Mart Stores Inc. wants students heading to college to log on to Facebook to design their dorm room with their roommate. The world's largest retailer on Wednesday is launching the "Roommate Style Match" group on Facebook, a social networking site that has millions of college-age users, in the hopes of grabbing a larger chunk of back-to-school shopping dollars. Facebook users who join the Wal-Mart group will be able to take a quiz to determine their decorating style and get a list of "recommended products" they can buy at Wal-Mart to mesh their style with their roommate's. Students can also download a shopping list of dorm room items sold at Wal-Mart. "We realize that this is an audience that we need to be talking to, and that this is a channel we need to be on," said Wal-Mart spokeswoman Karen Burk of the retailer's decision to try to reach out to college students through a social networking site. ( walmart uses facebook ) 5

Parent Discussion questions: Page 1. 1. What messages have you noticed in culture about money or success? 2. How much money would you estimate that your teen has to spend? Page 2. 3. Does your teen have a job? Do you feel working is positive or negative for teens? 4. Why do you think teens have no desire to give? How can we change that? Page 3. 5. Do you feel your teen knows the difference between an need and a want? How can you tell? Page 4. 6. How do you want your teen to define success? How can you instill that definition in their lives? 7. Where you happy with your answers for the Parent Check up? Why or why not? Page 5. 8. Which snap shot applies most to your teen? 9. Which slang word did you find to be interesting or surprising?

Resource ideas: Youth Culture 101 by Walt Mueller

Statistics sited on Pg.1 Show Me the Money “Facts About Marketing to Children” The New American Dream Page, n.d.,, (Aug, 05) & The Market Research Portal Page, April, 06 Statistics sited on Pg. 2 Work Pro’s & Con’s “When teens have jobs school work suffers.” Statistics sited on pg. 2 what teen’s aren't spending money on from Youth Culture 101 by Walt Mueller pg. 321 Credit Card Article on Pg. 3 adapted from “the truth about teens and credit cards” Statistic sited on Pg.4 How do teens define success from What makes young people happy conducted by AP and MTV. 6

The_Parent_Source_Sept 07 money  

Currently people aged 13-19 spend more than $190 Billion dollars per year. Currently people aged 13-19 have about $118 dollars per week of d...

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