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Dave Says: Reward Teenagers' Good Behavior

Dave Ramsey - April 30, 2013

If your teen has good grades and behaves well, be sure to reward them accordingly, but beware of encouraging them to feel entitled to it.

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Dear Dave,

My daughter has the opportunity to take a trip with her eighth-grade class. The cost is $650. Do you think she should have to contribute to the cost of the trip, or should I cover it all?

Colleen

Dear Colleen,

This is a really good question. When it came to making these kinds of decisions at our house, we’d take a look at whether the kid was behaving, getting good grades and stuff like that. It can be a challenge at that age, I know. But if they were living like responsible young people, we would pay for this sort of thing as a reward.

Still, at that age a kid should definitely have some skin in game. If you can pay for this without breaking the bank, and she’s fulfilling her responsibilities as a good kid, it would be a good idea to make her come up with her own spending money for the trip. You don’t want her to grow a sense of entitlement, and doing this would force her to work and save a little bit to make this thing happen!

—Dave

* Dave Ramsey is America’s trusted voice on money and business. He’s authored four New York Times best-selling books: Financial Peace, More Than Enough, The Total Money Makeover and EntreLeadership. The Dave Ramsey Show is heard by more than 6 million listeners each week on more than 500 radio stations. Follow Dave on Twitter at @DaveRamsey and on the web at daveramsey.com.

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