MotherTalkers

Where real moms tell it like it is.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Shameful Marketing? Or Weak Parenting?

It's bad enough parents must compete with the alluring messages broadcast by toy companies, clothing makers, and even cell phone providers.

Now credit card companies are targeting teenagers and one parent even asked an MSN columnist if it was okay for her 15-year-old child to have a credit card. What?! At that age, I was lucky enough to scrounge up cash for a movie.

But as author Jan Faull wisely pointed out in her column, credit card companies are targeting kids, even though they have no income. She wisely suggested talking with kids about savings accounts, credit cards, stock and bonds, insurance and interest rates, but to limit the plastic to a "guarded" debit card instead.

A credit card could be a good financial teaching tool, particularly if you've been a good financial role mode. He can learn the importance of establishing good credit. On the other hand, a bad situation could unfold if he sees how easy it is to acquire one, uses it to his financial limit, pays the minimum amount each month, and then applies for another one.

Call me old-fashioned, but 15-year-olds walking around with a MasterCard are a gross sign of over-indulgent parenting.

33 Comments:

At Wednesday, January 25, 2006 7:38:00 AM, Blogger Rachel said...

What next, eh? In a feat of visual irony, however, scroll down the main page for Raising Kids - one of the articles is: Is your teen drowning in debt? I wonder if anyone at MSN recognized the alpha and omega qualities there!

Rachel Alembakis

 
At Wednesday, January 25, 2006 2:22:00 PM, Blogger Elisa said...

Funny! I didn't see that first time around. I felt a little overwhelmed reading it because the first girl -- Alba -- reminded me of myself at 19: working three jobs and already in debt. It's bullshit that credit card companies can give their wear to people with no real job to pay for it!

 
At Tuesday, September 12, 2006 2:45:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I truly feel that it is wrong for young kids to walk around with any credit cards, your feeding them in on an already materialist soceity, besides look at kids in other countries, their just happy with a pair of pants and having a warm meal on their table.

 
At Monday, June 25, 2007 6:38:00 PM, Anonymous Rose said...

Wow. Credit card companies have absolutely no shame and can think of no good reason for a teen to have a credit card. Their brains aren't finished yet and their reasoning skills suck, and we want to give them a seemingly (to them) financial carte blanche? Dude, that's messed up.

 
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