A teenager with a credit card! Let’s consider this for just a moment. On the plus side there is the fact that they won’t be asking for money practically every day leaving us parents with the general feeling of being just a bank to them. There is the added benefit of the inability to loose money or give it to their friends. For the college student it would eliminate the logistics of getting money to them in a pinch. There are many other benefits attached to the prospects of letting teenagers have credit cards but this article is a vote of “No” on the subject so let me explain my position.
I would rather not talk in generalities especially when it involves people. There are always exceptions to the rule, however I feel even the most mature of teenagers have their moments of less than logical thinking. This age class lends itself to peer pressure easily making the availability of money potentially equal to that of fuel to a fire. Let’s face it; the priorities of the teenager are vastly different than that of a more mature adult, although, even some adults have their priorities a bit out of whack.
Some will argue that parents could be set rules as to spending limits and the like. In my experience as a teenager I can say without reservation that I didn’t always stick by the rules my parents set for me. I always considered them as guidelines and not hard and fast restrictions of my actions. I can also say that just about all my friends acted the same. Even with dire consequences implied my own teenagers were caught from time to time bending rules and agreements. Why would teenagers consider a credit card any differently? Bottom line is as long as they are under legal age you are responsible for their actions. If they don’t live up to the responsibilities of having a credit card then you could potentially be at risk to pay up.
In my opinion parents should be teaching children how not to use credit cards or only to use them in an emergency. Let’s face it, if you can pay off the balance at the end of the month why did you charge it in the first place. Credit cards should never be used unless there’s no other way out. Why should we teach our children to live on money they haven’t earned? Isn’t this like just pressing the easy button? As adults we all know life isn’t easy.