Whether it's pumping gas, having a conversation with an adult, or dressing for a job interview, there comes a time in every teenager's life when he or she has to start doing things for themselves, and on the other side of the coin, there comes a time when parents need to stop doing certain things for their teens, especially when it comes to footing some bills.
Here are 9 things parents shouldn't pay for once their kid's a teenager.
- Chili's and the ilk. Mom and Dad should still pay for basic food and meals, but fun ones with friends? It's on your teen to foot that bill. Not only does it teach them about saving for big nights out (what, going to Chili's was, like, a huge deal growing up), but it also teaches them how to order within their budget. Only got $20? No Molten Lava Cake for you!
- Auxiliary gas. Odds are that if your teen's got a car, you paid for it. Ask them to chip in for gas every now and again, especially if they're the ones always driving their friends around.
- Cellphone overages. Your teen's phone is a privilege, not a right, and sometimes they need a reminder of that. If you don't have them paying for their own plan, you could consider asking them to pay for any overages that might occur with excessive texting or data usage. Also, phone insurance is about $5 a month -- maybe have them cover that, as well, since it's almost a guarantee they'll crack the screen since we all do, regardless of age.
- Party clothes. I don't see anything wrong with covering basic clothing needs, but that sparkly tutu from Forever 21 or that distressed baseball hat from Abercrombie? They can buy themselves those kinds of items.
- Silly, preventable, stupid mistakes. If your beloved teen breaks a neighbor's window playing football in the street after you repeatedly told him not to for that very reason, yeah, having him chip in for the repairs seems reasonable.
- Presents. Even if your teen is dead broke, giving them cash to buy family and friends birthday or holiday gifts is not really necessary. There are tons of cheap, if not free, DIY things that make excellent presents. Give them the space and the opportunity to think outside the box before handing them some dough.
- Donations. If there's a suggested donation at a museum, or school play, or school basketball game, have your teen pay what he or she can, even if it's 25 cents.
- The more extravagant prom stuff. Prom is expensive (I think even back in my day, the tickets were over $50), so I do feel like parents, if able, can help their kids out here, but once the basics are covered, it's up to them to pay for their upgraded limo, their professional makeup job, or that super swanky tux complete with a hat and cane.
- Booze. I don't think you should pay for your kids' booze. Crazy, I know.
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What do you think parents should or shouldn't pay for when their kids are teens?
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