A Michigan teen’s hot dog cart is a more complex operation than your garden-variety lemonade stand. Wanting to earn some money to help out his disabled parents, the 13-year-old saved up to purchase a hot dog cart, then set up business in downtown Holland. The city promptly shut him down. Thanks to zoning laws designed to protect downtown eateries, food carts can’t set up in the city unless they’re part of an existing restaurant operation. The young entrepreneur is too young for a street vendor’s license, which could have kept the business running. So what did he do next? After attracting national media attention, he sold the cart to a local business, but retains the right to borrow it back for special events that might require hot dogs. [More]
Just about everyone has done it: leave kids in the car, even for just a minute or two, with the keys still in the ignition so the air conditioning, heat, or radio can keep running. For people without kids, surely your own parents left you in the car with the keys at some point. Or maybe they never did, fearing that something would go terribly wrong. Like when a Michigan teen with the keys to her grandmother’s car launched a one-girl demolition derby in the parking lot of a Bed, Bath, and Beyond. She hit a utility pole and a few parked cars before eventually nestling the vehicle sideways between two other parked cars. [More]
For teens at the NorthPark Center mall in Dallas, there’s no more whiling away the hours loitering at the food court with their school chums. If kids under the age of 18 want to hang at the mall after 6:00 p.m., they now have to do it with parents in tow. [More]
Teaching your teenage child to drive is an emotionally fraught yet important time. You can instill good driving habits that will see them through the couple of decades we have left before robotic flying cars dominate the market, then eventually enslave us. Or you can set a bad example by whipping out your phone while teaching the finer points of highway merging. Guess which one most American parents choose? [More]
Theoretically, a 16-year-old shouldn’t be on the mailing list for unsolicited credit card offers. Neither should a 13-year-old. Yet companies just can’t stop sending solicitations to J’s teenage daughter–even after J. specifically opted her out of the offers. Permanently. Or so the family thought. Now they’ve started up again, and J. isn’t sure how to make them stop. [More]
With sales down and consumer interest flagging, Abercrombie & Fitch has decided it’s time to bring back its provocative catalog. The return of A&F Quarterly, which will go on sale July 17 for $10, is a blatant grab for the attention of America’s recession-wracked teen spenders. Will it succeed? [More]
It’s almost graduation time, which means that lots of parents and recent graduates will be in the market for a dependable car for heading off to college or full-time work. Our cousins with the cool test track at Consumer Reports have come up with their annual list of Best Cars for Teens. [More]
If you’re a company like Echometrix that sells parental control software, you’re sitting on a whole bunch of data about what teens and children say and do on the Internet. What to do with that information? Use it to make your software better? Well, of course. But why not sell aggregate data to marketers, too?
The tight economy has meant fewer jobs for teens, leaving more of them with empty wallets and at the mercy of that heartless arbiter of teen fashion: mom. The Wall Street Journal reports that even stores that specialize in clothes for younger consumers are following the money to its source. Aeropostale’s employee handbook states: “Because parents make the final decision, they want to feel valued, and they want to feel good about what they purchase.”
A teenager is suing Abercrombie & Fitch and one of its former employees after she caught someone filming her in one of the store’s dressing rooms.
Alcohol ads pop up on cable programming that’s popular with teeagers at a suspicious rate, a study by the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth and UCLA found.
Because we took a lot of seasonal jobs/were easily bored, we had quite a few jobs as a teenager. But although our workplaces exposed us to hazards like deli slicers and Christmas Eve mall shoppers, we’re relieved to learn we never had one of the National Consumer League’s Five Worst Teen Jobs.
Some adults who are out of work are now going after classic teen jobs, says ABC News. In Florida, which has the fourth-highest unemployment rate of the nation, men in their 30s and 40s “have pulled on swim trunks in hopes of beating out the teenagers for a few choice positions as $9.37 an hour lifeguards.” The report also says adults are trying out for jobs at places like Six Flags. All of this reminds us a little of this Kids In The Hall Sketch (see below) where a young boy finds a stray businessman and brings him home.
A couple of years ago, the New York Times did a piece on the poor treatment of teens hired to travel the country and sell magazine subscriptions door-to-door, but they’re not the only ones getting the raw end of the deal.
Two Pennsylvania judges were sued in federal court this past week for allegedly taking $2.6 million in kickbacks from private juvenile detention facilities. In exchange, they sentenced hundreds of youths to the centers over the past 5 years. One of the judges, Mark Ciavarella, sent 1 out of 4 defendants to the centers, compared to a statewide rate of 1 in 10.
Ah, children. We know you’re trying your best not to mess yours up, but teaching kids about money is hard. If it wasn’t, this credit card would not even exist. So what do you do?
Lisa sent us a short angry email about her local CVS, and how it treats local teens. Her local store separates customers into two lines, and the line containing the 18 and under crowd is only allowed into the store two at a time. The store employees say it’s to keep down shoplifting. Lisa thinks it’s blatant ageism, and she’s avoiding the store from now on. Teens can be annoying, but did CVS cross the line in punishing all for the bad actions of a few? Read her letter and leave your comments, inside.
Less than a week ago, Tennessee voted to require a personal finance class of all graduating high school students, starting with this year’s seventh graders. Unfortunately, less than 20% of states have similar requirements. We’ve made a fancy-schmancy graphic to show which states are teaching tomorrow’s citizens how to manage money, and which states are likely to be great places to set up payday loan shops. Inside, see the chart nice and big.