Friday, September 28, 2012

Tax Incentives to Stop Helicopter Parents from Shortening the Life Expectancies of their Children

In a generation we have wiped out the practice of letting our children walk to school and of letting them play outside unsupervised. Sports are highly organized and competitive, forcing many children to quit by age 12 because they aren't destined to be superstars. Grade 8 PE teachers say they are seeing more and more kids who can't run,  jump or dribble a ball. This adds up to a booming health care industry, a stretched health care system, and a declining life expectancy for the average Canadian.

What's the cause? Helicopter parenting just might be the biggest culprit. Have you ever heard parents rationalize their child's lack of physical activity or justify forcing a child to specialize in one sport like this:
My kids will be abducted if they go outside without me!
There is too much traffic on the roads for bike riding!
I don't have time to walk my child to school!
I just want my kid to focus on one sport so he can make the rep team!

Fear-based parenting, a declining life expectancy and money

A few years ago the Federal Government introduced the Child Fitness Credit. You can get a tax credit up to $75 per child if you spend over $500 per calendar year on sports fees and memberships. This is a good idea, but where is the incentive to let your child try all kinds of sports every year and be active every day?

I think deeper tax incentives may help. How about additional tax credits for putting your kids in multiple sports in a single year, say 3 or more different sports per child? Or, what about tax credits for sport safety gear like bike helmets and knee pads?

As for helicopter parents driving kids to school and keeping their kids indoors to keep them safe, we may need to spend some money advertising in markets aimed at first-time parents. We need to let parents know that that the real world is really not scary...not as scary as unhappiness, low self-esteem, and a shorter, sicker life.

Copyright 2012. Laura Thomas. All Rights Reserved.
For reprint permission contact moneyme at telus dot net.

Monday, September 10, 2012

New Contest for Kids Under 18: Kids Teaching Kids About Money

Canadian kids can win an Ipad, Ipod or Ipod Touch plus big money for their RESPs by entering this contest by October 12th!

The Credit Counseling Society, a Canadian non-profit society that helps families deal with debt and other financial issues, is ringing in National Financial Literacy month (November) with a money contest for kids called, "How would you teach kids about money?"

The contest deadline has been extended to October 12th

Students from BC, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan who are under 18 are being asked to send in an original idea for teaching kids about money. Each entry, which can be no more than 500 words, will be judged on three criteria: originality and creativity (40%), how effectively it can be implemented across Canada (40%), and presentation (20%).

The contest, according to Stacy Yanchuk Oleksy, Director of Education and Community Awareness at the Credit Counseling Society, is about finding out what kids think they need to know about money. "It's easy for us adults to say what we think kids should know about money, but we wanted to hear directly from young Canadians about how they would teach kids about money," said Yanchuk Oleksy.

When asked what will happen with the winning ideas, Yanchuk Oleksy said, "The Credit Counseling Society intends to implement the winning idea(s) contingent on stakeholder support, funding, and available resources as we are a non-profit, charitable organization that takes managing its income and expenses very seriously."

Entries are due October 12, 2012 and should be submitted by email. For complete contest rules, please visit the Credit Counseling Society website.

Please help spread the news by posting this article on your Facebook page or forwarding it to your child's teacher. The more kids we have thinking and talking about money the better.

Copyright 2012. Laura Thomas. All Rights Reserved.
For reprint permission contact moneyme at telus dot net.