Teens Adjust To New Economic Realities

“Kaitlyn Postle is having a bumpy adjustment (to the financial crisis). She has a weekend baby-sitting job and can’t wait to turn 16, so she can find work at a mall.

“I used to ask for things and my parents would say, ‘We can’t do that,’ ” she said in a phone interview. “So I would throw a tantrum and get an attitude. They used to give in a lot. But that doesn’t work now.”

The good news, she said, is that when she shops at thrift stores, she can buy more for her money. But now that she has a temporary license — freedom! — how will she pay for gas?

She assumes she will have to attend a local college and live at home. “I don’t have a problem with that,” she said. “Whatever. That way, I won’t have to pay for everything.”

In the background, a half-shout of protest could be heard. “Of course,” Kaitlyn added, “my parents aren’t too happy about that.”

Examining the financial crisis as it ripples out into the real world.

As if it wasn’t already a challenge to teach kids how to manage (and earn) their own money…