Sometimes, it becomes necessary to refer teenagers for financial counseling. Therefore, as a financial counselor, you may occasionally be confronted with situations where you have to work with teenage clients. In such situations, you’d have to use special counseling techniques, if at all you are to achieve the desired objectives.
Teenagers find themselves in a stage in between adulthood and childhood. They are not exactly kids (in the strict sense of the world), but neither are they fully-developed adults. So the techniques you’d have used in counseling kids (like, say, elementary school kids) are not applicable here. But neither are the techniques you’d have used in counseling fully-developed adults applicable while dealing with teenagers. In a nutshell, you find that you need special counseling techniques, if at all you are to access the teenagers’ minds and influence them in the desired way.
It is important to understand that some of the teenagers are at an age where they are already earning their own income. Some find themselves in situation where they have to assume full adult financial responsibilities –in spite of the fact that their minds may not yet be fully developed. You may, for instance, find a teenager who is already dealing with issues of credit card debt. True, serious lenders (like Capital One, for instance) try to avoid targeting teenagers in their credit card promotions. It would therefore be rather hard to find a teenager going through the getmyoffer.capitalone.com application process. In other words, it is highly unlikely that a teenager would get my offer from Capital One. But there are other lenders — irresponsible lenders I dare say — who target such vulnerable groups of people. And that is how a teenager ends up having to grapple with credit card debt issues.
All said and done, the most important thing while offering financial counseling to teenagers is to show them that you genuinely respect them. It is also important to ensure that you get them to understand that the financial counseling is something they are going through for their own benefit. And it is important to walk with them at their pace – not being too slow to the extent of boring them, nor being too fast to the extent of overwhelming them.