The conventional wisdom is that allowances make children responsible money managers as they learn to budget so they don't run out of cash.But Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus of finance and former dean of business at the State University of New York in Buffalo, says that's not always the case. In fact, says Mandell, who has studied financial literacy, certain allowances may even be hurting kids.According to Mandell, high school students who didn't get an allowance performed better on a financial literacy test than those who did, especially teens who received stipends with no strings attached. And children receiving unconditional allowances — no chores required — also were less motivated to get a job or go to college, he says.Mandell goes further, saying these unconditional allowances could be "child neglect."Those are fightin' words among some financial professionals. Indeed, even to question the benefits of an allowance can trigger a spirited defense of the practice. If … [Read more...] about Will giving children an allowance make them smarter about finances?
Toy making for kids
Heading to an auto show with your kids seems like a trip only for the foolhardy or the overconfident, but it's one that I recommend to friends who are shopping for a new family car. I've done it — though not always successfully. Learn from my mistakes. Related: How to Car Shop at an Auto Show Auto shows are one of the best places to efficiently shop for a car. Think about it: All those car brands under one roof — it allows shoppers to easily add and subtract cars from their list of possibilities. Of course, when you add kids to the mix, things become a lot less efficient. There are tactics, however, that will help you and your family navigate an auto show and still do the work of narrowing your list of potential new vehicles. Here are six must-haves: 1. Have a Plan Most families know they need a plan of attack to successfully navigate any event. This is doubly true with an auto show. Do your research and have a list of cars to check out while at the show, keeping … [Read more...] about Taking the Kids to the Auto Show? Here’s How to Stay Sane
Fledgling toymaker Ridemakerz has been giving buyers the option to build their own scale model cars at their brick and mortar “shopz” since 2007 and has recently announced that it will expand its customization reach onto the Web. Called the Ridemakerz Virtual Experience, it’s touted as providing a whole other level to the toy making experience thanks to its personalized options, games and virtual races. According to the company, models customized on the Web are shipped unassembled so kids can build them with their parents. The experience is said resemble the age old ritual of fixing a car up in the driveway with Pop, but in the digital world. Kids can earn “Achievement Points’ too for doing certain car related tasks and by answering auto-themed questions. “Customizers” can even race their ‘ridez’ in the RZ Motor Speedway racing game. All of Ridemakerz parts are set on portraying authenticity and are licensed by their respective … [Read more...] about Ridemakerz Goes Online With All-New Toy Making Virtual Experience
We can safely say the Power Wheels Smart Drive Mustang is way better than any toy car we had as kids. This battery-operated model looks and even sounds like a real Mustang. Plus, it has a number of safety features that will reassure parents. Available in either blue or pink, the Power Wheels Mustang is the result of a collaboration between Ford and Fisher-Price. It features engine sounds recorded from a real Mustang, rising and falling with changes in vehicle speed just like a real car. Traction control helps keep the car going over wet grass or bumpy surfaces, and a tilt sensor works to prevent rollovers (no joke). A backlit LED touch interface allows parents to set the car’s top speed anywhere from 1-5 mph. Because distracted driving isn’t as pressing of an issue at these speeds, kids can plug in devices through an auxiliary input jack inside the car and play music through the car’s own speakers. “Mustang is one of our best-selling sports cars,” said … [Read more...] about Power Wheels Ford Mustang Is Way Nicer Than Any Toy Car We Had as Kids
Christmas is in only a few weeks, and if you’re a lady that doesn’t know what to buy her handyman here’s the perfect solution. Fun for all big kids it’s called the Ford F-750 Tonka. Built Ford tough this 10-foot-tall ultimate vessel of childhood nostalgia can make short work out of any HGTV landscaping project. Based on the all-new 2016 Ford F-650/F-750, the bold dump truck is painted signature Tonka yellow with a custom blackout nostril grille and fully functional dump body from Truck Tech Engineers. The F-750 Tonka is ready to move dirt at job sites, create new playgrounds and fuel the imaginations of kids of all ages. John Ruppert, general manager for Ford Commercial Vehicle Sales and Marketing spoke “from Generation Z to the Greatest Generation, Ford and Tonka continue to set the standards for tough trucks. People of all ages have been counting on Ford F-Series and Tonka trucks to get the job done – from construction site to sandbox – for … [Read more...] about Ford’s F-750 Tonka a 10-Foot-Tall Toy Truck for Big Kids
She is twenty-seven or perhaps thirty-one, long-limbed and lithe with clean blond hair pulled straight back – though not in a severe way – from a fine-boned, small-nosed face. That which is not honed by either Pilates or Bikram is flattered by the lycra of her Lululemon yoga capris, the fabric caressing as it flexes. As she bends over to soothe an adorable tow-headed toddler in a six-hundred-dollar ergonomic jogging stroller, I have just one thing on my mind.Damn.That is a really nice stroller.Congratulate me: I’m a new father! And so, after a bloody, protracted labour that’d make the UFC look like a competitive backrub league, my priorities have changed somewhat. I have a child now. A daughter.It’s the oddest sensation, to hear the first cry of a child and feel the poles of your life suddenly shift; to be handed a squalling life and feel the unimaginable weight of all that potential joy and heartbreak as it falls asleep in your arms. There was a Then, but … [Read more...] about Kids
This burly little thing is the Toyota Camatte Hajime. It’s built for children, and it’s basically the fully functional car you wished for as a kid when you realized how slow your Power Wheels was. At the Tokyo Toy Show, Toyota showed it off as part of a really nifty virtual car system that makes us wish we were seven again.The Hajime is the sixth kiddie vehicle in Toyota’s Camatte lineup, a series of concept vehicles built just for kids. The three-seat electric mini-machines have removable body panels held on by twist-fasteners, with a central driving position for youngsters and outboard seats that let a grownup ride along (and perhaps grab the wheel when needed).Hajimi means “beginning” in Japanese, and Toyota’s virtual setup at the Tokyo Toy Show demonstrates how kids could customize the wee vehicle to their hearts’ content. Show visitors can use a virtual setup to swap 13 different bodies onto the Camatte, including a police car, fire truck, … [Read more...] about Toyota’s Kid Car Is Too Cool for Grade School
Why would someone choose a Jeep Wrangler for his (or very often her) daily driver? The question has been bothering me for 30-some years—ever since a rattle bag of us Car and Driver scribes returned, wet and aching, from a Jeep jaunt in the Michigan woods and declared that the off-road enthusiast was the new sports-car aficionado. The CJ-7, we claimed, was the MGA, the TR3, the Austin-Healey 3000 of the 1970s. (Why someone would choose a British roadster for a daily driver is another question, one that quit bothering me in 1998 when carpenter ants got the last un-museumed Morgan Plus 4.) The Jeep Wrangler/Sahara/Rubicon makes sense if you’re crossing the Rubicon to get to the Sahara where you’ll be wrangling cattle. But if you’re using it to drop the kids at soccer practice, you’re nuts. And I say this as a brand loyalist. I grew up in Toledo, Ohio. I lived five blocks from … [Read more...] about Make Mine a Jeep: P.J. O’Rourke’s Ode to the Wrangler
They’re monsters, fighting over a squeezable toy bus before the journey has even begun. They’re inattentive rascals, wearing headphones and tuning out their parents before Mom is even in the van. They’re instigators and agitators, wholly dependent upon parents to keep the peace.Or are they? Are children really so bad that Honda’s very first marketing campaign for the fifth-generation 2018 Odyssey has to present a negative slant on the life of a parent?Maybe not. But in an age in which conflict is fostered during live news coverage all day long, in which children are perpetually entertained so they don’t need to entertain themselves, in which there’s not enough time before Zoey’s pottery class and Aiden’s play date to source a conventional resolution, Honda’s Magic Slide seats produce a brilliantly eye-catching commercial, with a little help from animation.Of course, my kids would never tussle like … [Read more...] about New 2018 Honda Odyssey Commercial: Your Kids Are Awful, We Have A Solution
Best & Brightest, you certainly didn’t disappoint in the last installment of Ask Bark. While some of you seem to be confused about the difference between asking for friendly advice and asking for a full evaluation of one’s values, I know that Greg appreciated your advice almost as much as he appreciated mine. Well done, B&B.Now, let’s examine this week’s e-mail from a man whose remarks I resemble. Jordan writes:Hey Bark,As a family man, you understand the balance between the needs of your children (chocolate milk, corn dogs, shelter, etc.) and the needs of an enthusiast trying to maintain sanity. I’ve owned a number of sporty cars over the years and typically move on to something different every 12-18 months (my kind of guy —Bark). My “dad shoes” have heel-toed in the likes of a Volkswagen GTI MkV, Honda S2000 AP2, Mini Cooper S and, more recently, a ’14 Ford Fiesta ST.I am looking to get … [Read more...] about Ask Bark: What Car Should I Buy For Double Duty?