### Emphasizing Family Values: College Isn’t the Right Path for Everyone

Q: I’ve found myself in a significant pit of debt from credit cards, consistently spending more than I earn each month. It seems like I’m only sinking deeper into this financial struggle. What steps can I take?

Jim: In this situation, the biggest obstacle you face is inertia. Allowing the current pattern and your personal fears to push you further into financial hardship is not an option.

To break free, you need to take decisive action. Begin by addressing both your income and expenses. Consider taking on extra work or gigs to boost your earnings. Trim your spending to the essentials, foregoing small luxuries and selling items you can live without. While it may be tough, these sacrifices will pay off when you start seeing progress.

If your situation is dire, you might need to downsize or sell assets you value. Another approach is to increase your monthly payments while cutting off further credit card usage to focus on reducing debt or building savings. Prioritize your financial goals and allocate your funds accordingly, essentially creating a budget based on your remaining income.

Above all, stay positive. No matter how bleak things seem, there is always room for improvement, even through small steps. Taking action, no matter how modest, is key to reversing the trend and gaining a sense of control. By consistently spending less than you earn, you can gradually improve your financial situation over time.

For resources and guidance on financial management, you can visit FocusOnTheFamily.com. If you wish to speak with our counselors, feel free to reach out at 855-771-HELP (4357).

Q: My preteen is eager to have a social media account, citing peer pressure and the fear of missing out on social interactions. How should I handle this request?

Dr. Danny Huerta, Vice President, Parenting & Youth: Managing your preteen’s desire for a social media presence can be complex, requiring a balance between their wishes and their well-being. While your child may feel left out without an account, it’s crucial to consider the potential impact on their mental health and development.

Before making a decision, reflect on these points and discuss them with your daughter:

  • Is her belief that not having a social media account will ruin her social life accurate?
  • What are the consequences of her joining social media at such a young age?
  • How might this choice influence her growth, priorities, and future aspirations?
  • Are you hesitant to upset her, and if so, why?

Key considerations include the addictive nature of social media, its effect on perception and information processing, and the potential changes in attitude and behavior it can trigger. Additionally, navigating privacy issues on social platforms can strain parent-child relationships.

Take your time in making this decision and resist the pressure to conform. It’s essential to prioritize your child’s well-being over fleeting social trends. Waiting and exploring alternative ways for your child to connect socially may be more beneficial in the long run.

For more parenting insights, you can explore practical tips at www.FocusOnParenting.com.

Jim Daly, a devoted husband and father, is an esteemed author, the president of Focus on the Family, and the host of the organization’s radio program. To stay updated with his work, you can visit jimdalyblog.focusonthefamily.com or connect with him on Facebook at Facebook.com/JimDalyFocus.