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Covid-19 : Explaining Quarantine to “Quaranteens:”

The Covid-19 crisis is a tough time for parents; aside from financial stresses, many also encounter difficulties in making their teenagers stay quarantined. In fact, members of the young generation are now calling themselves “quaranteens” at social media sites.

 

Under normal conditions dealing with developing teenagers is already a challenge, especially if an adolescent wants to gain independence early in life. Parents who were in the same boat during their years as teens, can easily relate to what their teenagers are going through.

Some fathers or mothers are inclined to be more liberal by giving their teenager greater freedom than what they, as teenagers were, allowed to have. Some others tend to be more strict, all because they want to protect their children from any kind of hurt; be it physical or emotional. Yet what we have to keep in mind is that deep inside every adolescent’s heart and mind, is the yearning to live life in the future as the person that they envision themselves to be, and not what their parents want or expect them to be.

The Covid-19 Crisis Made Parenting More Difficult than It Already Is

 

Parenting is not a cut-and-dried job where a straightforward set of rules can be applied to ensure that the outcome will meet the standards. It entails giving greater allowance for flexibility and tolerance by considering the setting and conditions we have imposed on our so-called “quaranteens.” If during their pre-adolescent years we encouraged them to learn how to cope on their own, while we as parents engage in full time work, then the yearning to become wholly independent becomes stronger as they enter their in-between years.

However, the conditions imposed by the Covid-19 crisis is something no parent had expected. As everyone is required to stay confined to their home in order to avoid the disease that could affect every member of the household, the change could result in strained family relationships. The breadwinners will suddenly be faced with money problems, while work-from-home conditions have to take place in a setting made chaotic by restless children.

Remember, Covid-19 came at a time when many young people were looking forward to experiencing Junior-Senior Proms, graduation rites and balls, as well as spending spring break with friends at beaches, attending annual music events and all other occasional celebrations young people have long awaited. You as father or mother would understand the disappointment they are experiencing. Keep the communication open between and your teenager so you could in some ways ease feelings of despondency. .

Keep Communications between Family Members Open Often

One great thing about the orders to stay quarantined inside one’s home is that parents have more time to spend with their children. Even if one is engaged in a work-from-home arrangement, there is extra time to spend with the children. After all, you do not have to leave the house early, or stay longer at the workplace just to avoid the heavy traffic. It would be best to spend those extra hours bonding and communicating with your children.

 

We might take it for granted that our adolescents know what exactly is happening, since they also get to read and come across news about the Covid-19 crisis at social media sites. Yet we cannot expect them to fully understand the full implications and impact of the crisis on the family — teenagers are less likely to be interested in reading about economic impacts and about recession or depression.

Try your best to explain the potential consequences of the Covid-19 crisis on the family, in the simplest ways they could understand. Cite examples if you must, like not being able to pay for the great electric dirt bikes you bought on credit for them last Christmas. That if any of them continues to sneak out just to hang out with friends, they could get infected and subsequently infect the rest of the family as well. Try to make them understand that if that happens, whatever savings the family has, will only be depleted by mounting medical expenses and costly hospital bills.

Although communicating information like those could make them more frightened, it might at least keep them from sneaking out because they think “quaranteens’ are invulnerable to the disease.

After a Divorce, Who Gets the Right to Claim a Child as a Dependent for Tax Purposes?

After finalizing a divorce, many separated parents later realize they need to know more about the tax implications of the child support agreement of their divorce settlement.

The matter of claiming a child as a dependent is important when declaring oneself as Head of Household (HOH) instead of a single-payer status. After all, a HOH taxpayer is entitled to a higher amount of personal deduction that reduces one’s taxable income.

Actually, dependency deduction as a means of increasing personal deduction has been discontinued. This was eliminated through the promulgation of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA). The Act officially took effect in 2018 through 2025. In its stead, there are several child-related tax breaks or tax credits available to a single parent deemed eligible to claim a child as a dependent.

Apparently, such tax matters can all be confusing to anyone who does not have full knowledge or comprehension about the tax changes that took effect in 2018. Newly divorced parents apparently had other things in mind at the time the TCJA took effect. The elimination of dependency deduction and the introduction of child-related tax breaks, were the least of their concerns during the painful breakup.

Even if we mention the general rules and requirements that qualify a single-parent, whether custodial or non-custodial, it would be wiser to hire a well-rounded tax preparer. That way, a divorced parent-taxpayer will have peace of mind regarding the accuracy of his or her income tax return; as well as be assured that the applicable tax breaks were considered in the determination of his or her taxable income.

General Rules on Who Can Claim a Child as a Dependent

Under IRS rules, only one of the divorced parents can name a child as his or her dependent. The custodial parent usually has the right to claim a child as a dependent, provided that child was under his or her care during the greater part of the tax year.

First off, the divorced or separated couple must have signed the official agreement within the tax year; or have lived separately for at least six (6) months during the tax year. If otherwise, the original claimant, even if he or she becomes a non-custodial parent after a divorce agreement, can still claim a child as a dependent and avail the related tax breaks for that particular year.

Secondly, it should be clear that child support money received by a custodial parent is not taxable income. In the same way, a non-custodial parent who opts to file a tax return using the itemized-deduction method, cannot include child support money in his or her list of deductible expenses.

Thirdly, a non-custodial parent can claim a child as his or her dependent only if the custodial parent accomplishes and signs Release/Revocation of Release of Claim to Exemption for Child by Custodial Parent, using IRS Form 8332. The declaration of release must be made on a per year basis, as the non-custodial parent’s claim for the tax year must always be supported by a copy of the IRS Form 8332 signed by the custodial parent.

Millennial Parents Bond with Their Children by Way of Video Games.

For so many years, video games have been a target of criticisms; mainly for perceived detrimental effects on the behavior formation and mind development among children and adolescents. The apprehension heightened as young people were often preoccupied with video games. Eventually, digital games flourished and somehow became part of the American society’s culture. The generation of millennial adolescents who were the previous subjects of concern are now the high ranking players dominating the video gaming world.

Yet as studies about the effects of video games continued, particularly in relation to the spate of bullying and school shooting incidents, the results so far are still inconclusive. Digital games on the other hand have become more realistic and violent, giving rise to questions on whether adolescents of today have become aggressive as a result of playing such games.

One study surveyed around 1,000 students ranging in ages between 14 and 15 years. What was different in this research though, was that it took into account the opinions of the parents. It was deemed important because they are the firsts to see any signs of increased aggressive behaviors in their adolescent children. .

Although the researchers noted that there indications that video game playing among the adolescents under study, resulted to occasional outbursts of anger among teens playing in either single or multiplayer mode, the researchers perceived such displays of anger as normal reactions to competitive engagements. The study did not find changes that indicated antisocial behaviors that could lead to increased teen aggression, which were confirmed through interviews with their parents.

What Current Statistics are Saying about America’s Video Gaming Culture

Recent statistics show that the generation of American millennials who grew up spending most of their recreational time playing computer games are still into video gaming more than their present adolescent counterparts.

A report from Statista said that about 72% of video gamers today are 18 years old or older, to which gamers between ages 18 and 35 played the most. Even more interesting is that as of 2018, 43% of this group of video game enthusiasts are represented by gamers who are more than 35 years old. When broken down, the numbers showed that 20% were between age 36 and 49, while the remaining 23% were 50 years old or older.

No wonder adolescents are finding it hard to compete with the high ranking players in games like Rainbow Six Siege. Apparently, teenagers are competing with a generation of video gamers who have already acquired extensive skills and crystallized intelligence as far as video gaming is concerned.

In American households today, around 60% have both parents and children as gamers, of which more than 75% are parents who spend time playing with their kids. Parents who do so said they consider their playing engagement as an excellent opportunity to bond with their kids.

Naturally as parents, they have to show that they are the better players. In contrast, millennial parents who got involved in computer gaming only later during their adult life, have their reputations at risk if their children surpass them in player ranking.

Admittedly, I am one such parent who found out later on in my adult life that video gaming is not as bad as my parents had previously perceived. Still, I can commit to playing video games with my children only once a week and am seeing myself falling behind the player ranking aspect of Rainbow 6 Siege.

Fortunately, I found out that there are some enterprising R6 video gamers who can help me advance much quicker and further my boosting mission. Thanks to the Rainbow Six Siege rank boosting pros, I am able to maintain my children’s regard of me as a formidable Rainbow 6 Siege team mate.

Trump Forgets Teen-Vaping Concerns, Decides to Side with Pro-Vapers Instead

Last November 11, 2019, a group of protesters identifying themselves as pro-vapers converged in Washington, D.C. to show their support for flavored e-cigarettes.

What is interesting though is that the rallyists who traveled all the way from different states across the U.S. and mostly from the so-called “swing states” are using their voting rights as leverage for their protest. Carrying a placard that said “We Vape, We Vote,” they clearly delivered a message that their right to smoke e-flavored cigarettes can influence their decision to vote come November 2020.

Apparently the group of e-cigarette smokers are aware that the largeness of their number, can hurt Trump’s chances of winning his re-election bid.

A related survey showed that as many as 14 million American adults are now into vaping as an alternative to traditional cigarette-smoking. The survey results also indicated that a large number of those 14 million vapers will vote for political candidates who will support their right to smoke flavored e-cigarettes.

The president of the American Vaping Association, Greg Conley, asserted that they can attest to the veracity of the survey results, emphasizing that

“Approximately 3 to 5 million American adults give credit to e-cigarettes for its role in helping them quit smoking traditional cigarettes.”

Actually, vaping advocates in the states of Michigan, New York, Rhode Island and Washington have filed legal challenges against the state-level bans passed against flavoured electronic cigarettes. The protests clearly send a message that if driven to become single-issue voters, they will give more weight on candidates who will represent and support their cause.

Vaping-Ban “We Vape, We Vote” Message Forces Trump to Do a Turnabout

The clamor against legislations that include prohibiting American adults from smoking flavored e-cigarettes became a cause for worry for Trump’s campaign manager Brad Parscale. News reports have quoted him as saying that he has warned the U.S. president that signing a ban on flavoured vaping products has the potential to hurt Trump’s chances of winning in the 2020 election, especially in the key states.

Parscale, being the man behind the social media campaigns that delivered votes in favor of Trump during the 2016 elections, is well aware of the power of e-cigarette influencers in social media sites. Now that they have taken up the cudgel via “We Vape We Vote” movement, the impact could indeed hurt the Trump campaign team’s social media efforts.

Trump announced in September that he is all for banning flavored electronic cigarettes because of the heightened concerns over teen vaping. However, the potential impact of losing votes because of the ban made him do a turnabout.

After meeting with executives from the e-cigarette industry and public health advocates, Donald Trump arrived at a decision not to sign the memo he issued in September. The U.S. president is now saying he is also concerned about the loss of jobs if the manufacture of e-cigarettes ceases; as well as the possibility that vapers will simply resort to buying from illegal sources.

Although it is typical for Trump to reverse decisions previously made, this latest development manifests the ability of social media and its contributors to sway even political decisions. Inasmuch as the ban of flavored vapes is important to both consumers and politicians, many bloggers are likely to delve on those issues.

As a note to social media bloggers whose content has to compete with those published by millions of other bloggers, be in the know that social media marketers like SMM-World, can provide the support needed to boost the appearance of their content.