3. Set it up together
If possible, link your child's savings account to the new checking account, advises Allan Prindle, president and CEO of Power Financial Credit Union in Miami.
Then, walk your child through the process of depositing money earned from jobs, birthdays or allowances to the account. Place some in savings for later and some in checking for spending.
Remember that while your child has watched you swipe a debit card for years, he or she may not fully understand how the transaction works. "Explain that a debit card connected to an account is the same as cash," Campbell says.
Then, when your child uses a debit card, "track the transaction and watch the process," suggests Prindle. Show how after the card is swiped, funds are deducted from the account. Hang on to the receipt until the transaction goes through.
If the bank allows you to deposit checks through a smartphone or tablet, show your child the steps involved to take advantage of this feature.
Also, "teach your child the importance of never sharing account information with friends and to always use privacy measures when shopping," adds Campbell.
4. Monitor activity
Once your son or daughter grasps the basics of the transaction process, consider a strategy Campbell coins the "power of 60." Most banks have apps for use on a smartphone or tablet. Show your child how to take 60 seconds every day to check the account balance.
Many institutions have a daily debit card limit for protection, notes Prindle, and "you can customize the amount charged on a card during the day." Try starting small with a limit of $50 or $100 a day. Also consider setting restrictions on ATM withdrawals, beginning with $50 a day.
In addition to checking activity online, request text alerts if the account is low.
5. Make it a learning process
Esterly has set up a system in which her teens receive a stipend once every 2 weeks. From that amount, they need to cover gas, dining out, miscellaneous purchases and entertainment. "We also warned them if they overspent on some categories and didn't have gas money, they'd have to do extra chores to earn more money or take it out of their savings account," she says.
"Most institutions allow you to set checking on and off for overdraft. Turn it off," advises Prindle. Your teen might be rejected by a merchant at the point of sale because of insufficient funds, but you'll avoid the overdraft fees, which average $32.74 per instance, according to Bankrate's most recent annual checking study.
"There's so much more technology available today than in the past," Prindle says. "It's refreshing to be able to have these limits and controls -- you can let them do a few things, but now the account won't go negative. If they lose the card, you can turn the card off. The technology is pretty neat."