No, this mistake isn’t about teaching kids about money starting too soon. It’s about giving too much freedom too soon. Like all things in life, kids learn a bit at a time, and they learn best when they’re allowed to make some mistakes (and they have to be somewhat painful mistakes) so they gain some experience and move on.
How do you know if it’s too soon?
This is the tricky part. You want your kids to always have enough responsibility that perfection is just beyond their grasp. You want to stretch them a bit, and you expect them to have some failure along the way. Failure is OK. I think the key question here is, “What’s the biggest mistake my teen is likely to make?” If that mistake is too big for you to live with, then you’ve given too much responsibility, too soon. Scale it back a bit until you’re confident they’re not going to make an enormous mistake, and only start working back up again once they’ve demonstrated they’re ready for more.