It’s a question a lot of parents are faced with as their child becomes a young adult. Whether your teenager is looking to make a little extra cash for college or you’re hoping to teach her the value of the dollar, you probably still have some questions that need answers before you can consent to sending your child out into the working world.
The Parent’s Role
When a teen decides to work, the parent is also faced with some added responsibilities. As a parent, it’s up to you to help your child establish balance between work and school, responsibilities and relaxation.
It’s a good idea to set up some sort of routine if you can. If the work schedule is fairly steady, you can establish guidelines to make sure homework is finished before 9pm, sit-down dinners are a nonnegotiable, or that your child can only work up to a certain amount of hours each week. It’s up to you to figure out what works for your situation.
There are many other things to consider when it comes to helping your child select a part-time job. Make sure you both fully weigh the benefits and challenges of the additional workload before committing to a new job.
Part-time Jobs: The Pros
Besides extra cash in hand, a job can provide your teen with plenty of benefits. With a part-time job, your child can:
- Earn money for college. With the cost of college always on the rise, a little extra money saved up for tuition, books, or living expenses can always help.
- Build confidence and time-management skills. Jobs teach responsibility and help young adults learn valuable skills. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics conducted a study showing students who worked between one and 20 hours actually earned higher grades than students who did not work at all.
- Get training and experience. A part-time job can actually help a student’s chance of getting into college. A letter of recommendation from an employer and the ability for the student to show her initiative and maturity can all help with the admission process.
Part-time Jobs: The Cons
Just remember that there are two sides to every coin, even one earned at work. A part-time job:
- Can negatively impact schooling. Studies show that working more than 20 hours may limit your child’s time too much. This puts a strain on her ability to participate in extracurricular activities and can lead to decreased school performance.
- Can introduce your child to bad influences. Working expands a young person’s social circle to include fellow employees, customers, and more. It’s impossible to know who your child will encounter, or what type of impact those people could have on her.
- Limits time with family and friends. Keep in mind that as a new, part-time worker, your child may get scheduled to work on holidays and weekends. This means that missing family gatherings and social events is a real possibility.
The bottom line: talk to your child about her potential new job to make sure she understands how it will impact her life. And be prepared to continue the conversation throughout her professional and school careers to make sure everything is still going smoothly.
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