For some teenagers, a first job is a rite of passage during high school. For others, it's the last thing on their mind. And for some parents or families, it's a necessity. What about your teen? Michael Ungar, PhD, a university research professor and author of The We Generation: Raising Socially Responsible Kids, offers parents the following tips and advice.
"Kids start working when it's developmentally appropriate and when they can take on tasks that are safe and manageable," advises Dr Ungar. That might sound general, but parents know their teens best. For some, this may occur at 16. For others, it might not happen until the summer after high school graduation. You must also consider state laws on children and jobs, as well as your own family's financial needs.
Determining the ideal number of work hours each week for your teen requires you to take a few factors into account. Dr Ungar recommends the following three:
As for ensuring a job doesn't interfere too much with her social life, your teen will probably find the balance on her own. Furthermore, Dr Ungar reminds us, "Kids will give up parts of their social lives if the job meets their needs. We forget that kids don't always want to be children. They like the money and the sense of responsibility that a job brings, and they want to transition into adult roles."
Jobs are a part of learning responsibility and growing up. Just be sure to guide and support your child as he enters this new phase of life.
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