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Let’s Get More Money from the Cash Machine

Raising a Responsible Adolescent

Parenting Teens With Love & Logic by Foster Cline, M.D. & Jim Fay

Money Doesn’t Grow on Trees: Teaching your Kids the Value of a Buck!

by Tania K. Cowling

Teens love beautiful cars, name brand clothing, the latest sports equipment, stereos, computers and cell phones. Maybe this sounds like the “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” to you, but to many teens in the 21st century, these are the things they must have. Since these items are on the expensive list, many teens feel that having a part-time job is not so bad; it will pay for their expensive lifestyle.

There are many benefits to allowing teenagers to take on part-time jobs after school and on weekends. Besides extra money to spend (and hopefully save) jobs teach kids the value of punctuality, professionalism, managing their time, and putting forth one’s best effort. Jobs can also provide experience that may help teens get into college or even plant the seeds for a future career. On the other hand, there is a downside where too much work can cause fatigue, as well as cut into time for extracurricular activities such as sports, clubs and socializing with friends. Most of all, jobs can detract from a child’s most important mission at this time in his life; doing well in school.

Here’s a look at the benefits, drawbacks to part-time work that will help you make an informed decision.


  • Life Skills: Work skills prepare your child for adulthood.
  • Self Confidence: On-the-job training helps develop a sense of responsibility and independence
  • Independence: Earning money will enable your child to buy the extra things wanted and teach responsible money management.
  • Adult Supervision: If both parents work outside the home, an
    afterschool job can give your child some adult supervision during those crucial afternoon hours.
  • Career Path: The right job or jobs may expose your child to new work possibilities and set him on the path to a lifetime career.


  • Lower Grades: Working more than 13-20 hours per week could be associated with lower grades in school.
  • Poor Socialization: Too many work hours interfere with extracurricular activities and social relationships.
  • Bad Influences: Older co-workers in some jobs may have bad habits that could lead teens astray.


  • Children under 14 are restricted to delivering newspapers, working in a non-hazardous business owned by a parent, baby-sitting, or doing other minor domestic chores in a private home, or performing on stage, screen or radio. They may work only between 7am and 7pm during the school year and until 9pm in the summer.
  • Children, ages 14 and15, may work at non-hazardous jobs for three hours on school days, eight hours on non-school days, 18 hours during a school week and 40 hours during a non-school week.
  • Children aged 15-and-older, teens may perform any non-hazardous job for any number of hours.

Some states impose stiffer restrictions—check with the labor department in your area.


  • Talk about what your child wants from the job. Is it career preparation? A venue for socialization? Or is it just for money?
  • Discuss the importance of maintaining good grades, continuing extracurricular activities and keeping up his social life.
  • Talk about preparing a budget that includes saving as well as spending.
  • Visit the job site with your child and meet the supervisor.
  • Help your child look for better jobs as time goes on. Explore jobs
    that relate to career interests or exposure to a wider range of career options.

Appropriate jobs may include:

  • Counselor at a summer camp or daycare facility.
  • Working in a bakery, or ice cream shop.
  • Retail work—clothing and sports equipment are enticing to teens.
  • Working in animal shelters, veterinary offices, nursing homes, or hospitals.
  • Babysitting or working in local daycare centers.
  • Stocking shelves or packing bags at a grocery store.

According to the National Consumers League, these are the five worst jobs for young teens:

  • Delivery and other driving; including forklifts and other motorized equipment.
  • Working alone in cash-based businesses such as convenience stores, gas stations and fast-food establishments.
  • Traveling with youth crews; selling candy, magazine subscriptions and other consumer goods on street corners or to homes in strange neighborhoods.
  • Cooking—exposure to hot oil, hot water and steam.
  • Construction—including work at heights and contact with electrical power.

The best advice to parents is to remember to be supportive, but also watch for signs that your child may be overdoing it; a drop in grades, fatigue, irritability (beyond the usual teen moodiness) and no time for family and friends. Your child may be fast approaching adulthood, but still needs your guidance from time to time.

http://www.aak.com Working Teens
Parenting Teens With Love & Logic by Foster Cline, M.D. & Jim Fay


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