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Your Child’s First Part-Time Job

fastfoodgirlcropped 213x300 Your Child’s First Part Time JobPart of teaching our kids responsibility is to develop their skills of successfully juggling different aspects of life. We give them chores, encourage them to join extracurricular activities and ensure that their school work is on track. However, there is one very important aspect missing and that’s employment.

Kids these days represent a large segment of the marketplace. Teens spend $100 billion dollars a year while children under 12 spend $11 billion. But where do they get the money from? For many, their parents provide the majority of money spent in these purchases and others find the source of money from working part time jobs.

If your child approaches you and tells you that they found a job selling at the concession stand at the local movie theater, don’t be surprised. Having money to buy clothes, CDs and food is top priority for these youngsters. But as a parent you may have second thoughts about their enthusiasm for working. You may think that it may interfere with other responsibilities. This article will address some issues that parents may have about their child’s first part time job and offer advice that will keep both you and your child afloat amidst a sea of expectations.

A job at a young age can teach valuable skills which will be beneficial in college and in the preparation of a career in adulthood. For instance, it teaches responsibility and encourages independence. It also gives them basic work skills and let’s face it, it looks good on a college application and a resume for after college when they are ready to venture into real jobs. With the right job, it may set your child on the path to a lifetime career.

Another skill that is learned with a part time job is money management. Kids will realize that money doesn’t grow on trees when they have to earn it themselves. Better care will be taken in spending money and this will be beneficial to them in the future with managing their finances. Discuss preparing a budget that incorporates saving. This is a good avenue to approach investment and financial management.

It is also relieving to know that after school your child is being supervised by adults especially when both parents work outside the home. What you should be aware of though is that some studies have shown that working long hours can expose kids to dangerous activities such as alcohol use partly due to being around older co-workers who may negatively influence them. As a combatant to the occurrence of such situations, you should make it a point to visit the work site and meet the supervisor to get an idea of what the work environment is like and to let the supervisor know that you are monitoring the situation.

Lower grades are linked to working 13 to 20 hours a week. And, putting in too many hours at work will impact a child’s ability to successfully engage in extracurricular activities and socializing. A solution to this problem is to limit the work hours your child clocks in until he/she persuades you that other aspects of life will not fall to the wayside.

Given this information, as a parent you must monitor your child’s work hours. The law itself has requirements for working children but you as a parent have other concerns. You can provide guidance and explain to your child the importance of maintaining the other elements of his/her life such as good grades, household responsibilities and extracurricular programs.

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