Should Teens Work During the School Year?
The question of whether your teen should go out and get a job is one that every family is going to bump into sooner or later. The answer to this question (as with so many other things) is that it depends.
It depends on your teen. Your teen’s first priority can and should be doing well in school. You know your teenager best. Some of them can handle the extra responsibility that comes with a job and some of them may not be quite ready for it.
It depends on the alternatives. Working a job can help teach a teenager responsibility and the value of money, as well as give them a taste of what the real world has to offer. But are there alternatives? What is your teenager trying to accomplish by working? Is he or she trying to add to a resume in hopes of getting into a better school? Or maybe save up for something? Depending on his or her goals, would an internship, even an unpaid one, or spending extra time with after-school activities offer a better option than working?
It depends on you. In many cases, your teenager’s work schedule is going to add some extra strain to your schedule. It may mean picking them up in the evening or dropping them off. It may mean checking in with them more often to make sure their homework is getting done and they’re keeping their grades up. In a sense, they’re not the only ones taking on some extra responsibility.
Your teenager can really benefit from working a job, but before you leap into the idea with both feet give some thought to what it really means, both for yourself and for your teen.