The teen years are a special time filled with anticipation, as the transition from child to adult comes into view a bit more clearly, for both child and parent. This is about the point in life that a teen realizes that there are material things that they desire, and by now most understand that work is the only avenue by which to obtain them. As a parent, the dilemma in a teen starting a part time job lies in maintaining balance between school, work, social activities and family life. It is perhaps at this time in a teen’s development that a good deal of parental guidance is most necessary, to assure that proper perspective is maintained in addressing the requirements of each component of a well-rounded life. Adults have issues in managing these aspects of existence, and without help teenagers will most likely suffer the consequences of their inexperience.
Determining the amount of time your teen should spend at a part time job should be dictated by the weight of priorities and their importance in your child’s overall success. School and education should always come first, and if the part time job of a teen causes grades to suffer, the amount of time a teen works should be cut back or eliminated is extreme cases. Responsibilities within the family require attention, and should never be forfeited in favor of any job, for teen or parent. It is important for a parent to let their kids be kids, they will be adults soon enough, and it is necessary for a teen to have considerable social interaction as part of the maturity process. While instilling a work ethic in a teen is a positive endeavor, they also need to realize that work is only a portion of what life is all about.
Similarly, the amount of time that a teen spends at a part time job is incumbent upon the type of work they are engaged in. Employment that is excessively physical in nature or a job that your teen absolutely abhors is one in which the working hours should be limited to prevent “burn-out”. The opposite holds true for a part time position that your teen enjoys immensely, surrounded by friends with a good boss. In this situation a teen gets the best of several worlds – they can work and earn income while at the same time have pleasant social interaction in a positive atmosphere.
Regardless of the part time position your teen may obtain, it is imperative as a parent to keep a close eye out for negative changes in your child’s outlook and approach to life in general. Quite often, a change in a teen’s behavior and attitude is directly tied to an experience in the workplace, and a watchful parent can prevent minor issues before they become serious.