Hi, I’m Makayla. This month I’m taking over my mom’s column, CLE Mama. I love to write so we thought it would be fun to bring something this month from a teen’s perspective. And since I started my first job this spring/summer and learned a lot, I thought it would be great to share my experience.
It seems to be a little controversial whether parents want their kids to work. I know it’s different for every family. My parents were hesitant about the idea of me working part-time at first, too. I’m a busy girl: maintaining my grades, playing sports and just being a kid — and me not missing out on things was important to them. But I really felt that I wanted my own sense of freedom by making some of my own money, and helping to contribute where I could (especially since I would really like some type of car soon).
So where to look for a job? For a while, I worked part-time at a local sandwich shop, but thought I might like doing something a little different. Since I really love kids, I brought up the idea of babysitting to my mom. Wouldn’t you know it, I was offered a job as a babysitter for a family shortly after our chat. I took the job watching kids after school and during some of the summer. My mom even helped me make babysitting flyers and we put them all over my neighborhood. It turned out to be a great idea, and I made a lot of connections.
I opened up my own savings account and now I’m well on my way to contributing to my car fund. Yes, work is very stressful and tough sometimes, but I’ve learned so much.
From my perspective, here are four reasons it’s great to begin working part-time as a teen:
1 A job is a great self-esteem booster. Teens can experience a sense of responsibility, accomplishment and personal achievement.
2 Working teaches important life skills like dealing with issues and problems that could arise on the job.
3 It looks great on a resume. Work gives teens valuable experience and could provide useful links to possibilities in the future.
4 Work helps you learn the value of a dollar. This has been a huge eye-opener to me. We’ve all heard our parents say, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” but until I started working I truly didn’t understand it. I’ve truly learned the value of money being earned.
My advice to you, if and when your teen first brings up the idea of working, sit down with them and discuss the pros and cons that come with a job. The biggest con I had to accept was that most of my free time would be taken away with a job. At first, this was a big struggle for me — and honestly still is sometimes — but I’m happy because I know I’m doing something that will benefit me tremendously in the long run.
Be supportive of your teen’s decision to work. Your teen may come home complaining about how tired they are and how hard work is (I know I do all the time). Your response might be to roll your eyes or say that they have no clue how difficult life can be, but for them their first job is a big step toward adulthood, so it can feel tough. Give them a shoulder to lean on and an ear to listen.
Is your teen seeking a job? Think outside the box! Makayla says create a flyer for work such as babysitting, mowing, animal sitting, etc., and place it around your neighborhood.
Follow at Facebook = Sara Carnes Twitter = @SaraCarnes
Very well written Makayla! I am a parent of six kids. They range in age from 32-18. I am also a Personnel Manager for one of the largest companies in the world! My experience with kids working in both my personal life and career is that it helps teach kids responsibility and self worth!