Monday, May 30, 2016

Jobs for teenagers

Grab a cuppa - I'm climbing on my soapbox...

This summer is a busy one for my kids.  3 weeks away mid summer messes up oldest getting a normal summer job for this year.  I definately want the kids to hold jobs because I did it and it helps them to understand that money doesn't just magically appear from the bank machine or parents wallets.  Hubby did lots of volunteer experience type jobs as a teen - working at camps, so he feels that's fine - but then gets steamed when the kids are always looking to us as their personal ATM.
The result is 2 teens with champagne tastes and tapwater budgets (beer can be costly too) - both have shown extreme laziness lately that really irks me.  Since in the school year their main task is to get good grades (B or better), play instrument for school and play 1 sport/yr (counts toward PE credits) and participate in scouts -  I know some of oldest child's classmates have to earn a % of their tuition costs either through scholarships or part time job.  I pay tuition - they need to maintain the grades.

Last summer I had a job sheet on the fridge and the amount I would pay for the work to be completed.  There were 10 ticket items and by Labor Day 2 were done and paid for - although there was much griping and constant questioning and loads of whining when 1 needed re-doing.  I will try it again for the youngest child - scaling the tasks back - but also scaling back the earning potential per task accordingly.

I've found a few jobs that oldest should be looking into for what there is if the summer break time.  I checked - all 3 are hiring and will hire 16 year-olds. I will have to provide transportation but child will pay for gas based on # of trips and Distance - lucky I have a Prius.  We don't have public busses here.

They are at Ocean State Job Lot, Dollar Tree and the pizza place in town as a busboy/dishwasher.
All if which were met with rolling eyes - but they are all decent starter jobs and so much can be learned by taking such jobs.  Bussing tables at a restaurant is hot hard work - but teaches you to be aware of your surroundings and how to clean up after others, and most importantly teamwork, better bus people earn better tips at the end of the night.  Retail work teaches eye contact, direction taking and awareness of the general public.  A lot of this could have been solved if this child had taken lifeguard training and could work at the lake in town - but there was no interest in doing it when the course was offered...

I worked crazy hours during high school and really crazy ones in college - I weeded for a landscape team, tended bar, worked at a grocery store (hated that) waitresses my ass off.  But one summer I earned almost $6,000 in tips and wages - this was the 80s too so that's a lotta quarters.  But all my friends work all summer and during the school year - we still saw each other and hung out during our days off at the beach, mall or mini golf place.  We visited each other at work and helped get our friends jobs where we worked - and we were super happy to head back to school each fall since it reduced our working hours.

Now we have to get thru exams and get the applications filled out and fingers crossed.....


  1. I am so happy to hear (read) that we are the same mindset on this subject. Our DD worked at the same fast food joint for five years. She banked a lot of it, paid for her own auto insurance and any extras she wanted that we did not provide. She also was in several music activities (no surprise there) and fenced in high school and also privately. We paid for all lessons and sport necessities. I wish more parents encouraged their students to get a part time job. Teaches so much more than how to put cash in their pockets.

  2. We moved when I was 14 to a remote area with no public transportation. I didn't live near any of my school friends after that. I was thankful for every ride I got to see them or attend a theater program at an area dinner theater during the Summer. As my parents were too wrapped up in their own lives at that point nobody was available to ferry me to a job, but once I got my license at 16 I found work during the Summer and then a job during my Senior Year of HS and basically other than rent or car insurance supported myself/my needs.
    Had I not been a "self-starter" I could have just sat in that house and done nothing.

    College Boy worked a full time job during high school and graduated with a 3.something. All my kids worked while in high school, both during school and in the Summer. It was expected of them.
    It gets easier as a parent once they get that license and can drive themselves to a job.

    College Boy is NOT given money when he is home from college on break. He works and pays for his own gas and anything he wants/needs besides what I cook/his housing, plus he saves some for when he goes back to college to pay for his wants. He gets no allowance here or when at school. Last year he spent most of what he made so he had a "rough" time at college last term since he had very little money for wants. He learned some hard lessons about money last year, like going ahead and joining a fraternity that cost $700+ in dues a year for basically NOTHING in return even tho his parents said they would NOT cover that cost so all his cash went to that instead of having "fun". I didn't bail him out b/c he needed to be uncomfortable so he learned that lesson. I think he'll save more of his Summer job $ this year. At least I hope. lolz

  3. My son is 19 and home now from his first year of college. He worked last year at our local country club as a dish washer and didn't complain about the work but really couldn't stand one worker who spent more time on his phone then working. Adam had to learn that a lot of jobs have people who do nothing and maybe speak up to them. He didn't work at all during the school year, his grades were good and he doesn't do well fitting in a million things to do. He knew he had to get a job during the summer and decided he wanted back as a dishwasher. He is working 40-50 hours per week and no complaints. Is there any job your oldest is interested in, mine didn't want to work retail, but loves washing dishes I guess.

  4. My dd's first job was at MacDonald's when she was 14 years old (her idea) and my headache. But I didn't discourage it. At that point she could only work 2 1/2 hours so it seemed I was dropping her off and turning around and picking her up. There was no way for her to get there on her own since she went to high school out of district. But it was good for her and she continued to work through high school and college. She still has friends from one of her high school jobs, they were all 15-16 years old when they met. She is now 31 years old. Work is a good thing for them.

  5. When my daughter was 15 she had a job washing dishes in a grotty cafe working what were probably illegal hours. However, she wanted to do it to earn money and I felt it would do her no harm to experience the sort of job that some people have to do their entire lives.