Should my 16.5 child have a summer job?

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-01-2008
Should my 16.5 child have a summer job?
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 11:11am

My 16.5 year old daughter did not get a summer job despite being told to do so.




Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 11:32am

DS17 started working as a lifeguard at 15.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 11:53am

I'm all for teens working in the summer and there are some great ways for them to work in their areas of interest. My own DD (13) already has job offers for next summer aiding in two different youth

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-27-1999
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 12:02pm

I'm with you and think your daughter should get a job.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 12:02pm

When you think about kids who are on a team at school (my DD was on the track team) they usually have practice every day after school for a couple of hours, then there were meets (or games) 1-2 times a week and these kids are in school 6-7 hrs a day, plus they do homework, so obviously your DD has enough time to play basketball & work p.t. too. I think that you & your DW have different attitudes toward work--it's too late for this summer but you need to get on the same page either for the school year or next summer.

My DD is 21 now & she's been working since she was 16 because she had to pay for car insurance. Last year she couldn't work during the school year because she's a nursing student & she had clinical 3 days a week. So where most college students might be in class 15 hours a week, for her it was more like 30 if you include driving to & from the hospital. This year's schedule will only be 2 days a week. She will have 1 1/2 days free during the week & she knows she needs a job cause I'm not going to provide money for socializing.

The other thing I found is that my DD works at a mall store and they are pretty free to say when they are available. I think they hire too many kids because they know that they all come in & out. Some weeks she'll say she's available any day, so she has gone in to work at 6:00 a.m. to straighten up the store & put out new merchandise & she's worked til 11:00 p.m. but if she doesn't want to work certain days, that seems fine or even if she wants to take a week off, she won't lose her job. I think that most jobs don't hire kids for full time work anyway cause they don't want to pay benefits, so if your DD is available full time days, I think it would be easy to get a job. And I don't think that kids who are old enough to work should be sitting around the house all day watching TV. If there is some reason she can't get a job (well now it's too late) how about finding some projects for her to do at home? Last summer DD painted the kitchen cabinets.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 12:03pm

Well, asking US what your dd should do is not going to solve anything. You and your wife need to be on the same page, whether it's about what your dd does all day long, how much money you all spend on her, or anything else. Sounds like your wife uses coddling your dd as a way to get back at you--a bad idea for all concerned.

Family and/or marriage counseling should be your first step, and then a UNITED decision on what a kid of this age is capable of doing.

FWIW, both my dds were involved heavily in music/band extra curriculars, which took up just as much time as a traveling league, and they both worked as well, as soon as they turned 16. They are ADD, and had to keep up decent grades also--lest they lose the job, the car, pocket money AND the e-c's. But DH and I worked out our disagreements in private, and presented a united front to the kids about grades, jobs, boyfriend rules, whatever.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2009
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 12:05pm

I am all for teens having jobs.

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-01-1999
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 12:11pm

For mine,

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-21-2004
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 12:50pm

sitting around watching TV till practice? That would not fly with my DH. We have our kids out working when they are first eligible to do so, they help pay for all kinds of things with their money, and all three older teens were three season athletes. And during the school year they always worked a Fri or Sat night or day to earn spending money.

Good luck, and for what it's worth, I think any teenager who sits around and watches TV all day is totally wasting time. What about helping big time with chores and what not.

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 1:03pm

I don't think it matters who is "right" or "wrong," but you need to be on the same page. My dd17 looked for but didn't find a job. She had several difficulties similar to your dd - under 18 (makes it harder), weird schedule (she also had some extra-curriculars) and transportation issues (she has no car and we were limited in what we could do). My dd also didn't work during the school year, and I had NO problem with that. Her national-champion extra curricular thing occupied any time that wasn't taken up by her 5 AP classes.

And yet, all that said...

Avatar for mahopac
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-24-1997
Mon, 08-02-2010 - 3:46pm

SHOULD she, or COULD she? Those are two different questions.

It seems reasonable that your daughter COULD have had a job this summer, if she were able to find the right kind, had transportation to get to it, and was able to make it work around her practices. "SHOULD she have a job?" is another question entirely. That question can only be answered after you AND your wife have decided on the lessons you want your DD to learn about money, time management, and her obligations to herself and her family. That's something that you and your wife need to agree on, and then work TOGETHER to implement in your home.

Not every family agrees that summer jobs are a high priority. Some families can afford to give their kids things that other families can't; some kids want a lot more than others, and therefore need to work to get the money for the things they want. I personally don't feel that having a job is the most important thing for a kid to do, but others feel differently. The important thing is that this is something the PARENTS decide on TOGETHER.

However, I would find it completely unacceptable to watch TV all day, or its computer-equivalent, for MANY reasons. My DDs only started working for me this summer a couple of weeks ago, and they are putting in about 20 hours a week for the rest of the summer. Before that, however, they both enjoyed having some time off to do things like their writing and drawing projects, playing instruments, reading, cleaning out their rooms, and socializing. And they certainly contribute to things like keeping the house clean, doing laundry, and babysitting their younger brother. They work nonstop the rest of the year with very challenging courses and lots of extracurricular activities; DH and I have enjoyed the relaxed pace of summer. But again...we decided on this together.