Kids working status?

Avatar for cl_annieb67
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Kids working status?
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 9:48am
What is the general consesus on working kids?

Dd can't *wait* to get a job, after she gets her license in about 2 1/2 years. She babysits now, but can't wait to work in McDonalds, or Wal Mart, or the grocery store.

I have mixed feelings on this. While I appreciate that she wants to work, 'town' is about 30-45 minutes away. Being a student, she would get nights and weekends. I'm not comfortable with her driving at night by herself. I know in our state, they are only allowed 20 hours per week, which isn't much, but our family time on the weekends would be shot to pieces.

I fully appreciate her wanting her own spending money, and I understand her desire to work, I'm just not sure how much I will encourage it. Unless of course, I can't support her shopping habits! :O)

All things being equal, (no night travel) will you force your kids to work? Encourage it? Discourage it? I'm all for summer jobs, but I'm not really comfortable giving up family time during the school year, unless absolutely necessary.

"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."


Avatar for cyndiluwho
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 10:03am
This is a mixed bag. While I will encourage my kids independence, working while in school comes at a price. We'll go with what our kids want to do unless it interferes with school work then they won't get a choice.
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Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 10:12am
>>>All things being equal, (no night travel) will you force your kids to work? Encourage it? Discourage it? I'm all for summer jobs, but I'm not really comfortable giving up family time during the school year, unless absolutely necessary.<<<

I'm not highly in favor of jobs for kids, especially during the school year. However, this is something that I believe depends on the kid. If, by any chance, one of my kids turns into a teen who is involved in no activities, doesn't work hard in school, etc, they will be getting a job. Otherwise, I don't see the point.

Now, that doesn't mean they cannot work. Just that I won't encourage a "job". What I would rather for them is to start a babysitting, lawn service, house cleaning, or whatever business. That is something my husband and I would work with them closely on, showing them how to market themselves, keep business records, handle customer service, etc. This way, they get to work on a schedule that revolves around their school and activities, without the demands of a "teen job" interfering with the more important things.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

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Registered: 05-13-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 10:17am
I think it's very, very important for kids to learn responsiblity and to have a job. My 13 year old started caddying this year, and I do sometimes have to force him to get up and go (It's only weekends). When he turns 16 I will definitely encourage, and if necessary force him to get a job. I know of plenty pf places where he can work just weekends or a few hours 1 or 2 afternoons during school. I'm sure he'll have the time, and it will be time he would've spent on the computer or video games anyway.

My husband and I both worked from 13 years old on, and I have every intention of my kids doing the same, it sets the stage for a good lifelong work ethic. As for family time on the weekends, how many 16 year olds that you know who are spending their weekends with mom and dad anyway? Most don't want to be caught anywhere near them, especially in public!

Avatar for cl_annieb67
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Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 10:36am
I'm not sure I agree with your last sentence. I have seen otherwise.

Dd was on an all-star basketball team last year, which meant weekend games. A lot of the players had older siblings. They were at every game. With their parents. They would coach the girls, do their hair in those little 'corn-row' styles, encourage, teach, laugh and help them with their game. Then, go sit with their parents on the bleachers cheering the younger ones on. Not one of them looked like they had been dragged over nails to get their.

I think when dealing with that situation, you don't make family time an option. You make them go on family outings. Once they know they *have* to go, they usually end up having a great time. Even my own dd WANTS to go with me everywhere.

Besides, parents nowadays are a lot 'cooler' than ours were. :O)

"There in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I close my eyes, feel their beauty and follow where they lead."

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 10:42am
I won't force them to get a job as I hope they want to on their own as I did at that age. I have worked since I was 16 y/o (babysat since 10) and I have a very good work ethic. I am in favor of kids working at fast food restaurants, as I think it encourages them to go to college. Most of them do not want to work there forever as it is a crappy low end job, I think it makes them think that this is the kind of job they may have for life without an education.

School does come first however, any decline in grades means no job and no spending money ont heir part.

Avatar for cindytree
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Registered: 03-28-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 10:58am
My two eldest daughters (now almost 18 and 22) worked part-time for a local caterer when they turned 15 and did some babysitting starting at age 13 to earn extra money beyond the allowance we provided. The catering job was set up so that the "boss" would call and see if they were available and if they could, fine, if not, fine. It was less than a mile from our home so getting them there and picking them up wasn't a problem. They worked some during the week Sept.-May, but the bulk of the hours were on weekends and during the summer.

My eldest dd opted to keep working for that company through high school until she went to college. DD, 17, has worked in the kitchen of a nursing home in our town for almost two years now. Her hours are 3:30 - 7:30 p.m. weekdays about three days a week, plus Sat. and Sun. every other weekend. It pays well and she makes more part time there than working more hours for McDonalds or another minimum wage job.

We have always given our kids an allowance for discretionary spending and we buy their necessities like clothes, school things, etc. for them, but up to a certain limit (we are on a budget, after all). Beyond that, they have to earn the money to buy the rest themselves. DD 17 is a clothes horse with expensive taste and a thing for shoes and handbags. I can't afford to pay for all of her wardrobe! lol! Now that she is older, I simply give her the money I budget to spend on her clothes and she can use it however she wants combined with her own money. We are paying for the sitting fee for her Senior pictures, plus the photos we want for ourselves and relatives, but she will pay for the ones she wants for herself and to give to friends. (This is an expensive venture, so those of you with younger kids, brace yourselves! lol!)

We give allowance to the older kids in a lump sum once a month to teach them the importance of budgeting their funds. Beyond that, they have to get a job for extra spending money if they want it. I don't feel I need to provide social money all the time for going to movies, out to eat, shopping, running around with friends. We provided a car for each of the two older girls but they had to pay for their own gas and part of the insurance.

We feel a job should never interfere with school because they are students first, but if they want all the extras then they have to supplement their lifestyle with a job. We encourage them to find jobs locally that they don't have to drive very far to get to and that don't require late night hours.

Personally, I feel a job fosters independence while teaching the value of a dollar earned, budgeting, and living within one's means.


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-29-1999
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 11:37am
I think it depends on the kid.

My dad would not let me get a job until second half of my Jr. year. He said school was my job and that I didn't need any money. They also didn't let me touch my bank account or buy a car. I did however babysit...a lot... and that's how I made my spending money. I got a very small allowence from Dad.

But I was a "responsible" kid. I didn't cause touble, worked hard and had a lot of independence and self-reliance. I didn't need a job to teach me responsibility.

On the otherhand, other kids are different and might need that responsibility more.

Personally, I don't think kids need jobs. I think many kids have way too much spending money as it is and don't really learn how to budget. However, there are some situations where a kid might benefit from it.

The deciding factor for me would be how would my kid benefit from having a job, other than having more money. If money is the only benefit, then no. If there are other benefits that she isn't getting from other activities, then maybe.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 1:35pm
I got my first "summer job" at 15 (had been babysitting since I was 10 or 11). I worked weekends during the school year, it was no big deal. My senior year, I was in the co-op work study program, went to school for 1/2 a day and then had to work 20 hrs a week. I loved that! I had spending money for college and liked the job. It worked out well for me. I also had the best grades of my life that year.

In college, I had "work study" and worked 10 hrs a week for that, but never (thank God) needed an off-campus job (I did work some weekends and all breaks at my "summer job"). I managed just fine.

I totally agree that it teaches responsibility and as long as the grades don't suffer, I'm all in favor of it. Of course, I've got a decade and a half to worry about it...;)


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 2:28pm
Our feelings have been that before high school graduation our childrens needs are completely our responsibility. We never told them they could not get a job but they always known that they did not have to get a job if they did not want to.

DD1 did not work while in school (aside from babysitting). Her first real job was after she graduated.

Over spring break DD2 went looking for a summer job. She was offered a job that started immediately, due to the info that she had been reading about because of the economy teens would have a harder time getting jobs this year she decided to take it rather then chance not getting a job.

Even though in our school district if you are on track with your credits when you are a senior you don't have to a full day it was still very hard on her. Between 25 hours of school, 20 hours of work, and another 10 hours of homework she was putting in 55 hours weeks. On top of the she never got an entire day off. She went to school Mon-Fri and usually worked Tues and Thursday-Sunday. So from when she started in mid March until she asked for three days off for graduation the end of May she never had a day when she didn't either have work or school.

So now my feelings have changed. DD3 will not be allowed a job during the school year in high school. I may make an exception for a situation like her sisters where in her senior year she finds a summer job and they want her to start before school gets out but that decision will be based on how she is handling school alone.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 07-13-2003 - 4:47pm
if you are "not comfortable" with anything concerning your children, you should probably go with your gut. you are not obligated to "support" her shopping habits, as she will probably have to wait, and "do her time" just like the rest of the world(as i tell my kids).

i never made my kids work, but they have always been ambitious in that catagory. my dd over did it imo, but held a 3.5gpa and participated in sports. the family time was pretty much blown out of the water when they got into high school anyway, but we spent as much good time together as we could manage. as you've read im sure my oldest son was not easy to raise, and wanted nothing to do with budgeting his earnings, so he is figuring it out the hard way now. dd was very good with her money, and is also "reeping the benefits" of budgeting. ds2 will be 16 in september so it is hard for him to find a job right now. he is spending the summer with laurenmom2boys, so he is helping her with her boys, and in turn she is providing him with privleges he otherwise would not have had. next year, he will definitely work, because he wants to.