When Kids Get Jobs-Is After College Too Late?

Grand Master D just got a job. After school a couple of nights and one of the weekend days. And it’s awesome. He did it himself. He’s 15.

I think it’s great because he’s been looking for money more and more. He has had a babysitting gig for a while but now he wants something more. It’s an important skill to learn for teens, they need to start getting out of home to do things for themselves before they’re shunted off to college. (If they go at all). They need to learn how to be productive. We have this short amount of time while they’re in high school to continue to influence them and teach them, all while pushing them out into the world on their own but still providing a safe place to land when they fail, and they will fail because thats how you grow and learn.

Not so long ago, certainly in my lifetime, once high school was done, kids got full time jobs. Not every kid went to college, especially in Australia. I know America is different in this regard but waiting until kids go to college to teach them about independence and going alone, I believe is too late.

I’m not the bank, when kids want money they need to earn it. So far we’ve provided all needs for our kids but when they start wanting entertainment money and larger purchases, it’s good to show them that nothing is handed to you and to get what you want you need to work. An after school job is a great way to begin the transition of learning to live within your means, learning to budget and learning how long it takes to get what you want.

I know already that once Grand Master D finishes high school , he will want a gap year before he decides on a college education, actually we’re insisting on it. The school he’s at now is already talking about college to them, stressing the importance of this and that and how they must compete in this college driven world. But he has his whole life to decide what he want to do. One year will not affect the outcome of his entire life. Putting things into perspective is part of our job as parents.

The world is a big place and there are so many things to discover, travelling and working overseas is a great way for young people to figure out their life’s path. Learning now as a teen how to be part of an adult workplace, to have the confidence in yourself to be able to do a task well and get paid for it sets you up to understand how life works.

We won’t always be there to help. We certainly won’t always be there to assist financially, nor is it our responsibility. Getting a job now will help him save for what he wants to do after he finishes school.

I find it amazing that parents are still fully supporting their 25-26 year olds and older while they study, and these ADULTS have never had a job. How is this helpful to the child adult? How is the college grad whose been given everything along the way going to handle getting a job when the employer expects an adult?

We’re already seeing colleges complaining about how their students aren’t ready emotionally, how they can’t cope with the rigors of college life. As parents we do a disservice to our kids by NOT teaching them how to get out and do it on their own.

It may be odd to you to think of your kid getting an after school job but I believe it’s an important step along the way to adulthood and that’s our job, nothing more nothing less, to raise successful adults.

I couldn’t be more proud of this kid. I know he’s gonna fall on his face, we all do, but he’ll learn how to pick himself up and get going again and as a parent that’s all you can ask.

Do your kids have after school jobs? Is this something you’ve even thought about or discussed with your children? I haven’t heard any talk here among my friends about their kids. Tell me your thoughts, I’d love to know.

Comments 4

  1. My oldest got a job her senior year in the spring a few months before graduation. She decided NOT to do track in favor of getting a job and earning some cash. BEST decision ever. She has that same job again now that she’s home from her first year of college, she is reliable, it’s taught her independence, good work ethic and responsibility. There is NOTHING wrong with your kid getting a job in their teens. It’s a great learning experience for them, both dealing with the good and the bad, and they stop asking me for money all the time. WIN WIN!

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  2. I never had a job when I was a kid…and I think it kept me from developing self reliance and a work ethic. My kids are still pretty young, but we will limit what we buy for them and encourage them to work.

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