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S/O shift in teen work trends...


bettyandbob
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I worked doing something from 11 on. I never worked an excessive amount of hours. More in summer, less in school year.

 

My DD started petsitting at 8 (at first for only one neighbor for fun ). She expanded on that and got her first job with an employer at 15 (lifeguard). Later She got her swim instructor certification. She never worked full-time, even in summer. During school she limited her hours to Saturday morning -- I realize it's hard to find an employer who will do this but she did. She has been responsible for her spending money for years and she saved a lot toward college. She also had time for ballet, volunteering, and did well in school.

 

None of her friends worked. All their parents gave them money and done were forbidden to work. Her friends were from families financially better off, but from similar backgrounds to mine.

 

Even if I had more money I'd expect my DC to work some. We live in a place where one can get a pet sitting gig or something part time in the summer usually. I think it is good for independence and responsibility.

 

I wonder how these kids will manage money in college or beyond. I think I understood budgeting and had no problems with my college apartment responsibilities because I had gradually built financial responsibility through my teens. It was something I got through experience.

 

In my own house I do see significant differences between my oldest ds and DD. Oldest did not have much work experience. He is 2E and had significant issues through high school. When he finally landed his first job I noticed he did develop a better understanding of money. He is behind his sister still though. She has worked so much longer.

 

What is the trend where you are?

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This is a cultural thing. I come from a different country and never worked as a teen, neither did any of my friends. I was perfectly capable of managing money once I moved out, so having a teen job is not the only way to accomplish this.

 

My DS works and has been working for the same company for 3 years. More in summer, fewer hours during the school year.

My DD did not work for an employer; she volunteered extensively as a physics tutor and I paid her a bit to help with my class. She has much better money managing skills than DS. So no, I am not convinced that a teen job translates into better money managing skills.

 

ETA: I think handling money is (aside from some basic math) more about impulse control than practice.

Edited by regentrude
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My parents always told us our job was school. They provided for most teen type stuff, but only as their budget would allow, which was a lot by some standards and hardly anything by others.

 

I babysat at 12, then started fast food at 16. I'm confident that if my grades suffered, my parents would have encouraged me to cut back/quit work.

Edited by carriede
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ETA: I think handling money is (aside from some basic math) more about impulse control than practice.

This. I have one very generous child who, since preK, would give away her last X rather than save for later. All heart, no restraint. I have another who, like DH, was born skeptical and reticent. It carries over into his attitude toward money. We joke that child A will be a Vet and child B will be an arbitrage specialist or hedge fund manager. No amount of teaching or paid work will change their basic natures re:money and the role of employment in their lives. All I can do is guide.

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I too agree that it's work at early age that helps people become a better worker long term.  All three of my children have developed a good work ethic and it's not that dh's is terrible, it's just a lot different than mine and he had it fairly easy growing up and did not have to work and did not work until he was in his very late teens. 

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My parents always told us our job was school. They provided for most teen type stuff, but only as their budget would allow, which was a lot by some standards and hardly anything by others.

 

I babysat at 12, then started fast food at 16. I'm confident that if my grades suffered, my parents would have encouraged me to cut back/quit work.

Yes this what I experienced in the 1970s and early 1980s. It's pretty much what my DD did. As I said my oldest is a different because of other factors.

 

I'm just seeing more kids in a similar socioeconomic status not working at all.

 

Besides budgeting, I like a little bit of work to learn the understanding of how hard people in different jobs must work. I also like the skills of getting along with others, answering to a boss, time management, priority setting. I know all these skills can be attained in other ways.

 

I guess part of what I'm seeing is some of the teens aren't attaining these skills and I think having unfocused time can be problematic for some teens.

 

If a teen is developing these skills through other means (volunteering, research projects, high level sport or art pursuit), then that is good. Not all the teens in my area are doing that. (I'm around a lot more teens than just my DC's friends)

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ETA: I think handling money is (aside from some basic math) more about impulse control than practice.

Also parental example.

 

I grew up somewhere with very high unemployment and cheap labour so there wasn't much opportunity for teens to work apart from maybe babysitting. I never worked in high school, got my first full-time job at 19 lived on my own, paid accounts, saved, all on a tight budget with no problem.

 

Dd16 does earn money babysitting, mostly during the holidays. She is good with money but I put it down to hours of family discussion about handling finances.

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We learn how to work hard by working hard and how to best manage money by actually managing money.

 

But working hard does not have to be in a paid job. Kids can learn to work hard in their school work, in an extracurricular, as a volunteer. 

And managing money does not have to be learned with wages from a job. A kid can also learn this by managing an allowance.

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I don't see a lot of teens working.  Youngest had two jobs at 15, as a maid at a motel and as a clerk at a spice shop but is currently not working again until this summer.

Oldest worked a full time job at 17 but was then too sick to work until now, at 20, she is working full time again at Lane Bryant.

My first job was at 13 washing dishes and I worked pretty much steady all the way through college and after.

Edited by Lizzie in Ma
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My kids have done summer jobs and volunteer work. Some of their friends work, some have not.

 

Mine are really frugal. Some of this is just training and what they absorbed growing up, as we are frugal. Maybe some is innate.

 

I can't speak to other families.

 

I asked my son if he wanted to go on a school trip to various European countries this spring. His words: "Why would I want you to pay $3000 to go to Europe and be herded around by a teacher to museums for two weeks when I could spend an entire summer on my own (or with sib who lives there) for that?" Yep. That's my boy.

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Regentrude, I agree with you, but I also think in some ways you are exceptional and you have raised exceptional children. I suspect you don't realize how talented you are. So, what's logical to you and what you easily learned may not be typical.

 

I think if I had not managed my own money I probably would have tripped a bit we I was on my own. Perhaps because my parents were not explanatory in their approach. I had no idea how they budgeted or shopped.

 

I learned comparison shopping on my own at a young age as part of managing money. My DD learned from me because I have been open about such things.

 

I agree that the soft skills ftom having a job are attainable elsewhere, but I think parents need to be deliberate about helping DC attain them.

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Regentrude, I agree with you, but I also think in some ways you are exceptional and you have raised exceptional children. I suspect you don't realize how talented you are. So, what's logical to you and what you easily learned may not be typical.

 

I think if I had not managed my own money I probably would have tripped a bit we I was on my own. Perhaps because my parents were not explanatory in their approach. I had no idea how they budgeted or shopped.

I learned comparison shopping on my own at a young age as part of managing money. My DD learned from me because I have been open about such things.

I agree that the soft skills ftom having a job are attainable elsewhere, but I think parents need to be deliberate about helping DC attain them.

 

Thanks, Diana, but I don't think I am exceptional. It really is just common sense - and impulse control.

I grew up in a country where money was not worth much. There was not much in stores to buy, and really nothing one would want to save for. My parents never spoke about money or explained anything about money. Shopping was going to stores often to check if there was something worth buying - mostly there was not - and standing in line if there was. 

 

With the fall of the wall, we all were catapulted into a capitalist economy and adjusted just fine. I don't know - comparison shopping is the logical thing to do, isn't it?  ETA: But it was a concept that did not exist when I was growing up - because there as only ever 1 item of each kind. If you found a sweater you liked, you bought that one, because there would be no sweater to compare, and you could not be sure the sweater would still be there next week. But it was not a difficult concept to grasp when suddenly confronted with the wide spectrum of options .

Edited by regentrude
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Regentrude, I agree with you, but I also think in some ways you are exceptional and you have raised exceptional children. I suspect you don't realize how talented you are. So, what's logical to you and what you easily learned may not be typical.

 

I think if I had not managed my own money I probably would have tripped a bit we I was on my own. Perhaps because my parents were not explanatory in their approach. I had no idea how they budgeted or shopped.

 

I learned comparison shopping on my own at a young age as part of managing money. My DD learned from me because I have been open about such things.

 

I agree that the soft skills ftom having a job are attainable elsewhere, but I think parents need to be deliberate about helping DC attain them.

You don't have to earn it yourself to appreciate the value of it. DD, for ex, gets $10/week for lunch and incidentals. A full lunch w/drink is $2.50/day. It's not enough to buy lunch and snacks everyday but it is plenty if she brings lunch (which I make) one or two days or buys a la carte or buys a lunch and fills a water bottle at home. So far, I've been asked for money every Thursday for the last month. I have yet to budge. She has lent money to friends, given it as a birthday gift in a homemade card, etc. We talk about the foolishness of this all.the.time but she has a heart for friends in need. Today was the first time she figured out that the $1.50 she had left was actually enough to avoid starvation. It's a process. There's more than one way to help them appreciate the value of a dollar. DD does have a full schedule tho, w/gymnastics several times a week plus homework. If she gets a job later for addl. funds it will probably be with recreational gymnasts. Edited by Sneezyone
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I don't know many high school kids at all who work. I think the ones who do are in families that really need the money. The middle/upper middle kids are super busy with school work and extra curriculars and would struggle to find time to fit in a job.The high school kids i can think of who have/had jobs were mostly kids who weren't striving for admittance to a four year college or university.

 

Oldest DS had his first job (two part-time paid internships) between his freshman and sophomore years in college. Youngest DS has never had a job. Yet they're both fairly good money managers. Oldest is an econ/business major and has had his own stock trading account since he was in middle school. That no doubt helps. ;) Youngest is by nature a saver. They both have significant savings for their age.

 

I agree that we all tend to be biased toward how we ourselves were raised. DH and I came from different backgrounds in that regard--I never had a job outside of my family's business and he worked all through high school. Oddly enough he's bucked the trend (in being biased toward what he experienced) and has been quite adamant about our kids NOT working while in high school.

Edited by Pawz4me
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He he...I didn't just require that my kid work...I ALSO required that she DO something, some sort of other organized activity.  Once she picked up her second job, that requirement wasn't so strict.  But what's that old saying....idle hands are the devils work or something like that.  I totally believe that's the case and while I absolutely don't think it's good to be ALL work and no play (and have mentioned before, I might not have allowed enough free time,) I think it's good for a teen to have plenty of responsibility....it can help keep them from finding negative things to occupy their time. 

 

I totally agree with you there.  I was like you and your daughter.  Looking back, I had plenty of time for a social life, but I wasn't interested in "just hanging out".   That just hanging out is when kids get into trouble.  It wasn't that my parents forbid it.   But, that my social time had a limit and I'd rather spend it Doing.   

 

I don't know if it is a trend though.  I saw the same thing when I was a kid.  There were those who didn't work at all, there were those who HAD to work and usually worked a hard year-round job like fast food or grocery store and those like me who worked for spending money mostly in the summer.   I think those that worked for spending money were the fortunate ones.  We had a large amusement park, and a major sports stadium, so getting teen summer jobs was easy.  I remember my shock the first time a job interview consisted of more than dressing and behaving properly and saying I was willing to work.   

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Dh and I both had part-time jobs from the time we were first able to work, sometimes multiple jobs.  I am pretty good with finances.  Dh is terrible.  So, anecdotally, no correlation there.  My 13 yo dd is already earning substantial cash by babysitting, cat sitting, and playing her instrument.  She pays for her own summer camps, extra music equipment, all of the standard "teen" expenses, and still has an impressive savings account.  Despite the fact that both dh and I had good experiences entering the workforce at early ages, I do not see dd getting a traditional "after-school" or summer job at all before she becomes an adult.  There are few jobs like that available locally and she has interests that make her time difficult to schedule.  She is already very good with money despite not being specifically taught or having a "real" job.  I think it is purely personality.  So, I am not concerned.

 

 

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Growing up, both my dh and I were not encouraged to work during the school year. But encouarged to work during the summers. Most of our friends followed this same pattern.

In our family, ds1 quit competitive swimming and we required him to get a job, mostly to fill those hours and not get into trouble. He worked quite a bit and it was good for him. Dd2 swam. She occasionally babysat, but really with swimming taking 18 or more hours a week, it was not feasible.  Ds2 is being encouraged to get a job. I think he will, though he is pretty busy already. Dd2 swims like her sister.

 

Work ethic is very, very different from money management. Learning to be professional about your work does not have to be tied to a job. My swimmers have the strongest work ethic in the family, hands down.

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I live in a small community that gets a lot of tourist traffic in the summers, and there is not much opportunity for econmic growth. Most kids can start working summers by 15 just because bodies are needed. The local grocery store will hire kids at 14 to bag groceries in the summers, but come august 1 those jobs start going away. My DS will turn 15 next June. He was planning to get a job next summer, but I have asked him to wait until the following summer when he is 16 so we can travel this summer.

most people that I know who live in larger cities find that it is much more difficult for kids to find summer jobs as there are plenty of year round workers available. My DD has not been able to get a job in her college town because no employers want to work around her schedule as there are enough local people who can work year round to fill all the jobs

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Fewer teens are working here, it seems.  However, we've discovered that it is very, very hard to get hired if you are under 18.  One of my 16 year olds has been looking and actively applying for jobs for over 6 months.  They are hiring everywhere right now, but not if you are under 18.  Or if you have any sort of schedule limitations.  

Edited by The Girls' Mom
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I am pro-work.  :)  But, for school kids, my rule is:  health comes first, then education, then [everything else].  That said, some work experience would be considered education in my view.

 

I think financial management has to do with much more than experience, though experience is part of it.  You can have a job for decades and still suck at financial decisions.  You can be from poor or rich or average roots and still suck at money matters.  :P

 

I think financial management skills need to be addressed explicitly and in detail before we launch our kids.  Whether in combination with work experience, or separately.

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As far as trends here, I think it is mixed.  I see many teens with jobs.  I see many without.  If I had to guess statistics, I'd say that in the suburban area where I live, relatively privileged kids are more likely to have jobs (at least visible ones) than less privileged ones.  Perhaps because they have more connections, access to transportation, or parents who are a little more intentional about these things.  For example, some of my kids' extracurriculars should qualify them for future teen jobs, but those extracurriculars are not accessible to everyone due to cost and location.

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I too agree that it's work at early age that helps people become a better worker long term.  All three of my children have developed a good work ethic and it's not that dh's is terrible, it's just a lot different than mine and he had it fairly easy growing up and did not have to work and did not work until he was in his very late teens. 

 

I did not work until I was in college. My husband worked in his teen age years. Yet we have the exact opposite happened.  My work ethic is better than his.  I don't think the two are related.

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All my friends with teens are telling me they are having a hard time finding work. Jobs are being taken up by the 18+ crowd with no schedule issues (college, high school). I can't recall the last time I saw a highschooler working retail or fast food or well anything at all. Even pet sitting and lawn care around here are professional companies. We get flyers for both services left on our doorstep on a regular basis.

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My dh and I grew up working part-time jobs as teens, as did almost all of my peers (everyone I can think of!).  That was in the 70's.  So I guess we just kind of expected our children to do the same.  We didn't require it, but they wanted to, and with five kids, it did help us a little financially that they could earn their own fun money.  (That's really all it amounted to in high school -- money for pizza, movies, extra clothes and gadgets they wanted, or sometimes they'd chip in for a more expensive camp or tour.)  It was always a job that allowed them to keep school and extra curriculars first;  they could take off from work for several months in a row if they were too busy.  It really was perfect!  I'd say that about half their peers worked (from all backgrounds).  Not as many as my generation.

 

I think them working as teens did get them thinking about money earlier, but that alone isn't what gets you to handling it wisely.  That's a separate issue.

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Where I grew up, nearly all teens worked 20++ hours a week, largely in order to be able to afford a car, insurance and gas; which we needed in order to drive... back and forth to work.  At the time it was the norm and therefore made perfect sense, but looking back it seems a bit goofy, much like the adult phenomenon of buying more house than we can truly afford and thereafter never having much financial breathing room.  All that time working and driving definitely took a toll on grades -- the jobs were our priority, we fit schoolwork into the available time.

 

These days, my teens have 2+ hours of homework a night (far more than I did), and are involved in a range of extracurricular activities.  They literally do not have time for a job during the school year.  And that is fine with me -- at this stage in their lives, I want their first priority to be school.  Summers, yes.

 

Fully agree with pp that responsible money management is more about impulse control than practice, and also that practice can begin with allowances rather than job-earned income.

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One of my friend's daughter babysit on an ad-hoc basis. No one else I know under 18 works as studies is their full time job. It is an academic pressure cooker here. There are plenty of retirees and SAHPs to do babysitting and pet sitting here. The single family homes here are also under the same HOA as the townhouses so no lawn to mow either as the landscape maintenance crew does that weekly.

 

My parents, uncles and aunts were born in the 1920s-1945 and my grandparents did not want them to work until they finish high school/college. A few of my aunts never worked as they married after high school and none were financially tight. Cost of living wasn't as high. Property prices where I grew up increased a lot in the 90s. When my parents generation bought in the 70s, a single income was enough for a 20 to 30 year mortgage depending on income and size/location of house.

 

I was helping my dad file his income tax when I was in elementary school. I learn double accounting and cooking the books from roaming the streets. My kids get spending money when we go on vacations so they budget accordingly and they know how to amortized loans. My dad is not good at financial management, my mom does everything financial. His 9 siblings are all financially shrewd.

 

I have a maternal uncle that is really bad at financial management and is a bankrupt, his ex-wife helps him (friendly divorce). His older son is as financially shrewd as his mom. His younger son is very young as he remarried when his older son was in college.

 

I have a friend who worked after school from 14 but she has to give her mom all her pay. I had to help her with job hunting, resume writing, interview prep after she graduated with a bachelor in business admin (HR). Everyone is just different even if given the same financial prep.

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I grew up upper-middle-class and DH grew up lower-middle-class. In both of our communities, teens working PT during the school year and FT in the summer was the norm. Today, fewer teens work in the blue-collar neighborhood (because it's harder to find employers willing to hire teens) while almost NO teens in the upper-middle-class neighborhood do.

 

Frankly, I think it's a big reason why there's such an entitlement attitude problem among Millennials. The expectation used to be that you'd start at the bottom doing menial tasks and then work your way up as you gain skills and experience. Today, 20somethings graduate from college and think that an amazing job will be just handed to them on a silver platter. :001_rolleyes:

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My DH and I worked different jobs as teens but I thought that I wouldn't want my kids working while going to school, mainly because I felt that school was their job and I didn't want a job to mess up their grades.  My thinking changed though as I saw my son, 17 at the time, sitting home all summer playing video games and not really putting forth a lot of effort in school either.  He was not into any extracurriculars and it just seemed like he needed something to do with his time.  DH hounded him to get a job and now that he has one, he likes it.  It has worked into his college plan to stay here and work that job while going to the local college.  I do get concerned about his time management with the job and school and staying up too late, but he's also gaining important life skills and independence.

 

He knows a lot of kids who also have jobs. 

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DS works and volunteers now and will continue to do so, but I won't have him take any job when he is older just for the sake of having a job.  I see plenty of upper middle class kids working to "instill work ethic" and oftentimes 1) it doesn't and 2) they are taking a job that someone else actually needs.  I am all for hard work and learning responsibility, but I think there are ways to do it that don't unfairly impact other people.

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Frankly, I think it's a big reason why there's such an entitlement attitude problem among Millennials. The expectation used to be that you'd start at the bottom doing menial tasks and then work your way up as you gain skills and experience. Today, 20somethings graduate from college and think that an amazing job will be just handed to them on a silver platter.

 

Not my experience. Amazing job, yes - silver platter, no. Most of my students work very hard in their classes, and the amazing job they get when they graduate is the result of the time and effort they spent acquiring a skill that employers are happy to pay for.

From an ROI point of view, it makes a lot more sense not to work a part time job and instead graduate faster and with a high GPA, if that is financially feasible (which, I realize is not always the case). If a job, it's best to have a job that has relation to the student's major instead of retail/fast food, because that translates directly into post graduation job connections. (Again, yes, I do realize it is not always possible.)

Edited by regentrude
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I don't see many teens working in my area. Jobs have been hard to get since the recession and retail and fast food jobs are almost always filled by adults or college age students. The lifeguards at our summer swimming area are all college aged. Now that I think about it, most traditionally teen jobs are filled by adults around here.

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I was a teen in the 80s. I started babysitting around age 11 or 12 and worked up to full time hours every summer from age 15. First babysitting for a girl whose parents both worked, then doing clerical work at my father's accounting office, then waitressing and (one summer in college) working as a bank teller. During the school year, I babysat on the weekends. My parents never told me to work or not work. They didn't give me guidance about saving or spending money. But I never had a regular allowance. I could ask Dad for money if I were going to the movies with friends, and he would give me some rather grudgingly. We never had a discussion about who would pay for what in college, but when I was in line as a beginning freshman with my books at the bookstore, Dad just stood still when it came time to pay. It was obvious from that point on that he would not be helping me. I knew I had to work each summer after that in order to pay for my books and spending money at college. I was industrious and pursued any jobs I could get. But I never made much money and had to be very careful during the school year not to run out.

 

I wish my parents had given me more guidance and had at least talked about money with me. I'm a natural saver, so I muddled through. But I figured things out on my own.

 

Things will be different for my children. My oldest doesn't have time to work. She has dance class five or six days a week and a good amount of homework. When she does have free time (not often), we want to spend it with her as a family. She can't have a regular summer job, because she spends all day most of the summer at dance, and starting next summer, she is likely to be spending her summers away from home at ballet intensives. We are working out an allowance system for her, so that she can have some money and learn how to manage it.

 

My next child down is only 12. He has learning challenges that will make finding and keeping a job challenging. He's going to need help figuring out how to get a job, and he doesn't have a great natural work ethic (partly personality, partly his ADHD). He is likely not college bound, so he needs to be ready to work after graduation. Working as a teen is going to be both really important for him and really hard for him. I'm not sure how it will all pan out.

 

But in either case, it's not just cut and dried, where we as parents can say, "You have to get a job." Even though I think working is valuable.

Edited by Storygirl
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None of my four worked any kind of regular job in high school. DD and two ds's though have from time to time farm sat for some area families, taking care of livestock for which they were paid. Again, mostly and on again, off again kind of summer thing. Nothing regular. We didn't give them allowances either, but they had birthday money from relatives which they saved or spent as they pleased.

 

We did TALK a lot about money management. 

 

All four are just fine at handling their money, none had a work ethic issue. DD was a paramedic by the time she was 20, a job with enormous risk and responsibility, wages, 401K, etc. She never had any issue.

 

My parents were bizarrely bad with money. What they role modeled was atrocious. Seriously! My dad was the biggest dreamer, our boat is going to come in any minute, crazy business owner. I don't know how they kept the doors open on that place for 40 years. They did. However my sister who is much younger suffered pretty badly from the financial stupid of his decisions.

 

And yet, we've all just been fine with managing our own. LOL, I tend to wonder if the three of us looked at their example, and went, "OH heck no!" which was apparently training enough! 

 

Dh's dad was absolutely reckless with money. Their mother worked a lot of long nursing shifts so though she was good with money, they never really saw her example. I swear the oldest in that family thought there was a money fairy for a while because she could not figure out how they always had a decent house, nice neighborhood, good food, reasonable amount of clothing, and access to healthcare the way her dad blew through money. The answer was that early in the marriage mother in law figured out he was going to put them in the poorhouse with all of his dingy, get rich quick schemes and always wanting to move around on a whim, so she began having her nursing salary go to an account that did not have his name on it, saved money for retirement, picked up teaching nursing classes at the community college for extra income, paid all the bills from her own earnings, and never let him have a dime of her income. That's how it all worked out.

 

And despite the anarchy, all three of their kids managed to inherit their mother's money genes, and do well with their finances. Anecdotally, of the oldest sib, her daughter is very good with money management, and the son, despite constant attempts to teach him, is a mess and can't manage a cent. Middle sib - all four of his kids are absolutely stellar. They had a good genetic profile because his wife is also pretty darn amazing at the finance thing. So for my mother in law, 9 out of 10 of the grandkids have good money skills. Not bad. Not bad!

 

As for teens working in this area? Only the ones with a parent that owns a business or a farm. The unemployment rate, at the height of the housing debacle, hit nearly 25% in the tri county area. Employers could get seasoned workers with trade's licenses or degrees for minimum wage. Jobs that had once been typical high school and college student jobs totally dried up. It has never recovered. Many of those workers stayed in those jobs, their employers giving them some pay raises to keep the good workers. Nothing is expanding here. The economy is still in a state of contracting so apart from baby sitting there isn't anything. The high school used to have some sort of work study program, credit for apprenticeship or work. They had to close it down. They couldn't find businesses willing to take the students. So it wouldn't matter if you thought your teen needed to work to learn these skills, it would not be an option here.

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Oh, and for those locally that really want their kids to have responsibility away from home, since jobs are not available, they do get them volunteer work. 4H volunteer work is very popular, along with volunteering in scouts, at the nursing home, the community center, etc. Occasionally the tippy top students can tutor for pay if they are good at it, but more often than not, they tutor younger students for free at school and get a letter of reference from the principal which is very handy at college application time.

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I agree with previous posters that having a job is not the main way to learn about handling money.  Both dh and I had jobs as teens and we learned our money habits from our parents and not from earning money.  My family was a save save save family and his Dad was a spend all ya got and then borrow some and spend that too with the results that come with that.  It took quite a few years for us to get on the same page.  I had actually never met a family that spent money like that so it was seriously shocking to me.  We did the Financial Peace course and we stick to that for the most part now.  We will do the High school FP course with the kids before they go to college.  

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I see a lot of teens working.  I think.  I guess they could be young adults.  In my boys circle of friends one 14 yo girl babysits 2 1/2 days everyweek, one 15 yo girl helps her mom clean a couple of houses per week, one 16 yo boy worked full time with his dad all summer, but nothing now that school is back on.  My ds works 2 hours a day in my boss's body shop, my ss15 goes to work with his dad when school work allows....one 13 yo boy mows lawns....mostly for family for money but he has several he does.

 

 

I like to see kids stay busy.  My son is thriving in his job and his Vo-tech. 

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Kids with jobs are more likely to smoke and do drugs. I remember that study a few years back, although I cannot put my finger on it right now. In the same study, kids who played after school sports were less likely to smoke and do drugs, (Yes, I am sure everyone knows at least one anecdotal exception.)

 

I never let my kids work, although they managed to find a way anyway. DD16 started getting paid in acting and dancing jobs from about age 10, I think. She never made a ton at it, but she smiled with each paycheck. She has a gazillion volunteer hours. But, she started her own business about 2 years ago. She recently partnered with a large computer company because of it. DS36 got his first job about age 14 by just "helping out a friend's dad". I assumed it was a one or two weekend deal. Several years later, DS was still working for the guy. After letting DS have his own hard earned money, I learned better. Now I keep their money and dish it out as I see fit.

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Kids with jobs are more likely to smoke and do drugs. I remember that study a few years back, although I cannot put my finger on it right now. In the same study, kids who played after school sports were less likely to smoke and do drugs, (Yes, I am sure everyone knows at least one anecdotal exception.)

 

I never let my kids work, although they managed to find a way anyway. DD16 started getting paid in acting and dancing jobs from about age 10, I think. She never made a ton at it, but she smiled with each paycheck. She has a gazillion volunteer hours. But, she started her own business about 2 years ago. She recently partnered with a large computer company because of it. DS36 got his first job about age 14 by just "helping out a friend's dad". I assumed it was a one or two weekend deal. Several years later, DS was still working for the guy. After letting DS have his own hard earned money, I learned better. Now I keep their money and dish it out as I see fit.

Honestly, you've posted this more than once before without citation.

 

My experience is the opposite. Kids without jobs AND without an activity that has big time requirements have the time to waste a often have access to drugs whether from the medicine cabinet, wealthier friends or allowance money.

 

I know and have known a lot of teens through my work, the types of activities for which I volunteer and my own kids. I get the impression the only teens you see are in the ER, and that represents a small percentage of extreme results. There's a big world of teens working and sill being good responsible citizens.

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Not my experience. Amazing job, yes - silver platter, no. Most of my students work very hard in their classes, and the amazing job they get when they graduate is the result of the time and effort they spent acquiring a skill that employers are happy to pay for.

From an ROI point of view, it makes a lot more sense not to work a part time job and instead graduate faster and with a high GPA, if that is financially feasible (which, I realize is not always the case). If a job, it's best to have a job that has relation to the student's major instead of retail/fast food, because that translates directly into post graduation job connections. (Again, yes, I do realize it is not always possible.)

 

I agree with you.  

 

But on the other hand... I see a lot of value to kids working in retail or food service for a time.  It doesn't have to be a long time.  :-)  They are not difficult jobs to learn, but dealing with the public can be very challenging at times.   I think learning how to deal with difficult people in a situation where you can't just tell them to buzz off is useful in all sorts of ways.  

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I think the biggest benefit for me working (too much) at that age was to scare me straight into going to college so I didn't end up working a job that paid like crap and treated me like crap. 

 

Otherwise, no benefit.  I was always a hard worker and even though I haven't worked a paid job in years I'm still a hard working driven person. 

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I think the biggest benefit for me working (too much) at that age was to scare me straight into going to college so I didn't end up working a job that paid like crap and treated me like crap.

 

Otherwise, no benefit. I was always a hard worker and even though I haven't worked a paid job in years I'm still a hard working driven person.

I had one friend who went through that after high school. His senior year his guidance counselor forced him into AP because she knew he was smart. He barely graduated. That fact would have been the same if he was not in AP. The difference was that he had to think a little to barely graduate. Then he got the highest paying job he could get ( back breaking work laying telephone lines through swamp). After 2 months he signed up at the community college and then transferred to a very competitive university

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My son just started at job this past week.  

 

He's 14 and working at a fast food place.  It's really easy for kids around here to get jobs.  

 

Both my sons have got a tidy hunk of cash saved up from their tiny little allowances and present money.  They pretty much never spend their money.  The job isn't about teaching him to save/spend money.  

 

So, why did I encourage my son to get the job?

 

#1.  Work ethic.  He's a bit floppy about getting schoolwork done and done well.  If I say to do it, he will, but doesn't have a sense of pride in it. He never initiates doing his work.  He'll put things off to the very last minute.  That's ok.  I understand.  I didn't have pride in my school work either.  But when I got a job, then I learned to have pride in my work.  I'm hoping he learns that, too.  And maybe it'll spill over into school work.  Or at least it will by the time he's college-aged.

 

#2.  Speed.  He's a bit of a slow poke, and why not?  There's no real need to work quickly, other than it drives his mama nuts when he slow pokes around.  So, this is a selfish reason (partly) for wanting him to work.  I would just love to work on a project with him and we work quickly and efficiently.  DH works at a college and says the homeschoolers who come through struggle with working under time limits.  They're used to things not having any real time limits.  I'd like ds to learn now how to buckle down and get something done.  For his own sake, and for mine.   :)

 

#3.  Self-reliance/self-advocacy.  There's no way that I'm waltzing into his workplace and talking to his boss for him.  Not appropriate.  So, he will learn how to speak for himself.  This has been stressful to him.  He went to orientation and forgot to ask them when his hours were.  He had to call them and say, "When am I supposed to show up for work?"  I couldn't do it for him.  Then, he had to figure out how to find out when he's been scheduled to work each week.  I can't do that for him.  And the last thing for now is that he bought his own pants for the uniform and he needs to find out the details for them to reimburse him.  He's nervous about asking his boss about it...but he has to do it.  This is all new to him.

 

#4.  Team effort.  His activities are mostly solo.  He does karate and bakes for our church's outreach to the homeless shelter.  He's not used to working with other people on a job.  There isn't a lot of group work in homeschool.  I'd like him to get used to working with others, some who will be better team players than him and some who will be worse, before he hits college.  

 

#5.  Money.  Minimum wage is $7.50 an hour.  That's a lot more than his $5 a week allowance.  He's already made $45 this week.  That's 9 weeks' worth of allowance!  In 6 hours!  Wow!  I want him to enjoy that sense of satisfaction of earning his own money.  Half of everything he earns goes to the church or savings, and by the time he's ready to buy something like a car, he'll be able to.

 

(He could learn the above in other activities, but he hasn't been interested in other activities, so...a job.)

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I had one friend who went through that after high school. His senior year his guidance counselor forced him into AP because she knew he was smart. He barely graduated. That fact would have been the same if he was not in AP. The difference was that he had to think a little to barely graduate. Then he got the highest paying job he could get ( back breaking work laying telephone lines through swamp). After 2 months he signed up at the community college and then transferred to a very competitive university

 

I don't think anyone in my family assumed I'd go because nobody else in my family had.  It was never talked about.  I made the effort to go, and nobody really helped me much.  I know I probably sound bitter when I complain about the jobs I did as a kid, teen, and young adult, but these weren't really what I'd call good learning experiences for life.  They were hell and made my time in school a lot harder.  I couldn't major in something I'm capable of because I had to work too much at these crap jobs.  So what can I say about that.  My parents didn't really value education.  I think my dad did, but I think he didn't think about it because it was out of reach for him.  He didn't dare to dream or think about it.  KWIM?

 

But it's long after the fact that I could articulate my feelings on this, and why I don't want my own kids to have to go that same route.  Some people argue that it made me work harder.  I doubt it.  I work hard at just about everything.  I think it's a personality thing.  I may appreciate things more, but that's about it. 

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