Teens may start working during the high school years, often starting
with a summer job. Work experience can offer many valuable lessons for teens
and gives them a sense of independence and accomplishment. They also develop
skills they will need to become successful in the adult workforce, such as how
to balance time, manage money, and work with others.
But sometimes jobs can cause problems for teens by interfering
with schoolwork or sports or time with their friends. Also, the kinds of jobs
available to teens, such as dishwashing or working in the fast-food industry,
are often tedious and isolating.
Encourage your teen to look for a job that is challenging and
interesting. School counselors, family friends, and other types of community
networking can be excellent resources. Make sure that when your teen accepts a
job, he or she will have time to fulfill academic, social, and family
Stress the importance of finding a balance. Help your teen understand
the need to schedule enough rest, carve out study time, eat nourishing foods,
and get regular physical activity. You may help your teen set priorities by
providing a day-planner or offering to enroll him or her in time-management
courses, often available through community education programs.
You may also need to help your teen manage money. Have your teen
watch and learn how you pay household bills, which demonstrates the need to
budget for everyday expenses. Help your teen open a checking account so he or
she can learn how to manage personal finances.
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