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 obligations.
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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