Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Jobs and High School

Cory was out of bed and into the shower at about 8:00 this morning. Seriously.

He's volunteering at the library today. He could be there all day. He loves it there, and they love him there. I'm just glad he's got something positive to do with his time. His dad seems to think he should find a job, but right now that would mean that I would have to be sure he got there and back. He can ride his bike to and from the library, and at least he's not wasting all his time on his computer (unlike me!?). Also, during the school year, he's got activities going on with band and drama and such.

Part of the reason we told Beth she needed to get a job was that she was not involved in anything at school. She went to school, and she came home and wanted to goof off and 'hang out' with her friends. It just seemed like she needed some kind of direction, something positive going on in her life, because she would have been happy just whiling it away doing nothing. Also, after calling around for car insurance quotes, we realized how much more it was going to cost if she didn't get her B average and qualify for the Good Student Discount. That's when we told her that, if she didn't get the B average, she would be the one paying for her car insurance, not us. No job, no insurance, no driving. She didn't get the B average. She had to pay for insurance, once. After that, she put a little more effort into her schoolwork and has achieved her B average. I think she's hoping she'll get to keep a little more of her paycheck for herself...

What do you think? Should teenagers have jobs while they're in high school? Should they concentrate on schoolwork, school activities, and volunteering when possible? Or is it good to get a taste of what the real world is like - working all the time and having next to nothing to show for it?


  1. Every child is different and it sounds as if you are right on top of that. Beth appears to need a little guidance and challenges whereas with Cory this opportunity at the library may lead into a career choice.

    Of course it is hard to explain to a teen why they might need to be treated differently. They will see it as favourtism or inequality. Parenting is hard sometimes.

  2. My oldest just finished her freshman year at college. In high school she was involved in lots of activities and had great grades. She did not have a job. I wanted her to get one, but Hubby said she will have the rest of her life to work. If you have read my blog "After the Dust Settles", you may know she came home from school, and moved out 2 weeks later. It's now been 2 weeks on her own and still NO job. She has no car or no money either. Things were always handed to her and I truly think she has no sense of value. No matter how I tried to instill it in her. I think it is something they have to learn themselves. I wish I would have stuck to my guns and made her get a job while she was home and I had some say in the matter. Now she is on her own with no experience and no money coming in. Every child may be different....but a part time job gives them responsibility, independence, experience and their own money. I am all for it.

  3. Interesting post! Since I've no kids at Cory's and Beth's ages, I really could learn from you all. Thank you..

  4. vic grace - It really is hard to find the right balance and to realize that, just because something works for one kid, that doesn't mean it will work for the other one. It always amazes me how different two people who are growing up in the same house can be.

    lynn - Yes, I read about your daughter and her moving out/needing a job adventure. It does seem a little backwards to move out and then look for the job to pay for it. Then again, it may give her a quick lesson on how things really work, and it won't take her years, and many $$ in credit card debt, to learn it. Hopefully?

    henny - It's so nice to find people who have been there and who can share their experiences and advice.

  5. I had 3 jobs when I was in high school, I was in tons of clubs and I still graduated with honors.

    I think it's very important for kids to work hard and high schoolers really do benefit from having a job.

    Besides, they'll sleep plenty after they're 40 :0

  6. frigga - 3 jobs? Wow! I go around and around with it because I think schoolwork should be the priority while they're in school, and I don't want their grades to suffer. I worked summer jobs while I was in high school, but didn't work during the school year until college. That's when I had to decide that B's were good enough. It was either that or drive myself crazy! I think that's the key, though - if the schoolwork and grades are not important to the student, then it won't matter what else they are doing, the grades will be the same. If the grades are important, whatever else they are doing, the grades will be there.

  7. I agree! And ya, life's hard - letting a teen have too easy of a life is setting them up for failure when they're out on their own. And yes, a B is definitely something to be proud of!! :)

  8. well my girls all have and had jobs while in school they did part time jobs,,, but htey also did sports after school I say keep the little trouble makers busy... ok they also get to buy their own clothes I think that is a girl thing though


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