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Teens Working; Say It Isn’t So?

Summer vacation is a fun and exciting time for a teen, but as the parent of a teen could you manage his/her leisure time and teach him/her valuable financial responsibility?

Summer vacation is a fun and exciting time for a teen, no school, no responsibility, ahh a day in the life of a teen. But as the parent of a teen, managing leisure time and teaching them valuable financial responsibility can go together. In today’s stressful financial world, offering a teen an opportunity to have their own money can also ease the burden on you financially. Here are some reasons and tips to help get that teen off the couch and into the work place:

  1. Safety:  You are a parent so safety for your child is always a concern. Consider a job where your teen is safe. Consider whether the employer is trustworthy, has employed teens currently or in the past.   A part time job can keep them occupied, give them experience in an office/work setting and allow them to occupy their time in a productive way but you want your teen to have a good experience in a safe environment. 
  2. Savings:   If your teen gets him or herself a summer job, it will save you money!  Your teen will have money that they worked hard to earn and will be able to make financial decisions such as what to spend it on or to save it for.  Knowing how hard it is to earn and save money will help teens learn the true value of a dollar.  Financial Literacy!
  3. Responsibility: A teen can learn a lot of skills from a job, the most important one is responsibility.  Giving teens a job and responsibilities will encourage them to become more mature and understand what the consequences of their actions are if they fail.  It may seem harsh, but skills like these will come in handy when they fly the coop and head out to college.

Here are our suggestions for Summer jobs for your teen:

- Sales clerk: Great for a friendly teen with basic money skills. Sales clerks will have the opportunity to interact with many different people throughout the day and learn money skills such as counting back change and closing a register which will be helpful for future jobs—especially if your teen wishes to go into business or entrepreneurship

-Camp counselor: Great job for teens who like little children and camp. What better way to send your teen to camp and not have to pay for it!

-Food service: Working in the food industry can be good experience for teens looking to acquire better social and customer service skills. Most restaurants require a waitress or waiter to be 18 or over (at least in resturants that serve alcohol) but hosting is a great way for them to get their foot in the door and most restaurants will train their hosts/hostesses to become servers over outside hires.

-Sports coach (camps/school programs): Is your teen missing playing their favorite sport? A lot of schools and camps are looking for teens with good sporting skills to coach or assistant coach at their summer programs! 

-Lifeguard: This job requires certification but is a great option for a teen, especially one who loves to be outdoors in the sun! Private lifeguarding can also be very lucrative. It’s a skill you can take through college to earn extra money.

-Babysitter/mother’s helper: Perfect for the younger teens to get started working. Summer is a great time to find out how you can help a mom or dad with their kids. Also a great option for a teen who doesn’t have a car—maybe he or she can find a babysitting gig within walking distance for your house! 

-Tutoring: A lot of summer school students or students taking tests in the summer may need a little extra help!  Tutoring freelance will keep your teens brain going over the summer and usually gives a pretty good hourly pay. 

-Movie theater or concert arena: This job may get your teen a discount (or free) movie tickets, which will give them something to do with their friends when they are not working, and also help them save even more money for future expenditures.

-Dog walking: With so many people taking time off to go away over the Summer and the costs of boarding an animal, there is a need for reliable pet help. A responsible, animal loving teen can work and play with animals.

How do your teens spend their Summer vacation?

Leslie H. Tayne, founder of The Law Offices of Leslie H. Tayne, P.C., assists consumers and individuals with the resolution of their unsecured debts. The firm's flexible and well established policies and procedures have helped thousands of individuals lead a debt-free life. For more information, call 1-631-470-8204 or visit www.attorney-newyork.com

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susan Montana July 05, 2012 at 05:16 PM
This article makes some great points, but I think one of the most important things teens can develop from summer jobs is a professional development skillset. How to negotiate effectively, learning from the (positive or negative) interactions of others, fine tuning interpersonal communication skills, and development of better judgement. These are all hard to learn without having first hand exposure on the job. Good luck to all the teens out there!
Leslie H. Tayne, Esq. July 06, 2012 at 04:07 PM
I definitely agree! Professional skills are something rarely taught in classes and it's important that teens (and anyone else really) has experienced working in an office environment to learn these 'hands-on' skills such as communication and interpersonal office relationship skills! That's why internships are also a great option (but usually while a student is in college). Thanks again for your input!

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