There are a lot of good reasons for a high school student to get a part time job, but there are also some drawbacks. You need to start off by having a serious conversation with your teen about working while going to school.
If your student comes to you and wants to get a job, find out why. Is it something they really want to do, or are they just looking for spending money? Is money tight in the household, or do they have something specific they want to save up for?
Getting a job does teach your teen valuable life skills. They will have to fill out applications, and interview for a position. They will also develop teamwork and communications skills. And hey, I am all for my kids to learn what the “real world” really is all about, but you really need to take into consideration a few things.
You will want to take a hard look at how much extra time your child actually has to spare. Are they involved in sports, music, or other extracurricular activities that take a lot of time? You don’t want your teen to be stressed all the time. You also don’t want them to not have enough free time for homework and studying.
A job is a great way to learn responsibility and great practice before going off to college. There is a huge difference in the level of responsibility as they make their way from high school into college. Your student needs to learn responsibility to handle some things on their own, and job experience can help them grow a lot in this area. Time management skills are critical in the future, so having a job can go a long way in developing these skills in your teen.
Whether or not your child is going to college right after high school, having some job experience is a good start to a great resume. College applications look at grades, but also at extracurricular activities, and managing school while working does show that your teen has some maturity and level of responsibility.
One last thing to think about is sleep. Teens need a lot of sleep, and if having a job cuts into those hours, then you may have a very distracted and grouchy kid on your hands. Look at both the positives and the negatives before deciding to let your student get a job.
Will you encourage your high schooler to get a job?