When do you know you are ready?
June 28, 2008 6:07am CST
This is a two part question. Part I - How old do you think kids should be to start a summer job? Part II - How old were you and what job did you do and would you recommend it? My daughter is 14 and she was going to get a job at a local fast food place (I know the owner so I was ok with this). But come spring she decided she wanted to wait till next year and I agreed. I don't think she was ready yet. So instead she is babysitting 2-3 days a week. So how about you? Part I - How old do you think kids should be to start a summer job? Part II - How old were you and what job did you do and would you recommend it?
• United States
29 Jun 08
Part I Answer - I personally think that unless your child needs to work as a way of helping to meet the financial needs of the family, that they should wait until they HAVE to work or when 18. Let me explain, why I am of this opinion. I personally began working at the age of 14, not because I needed to support my family, but because 1. I was old enough according to state law and 2. Because my parents thought this was a way to teach responsibility, job skills etc. All of those things did happen, but along with that came my first love affair with money and the "things" that teenagers want that are associated with it. I was constantly trying to figure out ways to work more so that I could have more. Of course my parents tried to persuad savings but that was last on my list. And from a reasonable stand point it was only so much that they could "make" me do with MY money. As result of the financial freedom that I thought I had, I often decided to forgo some of the things that kids do, that also teach responsibilty, skills and character, like sports activities, school activities, volunteering, community events etc. For the love of money. What I wasn't mature enough to know was that to be a child and have child like responsibilites was only going to last the MINORITY of my life. And that I had the rest of my life to work! What I wasn't mature enough to know was that I could have done other things to give me the same qualities that my parents thought a job would teach me. I didn't know that I could learn those same responsibilities by volunteering at a hospital or volunteering at a homeless shelter, or by playing sports or participating in other community based activities. I wasn't mature enough to know that I would only have a small window of opportunity for those things and forever to work and spend money. And now that I think about it, how much did I really learn when my boss was right of high school and my co-workers were a bunch of kids that spent a huge part of the shift talking about how we were gonna spend our next check? Part 2- I was 14 years old and I worked at a Boys and Girls summer program with kids younger than I was. By the time summer was over I had the bug so now I needed to find another job to feed my additiction to money. After that job I was trying to figure out a way to get in the work program at school which meant that I would go to school for half a day and work the other half of the day. And the saga continues, because I am now 42 and still at.....Chasing the Almighty Dollar!
• United States
28 Jun 08
It really depends on each individual child. Some are ready to take on a responsibity of a job at a young age while others aren't ready till they are 17 or older. My daughter started her first job at 8yrs of age taking on one of my walking paper routes right outside our house. She did a really good job up till recently when her one friend insisted on riding along with her and would want to help. Well, her friend was costing me alot of money missing customers or delivering to someone who wasn't a customer so I was forced to take the route back. My daughter is unhappy about it but it's the only way she will learn to take her job seriously and not let any of her friends help her. I'm going to wait a while and then let her take over my other walking route. Her friend will never know when she leaves since it's the opposite direction of her house. I know my daughter can do it and do it well as long as none of her friends are with her. I started my first job when I was around 13 at a farm-turned recreation area. I took care of the animals in the petting zoo, gave tours, gave pony rides/carriage rides, and whatever else I was needed for. I loved that job and did it after school and on weekends. Sadly, the owners passed on and the place was sold to the park district. It will never be the same there again. The park district made so many changes that I feel I wouldn't like working there again. A paper route or 2 is an excellent first job for kids but the problem nowadays is kids don't want to work for their pay. They are too lazy. I know this because the paper I work for is having a hard time finding decent carriers for their walking routes. The motor routes are all done by adults so, naturally, they are hard to find because noone wants to give them up. Slowly but surely, adults are taking over the walking routes being kids just don't want to do them like they used to when I was a teenager.
• United States
11 Jul 08
Laglen, My step daughter is 14 and has been asking to get a job. Here in my state you have to be 16 to work just about anywhere but we were able to find a place where she would be able to work as a summer job. I am more than willing to let her work there if that is what she wants to do. Me, personally, I didn't get my first job until I was 16 and it was full-time as I was kicked out of school that year. I started out doing administrative work and eventually came to love it and wish there was more I could do of that type of work at home. So I think 14 is old enough to have a part time or summer job. And my step daughter had to bring home good grades for us to even consider this. She needed to prove to us that she could maintain school before she could maintain a job. And maybe eventually she'll be able to maintain school and a job. She also wants to pursue the Army when she gets old enough and I am COMPLETELY okay with that as I was in the Army myself. Thanks for the post :D
• United States
11 Jul 08
they ca't get a job here till they are 16, like working in a grocery etc. but i think if they are resposible they can babysit, mow yards or whatever. they need to learn a good work ethic young & it will carry them through their life. there are always jobs at home that need doing & i think they need to have chores at home also.i started at home, my sister & i had to clean, i cooked because my mother worked. i think it's good for kids to have that resposibility when they are home.