Summer is approaching and teens are looking for jobs to fill their empty days. Parents can get involved by helping their kids pick out a job. Here are a few tips on how to do it.
1. Talk. Don’t just knock on your son’s door one day and tell him that you’ve lined up a job for him at the supermarket. He may be overwhelmed and if he’s not interested no amount of effort on your part will make it beneficial. Sit down and talk with him about what he would like to do for the summer and present the options to him in a respectful manner.
2. Think long-term. When most people think of jobs for teens, they think of working at a retail store or being a lifeguard. These options really don’t work because the skills they learn at these jobs should be learned already, by their teens. If they plan on going into a career field after school, they should start thinking of internships and opportunities in that area. They will just be wasting their time, if they just get any job to fill the days without any clear direction or long-term focus. Help them find a job that’s worthy to put on a resume or applies to their long-term goals.
3. Try to stay out of it. Instilling hard work ethic and principles, starts at an early age. It doesn’t start in your teens. Most teens show the failures of the school system and the time wasted there when they produce no more skills than an elementary student. Parents should understand that it will take time for school students to adjust to the real world and not try to make up lost time by forcing them or trying to choose paths for them. If they aren’t interested, you may have to just accept that.
4. Make it a priority. One reason many employers do not want to hire teen workers is because of their fluctuating schedules. School, recreation and leisure time can tempt teens to forego finding and keeping up with a job. Make the job a priority for your teen. Don’t encourage them to handle recreational activities alongside their job. Nothing prepares one for developing valuable job skills like actually having a job. When they grow up, they will be spending most of their time working at a job not playing on a baseball field or hanging out with friends. Be mindful of what you’re preparing them for.
5. Don’t involve family and friends. It might seem like the easy thing to do to ask your friend or brother-in-law to let your teen work for him over the summer. However, this can cause problems. Teens will never understand the realities of finding and applying for a job if someone, essentially, does it for them. They will also be tempted to slack off knowing that they aren’t really accountable. Also, if they don’t turn out to be reliable employees, it may ruin any personal relationship you may have.