Teens & Jobs – How Much Work Is Too Much

teensandworkBeing a parent of 4 now for over 21 years I think that I have experienced quite a bit. From diapers to preschool and from middle school to graduation day we have experienced it.  One question that has come up quite a bit is still on my mind today. How much work is too much work for my teenager or college age student?  After all we want our children to learn how to work and that life is not easy right? If we give them everything they won’t value anything?  This is what we have all heard and I believe there is some truth in those statements. The problem I think is that there is still some balance that gets lost in the shuffle.

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Pros Of  Teens Working

  • Wider Perspective – A job can often give our teens a broader perspective on how life works.
  • Self Esteem – A job can boost self esteem and self worth in our children which can help them with other things in their lives.
  • Life Skills – A job can teach our teens skills that they can later build on to be competitive in a full time workplace.
  • Appreciation – A job can help our children to appreciate how hard things can be and that good things come with taking on responsibilities.
  • Money – A job can put some money in our teens pockets so that they understand the relationship between making and spending.


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Cons Of Teens Working

  • Struggles In School – A job can take away from study time and take away from healthy perspective.
  • Subject To Unfair Treatment – A job can be tough for a naive young person and they could be taken advantage of.
  • Less Time To Volunteer – A job can take the place of community activities in places like rec centers, churches, and more.
  • Family Time Struggles – A job can take our teen away from our dinner table where we lose the ability to speak into their lives.


All in all each situation is different. I can look at my children and see that where one would benefit from working a lot of hours another would be better to play sports and hold off on driving and racking up expenses. It really depends on the child and the family. We need to learn how to understand each of our children as individuals so that we can guide them in decisions like how many hours they should work.

Do you want your child to work outside of the home when they are still in school?
What would you do differently from what you have done in the past concerning your children and work?