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Old 12-03-2013, 07:07 PM   #16
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It really depends on the situation. I am a HS senior and consider school my job. My parents and I expect myself not to pass my classes but to ace them, and doing that takes up a lot of time that I could use to get a job.

From 7-2:30 I am in school, but the classes I have enrolled in (honors and AP courses) require outside work also. From the time I get home, I could be spending 2-3 hours doing homework and studying (more when I have lab reports to write up), and, by the time I am finished, I average out at almost 10 hours of school work done every day. Per week, it is 50+ hours, which is somewhat equivalent to a full-time job plus overtime.

Personally, I do not have a need for the money from a part-time job. I do not have a car and rarely go out with friends, and the basics are covered from my parents as long as I stay in school.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:08 PM   #17
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DS 17 has worked at the grocery store for a year and half. He typically works 14 hours a week during the school year and maybe 20 during the summer.
It has been a great experience and taught him lots about the bigger world.

I definitely think kids should work during high school!!!
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:10 PM   #18
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Personally I don't think teens should work. But that's largely specific to where we live - lots of teens, not many jobs, and the places that do hire teens are not at all flexible about what my son calls "having a life". He has friends who have been fired for going on a family holiday (over Thanksgiving - Black Friday was a "work or else" day), who had to choose between a sport or their job because the employer wasn't willing to work around a practice schedule, etc. Unless you are available to work any time you're allowed by law to work, you're not going to find/hold a teen job in our area. And I feel that for most kids, the opportunity costs of that level of commitment to a McJob are just too high - band and football and baseball and 4H and other extracurriculars are more valuable uses of time as a teen than taking drive-thru orders.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:25 PM   #19
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I really think it depends on the kid, the family, and where they live. From when I was 14 till I was 16, I worked just about every Saturday and/or Sunday, plus school vacations, at a local arcade/bowling alley. I couldn't drive yet, but my parents could drive me on weekends and my older sister, who worked there as well, drove me during vacations. The family who owned the place hired a lot of teenagers and held them all the high standards, so we all developed a great work ethic. I'm glad I had that job.

When I turned 17 I got a different job within walking distance to my house. I worked several 2.5 hour shifts during the week and longer shifts on weekends and vacations. I also worked there weekends and vacations all through college.

For me, working during school was never an issue. I was a straight A student and was still able to do band and drama during high school, which were a greater time commitment than most sports. But I understand that it can't work for every kid. I was fortunate that both my jobs understood that school and sometimes extracurriculars had to come first.
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Old 12-03-2013, 07:33 PM   #20
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I started working when I was 13. Not babysitting, but a legitimate working in a realtor's office stuffing envelopes, answering phones, and filing job.

I also babysat. It was expected that my sister and I keep good grades and work at least one job. My father was the master of many jobs- so one part time job was never enough for us kids- I was babysitting, working in a restaurant and a retail store plus go to school during my senior year of high school)

I have two kids- one is a jr. in high school and the other a freshman in college. My oldest goes to college full time and works at a restaurant two-three days a week. He probably does 15-20 hours a week. When he is off school, he will do about 30-40 hours a week.

My youngest goes to high school has very good grades and has four part time jobs! (Babysitting, party birthday place #1, party birthday place #2, part time at a store in the mall). Granted between all four part time jobs, she maybe only works 10 -15 hours per week and more if she is babysitting. The party places contact her maybe once/twice a month for a party. Babysitting is every Saturday if she wants. She works at the mall about 10 hours a week.
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Old 12-03-2013, 08:51 PM   #21
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My oldest is in high school and got his first job this summer at 15. He is a lifeguard. He guarded at the pool all summer and put away quite a bit of money. He is now 16 and a sophomore and now also teaches swim lessons. He guards one afternoon/evening per week. Then he gives 4 lessons per week. Sometimes he has a Saturday shift. He is also in ROTC and a competitive swimmer.

I think having this job has been great for his organizational and time management skills.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:28 PM   #22
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When I was in high school, it was made clear to me by my parents as well as others in my network that school was my job, and I was expected to put the 60-80+ hours per week into that job that I would be expected to put into my professional career in the future.

My wife and I ascribe to the same value system for our own children now, although they are too young to work yet (8 & 5) so it's theoretically possible that our thoughts will evolve, although I am doubtful of that.
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Old 12-03-2013, 09:39 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Colleen27 View Post
Personally I don't think teens should work.
At all? Or just during the school year?
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:33 PM   #24
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As a general rule, no, I do not think it's a good idea for middle school or high school students to work. There are certainly exceptions -- some kids can balance school and work without either suffering, but generally speaking I'm a believer that school comes first. This applies to weekdays only...I see nothing wrong with a kid working on weekends.

My parents did not expect us to work in high school and they provided my sister and I with a small amount of spending money for movies, etc. They wanted us to focus on school. I didn't get my first job until right after I graduated high school (and before going to community college). I had done occasional babysitting jobs and raked leaves once throughout middle school & high school but nothing consistant.

I know for a fact I would have really struggled in high school if I had to have a job. I wasn't very focused as it was, so adding a job that I didn't want would have pushed me over the edge. Once I graduated high school, I was focused only on work (until college started) and didn't have to struggle. I worked that job for only 2 months before moving to go to college, and once I did that I had my own apartment, worked part time (25-30hrs/wk), and went to community college full time. I had no problem transitioning into that and eventually I was working full time while going to school full time.

In high school I had a couple of friends who worked part time. One at Safeway as a bagger, and the other as a waitress at a small restaurant. The waitress friend juggled work and school very well but she only worked on weekends. The Safeway bagger friend worked weekday evenings most of the time and always weekends and she really struggled in school. I was jealous they had so much spending money but not enough to want a job! I remember the one who worked at Safeway was always tired and some of her shifts didn't end until pretty late at night. It got worse for her when she turned 18 while still in high school because she was "allowed" to work later and more hours.

I would never let my kid (I'm not a parent) work until even 8pm on a school night. No way...that is way too late in my book.

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Old 12-03-2013, 10:39 PM   #25
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I worked in high school as did all my friends.

DS16 just got his first job a couple of weeks ago, he is a dishwasher at place that hold retreats. He is on the sub list, so no set schedule, and hopefully he will be able to decline times if they conflict with activities. So far it has been ok, he had training. Then he was asked to work and the one he had to decline bc he was away for school. He then accepted a last minute weekend assignment for dinner shift but had to decline breakfast and he accepted a weeknight one bc he had no tests the next day. I am hoping this place remains as flexible as it seems. And he is done by 8pm which I prefer, even tonight he was suppose to work until 8 and was done by 7:15.

I just want him to have some pocket money.

If it ever interferes with school work and the fun that high school should be (within reason) than the job will go bye bye.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:39 PM   #26
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Depends on the kid and the job.

My son is in high school, is a cheerleader, and is taking drivers ed on the weekends.

Not many jobs would work around all of that.

I want him to enjoy school and do extra-curricular activities rather than get a job.

I was pretty much forced to work all through high school (my, how times have changed with my parents) and to this day hold a grudge against my parents for it.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:40 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Gumbo4x4 View Post
At all? Or just during the school year?
That depends on the teen. For my son, at all. He's a football player and in marching band so he has pretty extensive summer time commitments. The "break" part of summer for him is 2-3 weeks, just from the time the year ends until right after the 4th of July when workouts and practices start up for the coming fall. Which isn't to say he does nothing - he works for DH doing job site clean-up and general go-fer duties, and he and my DD take turns washing my FIL's boat (he's a fishing charter captain so it needs done after each day's charter). He also does some babysitting for us - we don't pay if he's watching DD5 for household/family matters, but if it is purely for pleasure (ie DH & I going out for date night) we do. But because those jobs are in the family there's never an issue with conflicts; if he needs to be at practice, DH will use one of his other occasional guys or DD will wash the boat for FIL. And he is very good at budgeting his spending money to last through the school year when he doesn't have much/anything coming in.

But as I said, my opinions are strictly for my own kids in this little town. It was completely different where I grew up, with fast food and retail on every corner and lots of options for a teen that wanted to work, many of which were very accommodating of extracurriculars and socialization. I worked summers only, first for a kennel/vet's office and then for a seasonal concert venue, when I was in school without any real conflicts. But around here, the usual teen jobs are quite inflexible and the more flexible positions tend to be informal arrangements with family or friends.
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Old 12-03-2013, 10:42 PM   #28
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My kids start working as soccer referees at age 12. Weekends only. Our high school students work summers. Oldest ds has been a lifeguard for last three years.

All are A students with Ap classes and extracurriculars.

I am all for students working and maintaining their grades. Lots of life skills are learned this way.
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Old 12-04-2013, 06:59 AM   #29
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My parents always considered school our "job" as teens. We babysat some during the academic year - but as that was mostly weekends, it didn't interfere. Summer jobs were encouraged as we got older, but not pushed when we were young teens. Their attitude was "Enjoy it while you can."

DS has only recently turned 13, so we aren't really dealing with it quite yet. But he's pretty good about being aware of his own limits with extracurricular activities, and not scheduling too many in any one semester, so we'll strive to continue with a good balance as jobs come into the picture.
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Old 12-04-2013, 07:08 AM   #30
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My parents were pretty poor and I was the oldest of 3. I have worked full time since I was 16. I still took AP/honors classes and graduated from college. I had to work to help pay the household bills but also bought my own clothes, paid for lunch, and paid for my car, insurance, and gas. It was the hardest thing ever but you do what you have to do! I would do homework on breaks at work and sleep during lunch at school. I wouldn't wish it on anyone but it sure did make me appreciate things more!!
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