Parenting quandary(s) Need input

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by pygmalion, Dec 21, 2010.

  1. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Sorry. There's no other thread I can think of that quite addresses this.

    I found out yesterday that kids in Texas can get a summer job at age 14. I found this out from a young lkady who's the daughter of a high level exec where I work. She's had a job since she was fourteen years old. She's grounded, funny, has a great work ethic, and seems to have a very healthy view of material things.

    This got me thinking. By this summer, DS will be legally eligible to work (with a ton of constraints -- number of hours, type of work, etc, are very restricted at 14.) But still. I thihk that getting a job might be a really good way to teach him some valuable life lessons, and to boost his self esteem.


    But I don't know. I didn't get my first job until I was 19.

    Does anybody here have experience with and/or strong opinions about kids working at relatively young ages? Any input will be considered.

    Just to be clear. I'm talking about a summer job with max 20 hours a week at work. At 14, those are the limits. He wouldn't be allowed to work during the school year or a work full 35-40 hour week until he was older.
     
  2. Lioness

    Lioness Well-Known Member

    I started working where I am now at 15...I don't think it hurt me any.

    It's taught me to be more money-conscious...about how much I earn, and how much I can spend.
    I've made a lot of good friends I wouldn't have otherwise met...if I'd met a lot of the girls at school, I probably wouldn't have been friends with them. If anything, it also taught me how to get along with people I don't really want to get along with.
    I'd say it's improved my confidence, too.

    I'd say go for it...if he doesn't like it/it's too difficult at this point in time, then he can stop, or cut down on hours (I used to get about 10 per week...and I only get more now because I want more).
    And once you get one job, I think it's easier to get a second. I had a lot easier time getting a first job at 15 than BF did at 18.
     
  3. j_alexandra

    j_alexandra Well-Known Member

    I started at 13. Everything Lioness says is true, and the confidence building is irreplaceable.
     
  4. Joe

    Joe Well-Known Member

    Plus it'll keep him out of trouble for 20 hours a week each summer. I know you say he's a good kid, but it's easier to be good when you don't have time to be bad. ;)
     
  5. nucat78

    nucat78 Active Member

    Nothing wrong with working unless it's potentially dangerous, etc. Farm kids start helping out when they're pre-teens. Make him pay his cell phone bill. That'll teach him some simple economics.
     
  6. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I think I started babysitting when I was 12 or 13 or so. Not much, but it was my first job where I was earning money.

    Shortly thereafter (in the summer) I started working on horse farms. Not getting paid in cash--I wold work for riding privileges that I couldn't otherwise pay for.

    It gave me a sense of pride and accomplishment (I cleared that entire ditch from weeds by myself!), it was something I was responsible for (had to be on the farm by 8am every day), and it was a way for me to earn what I wanted and couldn't otherwise have.

    I say let him get his working papers, if he wants them. And make him responsible for paying for something with his earnings. If it doesn't work out, you can put the kaibosh on it later..which can also be a teachable moment.
     
  7. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Yes. The young lady I spoke to yesterday seemed very proud of the fact that she's been buying all her clothes since she was fourteen. I think what impressed me the most about her parents (whom I've never met) is that this girl obviously doesn't need money. Her parents can easily afford to buy her anything she wants. But they don't. Now that she's in college and presumably making more money, she has more financial responsibilities -- her cell phone bill and a couple other things that she mentioned. And what a nice girl she is! This made me think.

    I think that maybe it's possible to do ones kids a disservice by giving them things too easily.
     
  8. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    I started a 'real' job at 16, as was told I had to pay for my insurance (or rather, what parents insurance went up by addin gmy name to policy) if I wanted to drive. Have paid for everything myself since then, definitely a valuable lesson
     
  9. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member


    Amen to this.

    The backup plan, at this point, is several weeks of all-day computer camp at a local university, plus tennis and swimming in the evenings.

    168 hours a week to chill and think up mischief? Not so much. :lol:

    Or, if the job idea doesn't work out, I may put him in the YMCA youth camp counselor training program, which targets 14 and 15 year old kids. They don't get paid cash, but their camp fees are subsidized while they train to become counselors at 16 and older.

    I kinda like the idea of a "real" job, though. :cool:
     
  10. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    having had kids who went to very rigorous schools and had alot of outside activities, I left it up to them...they were kids who truly needed their break time most of the time...they usually had camps and things that made job committments unadvisable, but when they got the itch for jobs we were on board and it has made them appreciate those sorts of things that go with being employed...either which way, I don't believe it wise to hand out goodies overly often to one's kids just because one can afford to do so...nor do we do that with ourselves so my fear on that issue has never really come to fruition......for thier birthdays, or christmas, or some other major life event, I might lavish them, but the rest of the time their job, if they didn't have a job, was to be academically excellent and committed in their other endeavors like music or creative writing or whatever, and if they held up their end of the bargain, I would take care of what they needed financially ... if they felt like they wanted supplemental income, I was happy to see them obtain it provided it did not interfere with thier academics, thier need to de-compress, etc...
     
  11. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    the YMCA is a great gateway to a "real" job (your term)...and hires often from inside, additionally, it offers scholarships
     
  12. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Agreed. (Don'cha like how I can agree about what's best/worst for kids without having any of my own? Yeah, I'm good at that.)

    My parents didn't give my brother and I everything. Not by a long shot. I'm sure they'd have given us more, if they were able, but for most of the time growing up money was always really tight. Sometimes it was only because my grandparents were paying the mortgage that we had a house. Shrug. If nothing else, not being given things we wanted kind of gave my brother and me a better feel for the struggles my parents were going through (even though they tried their absolute hardest to shelter us from it). You learn some hard financial realities kinda quick.

    When I got my first Big Time Real Job (I was a Senate page.) it was made very clear that my paycheck was my own, but I had to put money away for college. When I started picking out colleges to apply to, and looking at the application fees, it gave me a financial goal to work towards. When I ended up not needing that money because I only applied to one school, I was so proud that I was able to pay for my dorm stuff and most of my books myself. And I had already started paying for my own clothes.

    I can't emphasize enough how proud that made me feel. I felt all grown up! (LOL. I was 16 when I graduated high school.) Especially since I knew my parents didn't have that money at all for those things--I felt like I was helping them!
     
  13. Larinda McRaven

    Larinda McRaven Site Moderator Staff Member

    I started working, delivering 2 newspaper routes, when I was 14. I bought my first tv, and a waterbed all by myself.

    Nothing better than that!
     
  14. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    agree peach...we didn't have extra dough when I was a kid...at 15 I walked from the place i was taking driver's ed to a mc donalds and applied for work...went home and informed my parents that I had a job...I took alot of heat for working there but ya know what?....I was good at it....and I took it seriously and enjoyed the extra money...it taught me the value of doing whatever one does well and never thinking you are too good to do anything which is why I have a very strong irk with poor service at fast food places...to my mind, if you can't do that job well, there is something wrong with YOU, and it is attitudinal...everyone needs to start somewhere, and realizing that it is possible to move up by doing something "menial" well, is a lost art, imo.....that job got me into the university of notre dame food service, and coupled with a minor in restuarant and hotel institutions at Purdue, put bread on the table when I married my unemployed aspiring engineer/future lawyer husband....and led to a nice subsequent job in the loop when we were doing the yuppie thing...

    I am often reminded of the cosby episode where vanesa is bemoaning the fact that her friends were making fun of her for being rich after they had been to her house ..and bill says; "let's be very clear, your mother and i are rich...you have nothing" :)....while my kids hardly think I would put them on the street...they know that they won't be coasting on my dime...and I think that is very important...having a job early, imo, makes that seem less mysterious and elusive
     
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    OMG. Yes, yes, YES!

    (When you're covered head-to-toe in horse poo, you gotta find some way of discovering dignity...satisfaction in responsibility and dignity in the fact of working is about all that's left at that point. LOL.)

    (I didn't realize you studied hospitality! Very cool!)
     
  16. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    I love this! Thanks everyone.

    Ulterior motive for starting thread: I have no doubt I'll be back to ask other things. *grin*


    And I totally agree with what you're saying about kids and the feeling of entitlement, fasc. It doesn't do them any good, IMO. And I loved Cosby,btw. Was that the episode where Theo wanted the expensive designer shirt and Dad refused to foot the bill? What a hoot!
     
  17. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    I don't think so...but perhaps...it started w/vanessa walking friends through the house and showing off the artwork and alluding to the cost...then she comes home complaining that they made fun of her b/c she was rich...

    but I also love the episode where theo announces that he won't be doing college..and he and bill go over how he is going to live month to month..and bill does that using monopoly money with him...zomg, that episode slays me
     
  18. fascination

    fascination Site Moderator Staff Member

    well...it was not lost on me that a BA in social psych wasn't going to get me a job...and since I had an ongoing summer and break time gig at ND, the choice to minor in that got me a management job there, and then subsequently at Roosevelt University in chicago...which was critical since dh was not aggressive in his job search, he's a gentle sort of guy (at least in his twenties he was)...so that job was all we had when we got married...to his mother's horror (a fringe benefit :))
     
  19. pygmalion

    pygmalion Well-Known Member

    Maybe not. *shrug* If you ever catch that episode on Nick, take the half hour and watch. It is hilarious.



    Also a classic episode. It was very funny (but also realistic) to see Theo realize that his paycheck was not his own.


    These are the kinds of lessons I want to teach DS. I don't intend to play it for laughs, but I do want him to know that success is not instantaneous, and that it takes hard work -- a lot of hard work -- to make it in this world.

    It's time. He's 5'10", with a deep voice, a mustache, strong (and wrong lol) opinions, and a girlfriend on the near horizon. I'm not doing him any favors by protecting him from reality, IMO.
     
  20. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Aw, c'mon. If you can't use your kids for entertainment purposes now and again, what can you use them for?! ;)
     

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