There are just some things you can learn from your first job that you wouldn't get from home or school. Why a part-time job is worth more than minimum wage when it comes to your teen's personal growth:
At home your teen has the luxury of having a say in family decisions, but at work he will have to do what he is told without debate. Learning how to accept direction from superiors and follow rules and procedures is important to future professional success and appropriate office behaviour.
Is your child perpetually late, barely making it into school before the bell rings? That won't fly at her place of business. Under the watchful eye of her supervisor and fellow employees, she'll be scrutinized if she clocks in late or takes extended breaks. Learning to manage her time is a skill all adults need to acquire, and understanding that time is indeed money is a first step.
Speaking of money, in an era of debit cards and virtual banking, our kids don't get to deal with a lot of actual cash. Most retail jobs will require employees to count back change and perform simple math calculations, as well as processing credit and debit cards. They will often have to balance their tills at the end of their shift, making them accountable for the money they handle.
Looking customers in the eye, answering their questions, and being courteous and helpful can teach them the essential communication skills earlier generations took for granted.
Perhaps most importantly of all, a job will force your teen to put away the smartphone and actually interact with people on a human level. Looking customers in the eye, answering their questions, and being courteous and helpful can teach them the essential communication skills earlier generations took for granted but this generation, while highly skilled in other ways, is sometimes lacking.
The value of a dollar
Most parents hope that toiling for hours at a manual labour job for minimum wage will teach our kids that money doesn't grow on trees. Appreciating the hard work it takes to earn a living is a valuable lesson for everybody, and the sooner your teen understands this, the faster you'll see him making better choices with his own money (and hopefully stop asking you for hand-outs as often)!
Going above and beyond the minimum effort is often rewarded and your teen can learn this firsthand. When the basic duties of the job are done and it's slow in the store, will your child be the one who takes it upon themselves to tidy up, or find other work to do that hasn't been asked of them? Employees who show initiative are often the ones chosen for the best shifts and considered first for promotions and pay increases. A teen who learns this in a part-time job will be more successful when it comes to a career position later in life.
Does your teen have a part-time job? How have they changed because of it?
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