Should You Let Your Teens Have a Job? The Pros and Cons of Working Teens | Refresh Financial

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Should You Let Your Teens Have a Job? The Pros and Cons of Working Teens

teenThe older kids get, the more expensive their tastes seem to be. They need iPhones and designer jeans and ombre hair. It seems like every time you turn around, they’re asking for something else. If you said yes to it all, your bank account would be draining faster than Niagara Falls.

You can, of course, use this desire for expensive things as a motivator for them to go out and get a job, but does this really benefit a teen over the long run? Will their school work suffer? Is it worth it just to transfer the burden of their expensive taste off from you?

Of course, you’ve come to a financial blog seeking answers, so the answer is going to be a hearty, “Yes!”. There are so many reasons why it’s a great idea to encourage your teenager to find work:

1. It cultivates their work ethic

Work ethic is a more valuable commodity than gold, as hard workers are often the ones who get far and end up financially independent earlier. It’s one thing to ask your son to empty the dishwasher, it is entirely another for him to be a part of a team that relies on him getting his duties done in order to get through the day.

2. It develops their understanding of money

That minimum paycheck from McDonald’s isn’t going to get your son or daughter a new iPad mini as quick as they might have thought. Especially after they bought those Twenty-One Pilots tickets last week. Nothing teaches a kid the value of money faster than having to manage their own.

3. It makes your life cheaper

As your son and daughter can afford more, you can give them more of their own expenses to take care of. For instance, you can say, “Now that you’re 15 and working, we’d like you to pay your own mobile bill.”

3. Your teen will have a better chance of becoming responsible with their money

You can use the fact that they’re earning their own money to teach them how to pay bills (as mentioned in the previous point) and how to save for the future.

4. Your son or daughter will learn about banking

They’re going to have to get a bank account if they don’t already have one, and they’re going to have to learn all about fees and balances and interest if they choose to start saving.

5. It builds their resume

Experience is everything on a resume, and the more experience your son or daughter can start to build up, the more opportunity will come their way in the future.

6. Potential for growth

The job your child may take could be a job that has plenty of growth opportunities and it could lead to a successful career.

So, while you do run the risk of school suffering through your son or daughter’s employment, you have to see working teens as having their own education. It is, potentially, the most valuable education your child can get in this economic climate. If they are to ever have any hope of buying a home in Canada or retiring without sinking below the poverty line, they are going to have to start their robust and powerful money education now. Of course, don’t sacrifice school for the opportunity to work, but consider, instead, making a deal. If your son or daughter wants the more expensive things in life, tell them they have to pay for it themselves and when they inevitably want a job soon after that, agree as long as they keep their school work up.

In short, a resounding “Yes!” to working teens. Unless you already have a responsible student headed towards success in academia and they’ve proven time and again to be able to handle adult obligations, get your kids out working and paying for their own expensive tastes.

Would you let your teen work? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments!

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