As a parent of a teenager, you're tasked with preparing your child to become a responsible adult. And being a responsible adult typically entails holding down a job, maintaining a household, and managing money all at the same time. So, as you're helping your child build lifelong skills, it makes perfect sense for them to have assigned chores even if they have a part-time or weekend job.
How many teens have a job?
Fewer than you'd think, in fact. In fact, only about one-third of teenagers today have part-time jobs, a steep drop from the peak of nearly 60% in the late 1970s. This decline is mostly attributed to young people being too busy with school and extracurricular activities.
Why should teens work?
It's certainly important for young people to focus on their education. However, working can help them develop other important skills such as time and money management, as well as how to apply and interview for a job. Working can also teach kids about responsibility and help them build a strong work ethic.
Learning to manage money is perhaps one of the most valuable skills young people can gain from having a part-time job. Not only will they learn the concept of earning a wage, getting paid, and saving, but their spending choices will likely change dramatically when they're spending money they earned versus money given to them by their parents. The truth is, earning their own money can give kids a whole new — and typically healthier — attitude about money.
Why should teens have chores?
Chores teach kids how to perform important household tasks and build good habits for the future. For example, appropriate chores for a 17-year-old would be doing their own laundry, cooking a meal, and mowing the grass — all skills they will likely need in the future.
Chores are also how a young person can “pull their weight" in the family. Having to do chores while going to school and working a part-time job can also teach kids how to prioritize responsibilities and manage their time better.
Again, chances are when your teen becomes an adult they'll have to juggle a career, housework, social life, and other responsibilities. In most cases, the sooner they start developing those skills, the better.
Monitor your teen's well-being
There are certainly benefits to having your child learn to manage school, chores, and a part-time job. However, parents should monitor their child's well-being to make sure they're not overwhelmed or overextended. If their grades start to drop or they seem overly stressed, it might be time to re-evaluate or modify their schedule in some way.
With support, encouragement, and a healthy dose of hard work, many teens can handle the challenge and gain valuable skills during this important time of their lives.