Home > Teens > Teen Values and Responsibilities > Jobs and Chores > Working Teens: Juggling Job and School

Working Teens: Juggling Job and School

Whether your teen is 13 or 17, she already has a full-time job: school. As you discuss whether your teen can (or should) get a job during the school year, remember that she'll be “moonlighting.” Making decisions will be much easier for both of you if you keep that in mind.

If your teen is thinking of taking a job during the school year, here are some questions to consider:

Info Flash

A recent study by researchers at Stanford and Temple Universities found that students who worked more than 20 hours per week did less well in school, were more detached from their parents, and had a higher rate of drug and alcohol use (in part because they had more discretionary income).

  • Will the demands of the job threaten or enhance your child's commitment to school? Some working students take fewer challenging courses or cut corners on homework; others rise to the challenge because the job teaches them to become more efficient.
  • Will there still be time for extracurricular activities? Have your teen ask her employer if she can work around soccer practice, play rehearsals, or saxophone lessons.
  • Will he have less time with the family? Relationship-building with a teenager is hard work at best, and if the two of you don't cross paths often, it will become all the more difficult.

In addition, encourage your teen to make academic concerns his top priority. He may need to be creative to find study time but with your encouragement, he'll know that you still think school takes precedence over his job.

Tuning In

Even a teen's first job should be something that holds some appeal (even if it's primarily financial). The better the teen feels about the job, the more successful he will be.

Three months or so after your teen starts her job, evaluate how it's going. Is homework getting done? How are her grades? Is she enjoying her position? Does she have enough time flexibility for activities and family responsibilities?

If you're not thrilled with the situation, encourage her to look around again. A little work experience may open up additional job possibilities, and she may get more flexibility or better working conditions in a new job.

If she really feels committed to maintaining her job and doesn't want to look for something else, talk to her about your concerns. Perhaps you wouldn't worry about her if she could bring her C in English up to a B or a B- in the next marking period, or maybe you'd find the situation more palatable if she can get different hours so that she could have dinner with you twice a week. If she's truly committed to the job, that's a great quality, and you certainly don't want to dampen her enthusiasm. Just let her know what her other obligations are.

Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Parenting a Teenager © 1996 by Kate Kelly. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

To order this book visit Amazon's web site or call 1-800-253-6476.


8 Epic Emoji-Themed Crafts, Activities & Recipes
Check out the best emoji crafts, activities, and recipes! They're perfect for an emoji-themed birthday party or anytime you need DIY (and screen-free!) summer activities for kids, tweens, and teens.

Find Today's Newest & Best Children's Books
Looking for newly released books for your child? Try our Book Finder tool to search for new books by age, type, and theme!

10 Free Summer Learning Worksheets
Print these free printables for preschoolers and kindergarteners to help your child's mind stay sharp until September!

Ready for Kindergarten?
Try our award-winning Kindergarten Readiness app! This easy-to-use checklist comes with games and activities to help your child build essential skills for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Facebook icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks