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First Teen Job

Toddler and Teenager Expert Advice from Carleton Kendrick, Ed.M., LCSW

Q: When is the right time to have your teenager get a job? My daughter is a senior and doesn't have a job and is always asking for money or she wants me to buy her things. My husband just tells me whatever I think is right. I think it's time to get a job. What do you think?

A: Your daughter can certainly work to earn money for things she desires. Many teens begin working early in their adolescence and learn first hand the pride and sense of responsibility that paid work outside the home can bring. The only cautionary words that I would offer would be to make sure that her work schedule does not sabotage or undermine her academic, social, emotional, or spiritual growth and development.

From babysitting to part-time work in a business on weekends, there is plenty of work for her to seek out. If she counters your request that she find work with a complaint like " But all my friends' parents don't make them work!" you can say that your family believes in giving her the chance to take personal responsibility in this area. Tell her that she has not had to do it up to this point (perhaps you could admit that you should have insisted on it sooner) but now it's time.

"Get Out of My Life! But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?" by A. Wolf is a thoughtful book on parenting teens.

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Carleton Kendrick has been in private practice as a family therapist and has worked as a consultant for more than 20 years. He has conducted parenting seminars on topics ranging from how to discipline toddlers to how to stay connected with teenagers. Kendrick has appeared as an expert on national broadcast media such as CBS, Fox Television Network, Cable News Network, CNBC, PBS, and National Public Radio. In addition, he's been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Boston Globe, USA Today, Reader's Digest, BusinessWeek, Good Housekeeping, Woman's Day, and many other publications.


Please note: This "Expert Advice" area of FamilyEducation.com should be used for general information purposes only. Advice given here is not intended to provide a basis for action in particular circumstances without consideration by a competent professional. Before using this Expert Advice area, please review our General and Medical Disclaimers.

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