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How do I know if my teen is ready to get a real job?

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Question: How do I know if my teen is ready to get a real job?
Answer: Work experience is a healthy way for teenagers to learn responsibility and important life skills. Having a job leads to many positive benefits for a teen. Parents often wonder, however, if their teen is ready to start working.

Most 16-year-olds are capable of working a part time job at a local movie theater or fast-food restaurant. The responsibility of working a couple of hours a week generally helps teens who need a push toward being more mature and dependable. So, if you’re teetering on the fence because you just aren’t sure if your teen is ready, you should allow your teen to try. You can get more of a feeling of if your teen is ready by taking our screening quiz.

If, however, your 16-year-old is fighting the thought of getting a job, then don’t push it. While you don’t want to give into any fears of real world experiences, waiting one more year may give your teen the confidence he needs. A firm but gentle push when a teenager is 17-years-old is appropriate.

Many 15-year-olds would love to work a job and make some money. However, jobs for 15-year-olds are few and far between. There are summer job opportunities for this younger age group and there is still the opportunity to babysitting, lawn mowing and paper route jobs.

As for preteens, working at odd jobs like lawn mowing, babysitting and having a newspaper route is a wonderful way to begin taking on a job responsibility. If your preteen is showing an interest, allow him/her to try it out. You’ll need to take an active role and monitor him/her to be sure that the job is getting completed.

The ultimate telling of whether your teen will be able to handle working a job will be in the action itself. Give the experience some time and keep talking to your teen about it, offering your positive feedback.

Parenting Quizzes for Parents of Teens

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