Thursday, May 3, 2012

Adolescent Employment

Does your teen want to get a job? Are you ready for them to get that job? According to the Center for Labor Market Studies, the teen employment rate was at 37% last year. Statistics also indicate that half of those teen who do work are on the job more than 15 hours, and 16% work more than 15 hours per week.

Some research supports that employment for less than 20 hours a week can have a positive effect on family relationships, financial responsibility, time management and student’s sense of purpose. Another theory, however, suggests that adolescent employment, especially in excess of 20 hours a week, can weaken important social inflorescences, such as school and family and can increase a teen’s anxiety.

According to researchers at the University of Minnesota, good jobs in adolescence support rather than displace academic roles and offer genuine opportunities to learn important life and work skills. Volunteer commitments offer similar benefits, while not requiring as many hours, and should be taken just as seriously as paid positions.

So, is a job the right investment for your teen? Consider financial need and possible harmful effects before making your decision. Play an active role in their job decision by limiting the hours they can work and discussing their experience with them. Help them manage their income responsibly and monitor for changes in attitude, per group and academic performance.

In the right context, a job can be just the right experience to increase a teen’s confidence and help them identify their personal strengths and intersts.

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