How to Help a Teen Keep a Job While in School
Focus on balance, making sure there's ample time for school, studying, after-school activities and the job. It's difficult but it can be done.
- Sit down for some preplanning before the job search begins. Figure out workable days and times.
- Get a job description before the teen takes the job. A job that asks a lot of a teen may make him or her too tired to keep up with other things, and the job may eventually have to be sacrificed.
- Make sure there is ready transportation available. If the teen does not have a car or doesn't see to drive, arrange your schedule so you can get him to work on time.
- Will assistive devices or other specialized technology be necessary for the teen to be successful at the job? If so, be prepared to purchase these items.
- Show respect for your teen's job. If Aunt Martha is coming for dinner, don't insist that the teen try to get out of his shift in order to be home.
- Keep tabs on how classes are going. Grades, test papers and parent-teacher conferences are great ways to keep on top of it.
If there's too much to do and your teen is losing sleep and neglecting schoolwork, it's time for a major sit-down talk about what needs to go. Perhaps the job can be kept if another extracurricular activity is dropped.
Keep your eyes open for symptoms of stress; a short temper, poor appetite or exhaustion are signs that your teen is not juggling all of his responsibilities well.
If your teen gets into a dispute with his boss, it's likely that he will not welcome interference from his parents. Be supportive, but don't butt in.