Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

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miamivice
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Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by miamivice » Mon May 20, 2019 1:59 pm

My kids are too young for jobs right now, but soon enough they will be working age. Found out that one of my nieces/nephews got his first minimum wage job, and his grandparents are quite proud of him to be gainfully employed.

I winced when I heard that. While I suppose a minimum wage job is an exciting thing when one is 16, it will be distracting from studying, extra curricular activities, and the like. From my perspective, strong performance in school (both high school and college) strongly correlates to future earnings, and doing well at school is fundamental to future financial security.

Based on that, I'd be really hesitant to encourage my children to work a minimum wage job in high school, or even college for that matter, if it at all limited the time they spent doing homework or otherwise impacted their learning.

I do agree that a crummy job often is a good motivator for focusing on school and I don't want my kids to be entitled.

Any opinions on the importance of working in high school and/or college (during the school year)? From your perspective, does it compete with studies, and is this a good thing?

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by bloom2708 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:08 pm

I would wait and see what activities are taking up their time.

If they are in sports or other activities, there may not be time to work.

Once they can drive, that opens up some different options. One daughter was a nanny during the summer. Another daughter worked at the daycare she attended for a few years. That was a good eye opener for her.

The college kid is taking two summer courses but found a job with different hours that will work with your schedule.

I think it will all work out once you get there. You might encourage them to work some if they have a lot of free time. They might also want a job and the money that comes with it.

When our 2 oldest worked a "W2" job, I matched what they saved and would put into their Roth IRAs. That was a good incentive to start saving. It was easier once they hit 18 and owned their own accounts.

Many paths ahead. It is good to discuss the options.
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by samsoes » Mon May 20, 2019 2:09 pm

Absolutely!

Working during high school didn't adversely impact my academics. If anything, working kept me out if trouble since many Fri and Sat nights I was at work.

It's a great experience, he/she will learn responsibility, work ethic, experience with dealing with customers, and it will prepare him/her for the working world which he/she will eventually face. Plus, he/she be able to start a Roth IRA at an early age.

(As an aside, the supermarket I worked at was a great source of girlfriends while I worked there, but I digress.)
Last edited by samsoes on Mon May 20, 2019 2:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:10 pm

Jobs help kids understand what it costs to buy things in terms of how long you have to work to do so. They learn about getting to work on time, putting up with others at work, how to quit. Once they're older and doing school internships, they can learn about decisions to go buy a sub for lunch every day or pack a lunch to save money. Balancing their own check book and paying their own credit card bills also gives them far more insight into what their spending costs them.

A 16 year old who's never had a job only understands that more whining gets him yet another $60 game for his game system. If he had to work for a month of weekends to get that $60, he's less likely to buy it or to whine about it.

After only a couple weeks at Best Buy during the summer, my son remarked that going out at lunch for a sub every day pretty much took all the money he made at work. He packed a lunch after that.
Last edited by Jack FFR1846 on Mon May 20, 2019 2:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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mortfree
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by mortfree » Mon May 20, 2019 2:10 pm

Summer jobs are good enough if they have transportation.

Otherwise their job right now is to be a kid and do well in school.

If that doesn’t fit their personalities then maybe they can start working now.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Ed_Sandwich » Mon May 20, 2019 2:12 pm

I've always worked since age 15 (I'm 35) and I don't think it took away time from school. I did stop playing school sports around that age, however. And as you say, it was a tremendous motivator for me.

Also, I really did not like the idea of being dependent on my father for spending money. It would have really hurt my confidence to have to ask for money all the time, even though clearly I was dependent on him for most food and shelter. It was nice to be able to earn spending money.

Also, I worked 2 shifts on the weekends during the school year, and full time during the summers. What would your kids be doing during the summer?

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Bogle7 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:13 pm

High School
Yes, for Summer.
No, during school year.

College
Yes to on campus, max 10 hours a week.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Mike Scott » Mon May 20, 2019 2:14 pm

We considered working to be part of our kids education as well as generating enough income to cover their personal expenses.

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Conch55
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Conch55 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:15 pm

Work for kids that age is an introduction to the real world. A part time job is an unlikely impediment to success but that depends on the kid. As long as school activities are not affected I'm for it.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by JBTX » Mon May 20, 2019 2:27 pm

You can argue 2 sides. I don't have strong feelings either way. Personally I only worked a fairly easy summer job during high school and college. Never during school year. DW worked most of the way through. My daughter has tried a few food service jobs her senior year HS and they haven't ended well. My hope is that they are a motivator for her going forward in that without a college education a lot (not all) of your choices may be stressful and unrewarding.

If working a menial job is taking away from school performance then I'd say it isn't worthwhile.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Arthur Digby Sellers » Mon May 20, 2019 2:28 pm

Bogle7 wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:13 pm
High School
Yes, for Summer.
No, during school year.

College
Yes to on campus, max 10 hours a week.
+1. There is quite a bit of research out there that teenagers who obtain summer jobs tend to make significantly higher incomes later in their careers. This fits with my anecdotal observations. The people in my extended circle who held down summer jobs in high school tend to be more successful as adults than those who filled their summers with extracurricular activities (and leisure). I think having a real summer job gets kids into the adult mindset much more quickly, and reduces the chances that they will fail to launch.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Mon May 20, 2019 2:29 pm

What do they think they should do?
PJW

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by FelixTheCat » Mon May 20, 2019 2:30 pm

Working was ingrained in me at an early age. It teaches a necessary life skill to earn things.
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by MathWizard » Mon May 20, 2019 2:31 pm

mortfree wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:10 pm
Summer jobs are good enough if they have transportation.

Otherwise their job right now is to be a kid and do well in school.

If that doesn’t fit their personalities then maybe they can start working now.
+1
Increase human capital, especially in High School.

I took as many classes as I could the first 3 years of HS.
I was actually asked at the end of my soph. year if I wanted to graduated in 3 years,
because the principal would need to schedule me into two classes required of seniors.
I declined. I also participated in sports. Having a job those first 3 years would not have allowed
me to do this. I did have summer jobs from the age of 14 in addition to mowing lawns before that.

I only took a job the last year of HS because I ran out of classes that I wanted to take.

I also graduated in 4 years of college by not working during the school year. Now 5 or 6 years
is getting to be more standard in Engineering.

Kids should get done with school and start in on their career rather than taking jobs outside of
their chosen profession during their schooling.

The exception is an internship in their field. That is good education in and of itself.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by cshell2 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:34 pm

I used to think like that too, but my oldest is about to turn 17 this summer, wants to work and I think it will be good for him. His spare time is not spent studying or being in more extra curriculars. It's spent playing video games and binge watching Star Trek. He gets very good grades, he's on the speech team, in the marching band, and will soon be an Eagle scout (I hope I didn't jinx that), but he still has plenty of spare time and really wants to have spending money. No lie, it would help me out a lot too if he could pick up some of his expenses.

So, I think it depends on the kid. If you have one that is all about pushing themselves academically where every spare minute is towards school or a kid that struggles to get good grades, then maybe not a good idea, but if they're playing 7 hours of Minecraft a day... :annoyed

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon May 20, 2019 2:37 pm

Yes. 2 sons, one worked, one didn't. One who worked benefited, one who didn't had a different perspective on things. The one who worked started at 14. Movie theater usher. Then Target stocking then cashier. Then in college Best Buy.
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by mamboking » Mon May 20, 2019 2:41 pm

The way my wife and I look at it, you have your whole life to work. You only get one chance to have the high school experience. We feel as long as they're involved in extra curriculars and experiencing high school, we're more than happy to give them a stipend so they can still go out with their friends once in a while.

We use the stipend as a way to teach them to budget their money. They're responsible for putting gas in the car and some other small regular expenses. The first couple of weeks involved some learning but now they make sure they put aside the gas money FIRST before heading to the movies or stopping at Starbucks.
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by kaudrey » Mon May 20, 2019 2:44 pm

I babysat when I was of age, and then when I could get a real job, I first worked in a bakery and then a grocery store. I didn't work during sports seasons (and I played fall and winter sports), and didn't take enough shifts to affect completing homework. I finished in the top 5% of my class.

In college, I worked in the summers (obviously), and then in my junior and senior years I had internships that were relevant to my major. Again, finished near the top of my class.

My sister babysat but otherwise didn't work during school. She was valedictorian in high school....

Now, 30 years later, we both have post-graduate degrees and very successful careers.

This is not a black and white issue. If your kids want to work, I'd encourage it, but set the ground rules you feel are needed to ensure success in the classroom.

bluebolt
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by bluebolt » Mon May 20, 2019 2:44 pm

I think working summers is a good approach. Doesn't interfere with schoolwork and teaches lessons of responsibility and value of money.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by ohai » Mon May 20, 2019 2:44 pm

OP, it depends on whether you're maximizing time outside of work or not. I met this kid who got into Stanford lately, and he took all the AP classes, in addition to being state or national level in a sport and another activity. This guy really had no time for a part time job. 10 hours a week in a grocery store would have diminished his overall achievements. This sort of person does not need a job to teach him the value of hard work either. Now, if he was just playing video games all day, that would be different.

In college, I'd say the answer is almost always no to menial work. There are almost unlimited chances to take more classes, do research, or otherwise engage with the academic community. You lose this once you graduate. Why spend what little time you have in a minimum wage job? Getting the GPA and courses to be hired by Google, go to medical school, or any other thing, is worth more than anything such a job can teach you or pay. The exception is if your job is related to your field. For instance, a lot of people I knew who wanted to be science PhDs or doctors did lab work on the side.

For what it is worth, I did have jobs in college. In hindsight, I would have gotten more benefit from taking more classes or doing more interesting activities.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by mak1277 » Mon May 20, 2019 2:45 pm

I got a job as soon as I got my driver's license because I didn't like asking my parents for gas money. I continued to get good grades and play sports while working, although I suspect the world was a lot different then (90s) because I don't recall spending much time on homework even in high school. Beyond money, the job gave me a ton of self confidence, which really helped me when I went to college. Also, this may be sad to say, but my first high school job at a restaurant was my favorite job I've ever had.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by miamivice » Mon May 20, 2019 2:50 pm

In the case of my nephew, he got the job because he wanted to buy a car, and his parents want him to pay for the car. While making him responsible to pay for his car is a good thing, I am not sure that a 16 year old necessarily needs their own car...I do think he'll probably keep working year round once he gets used to a paycheck and expect that it may have implications on his schoolwork or school activities.

I took the hardest set of classes in high school and I wouldn't have been able to do that set of courses had I worked. I would have had to take easier classes. I am not a fan at all of kids working during the school year, especially if it impacts their learning.

I didn't have a car in high school (I did have parents who were really happy to drive me around) and thus my personal expense need was small. I did have a summer job as I lived in a touristy area that had a lot of summer employment opportunities. We don't have that where we live today, so I am not sure my kids will have a lot of summer job opportunities.

In college, I enjoyed working at the school cafeteria, washing dishes, etc. What was nice is that you only needed to sign up for 5 hours a week or something like that, and you could offload your shifts when necessary, or pickup more shifts. So I was able to balance my schoolwork and paid work very easily. Plus it was only a 10 minute walk from where I lived, so that was nice too.
Last edited by miamivice on Mon May 20, 2019 2:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Will do good
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Will do good » Mon May 20, 2019 2:55 pm

High school: Yes, teach them the value of money and to manage their time.

College: If Engineering or pre-med maybe no, but for others see #1 (hopefully some job in the career field or research assistant.)
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by CommitmentDevice » Mon May 20, 2019 2:55 pm

I think it is worthwhile to start getting experience creating value in the marketplace at a young age. The more that experience can be tied to high-skilled work environments, the better, because it builds professional skills and networks.

I had my first W-2 job way too late in life and believe that it stunted my development in a few key areas. In particular, I was slow to learn the fundamental relationship between creating value for others, capturing a slice of that value, and getting paid. Same goes for business models, appreciating the value of a dollar, understanding the cost of living.

On the flip side, just focusing on academics/extracurriculars in high school positioned me to get 6y of free higher education and do a few years of public service. So, meh, it is complicated.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by psteinx » Mon May 20, 2019 3:04 pm

I would tend to encourage summer employment for HS and college kids of the right age (absent compelling other opportunities), but be leary about it during the school year, unless there was a real economic need or the kid was really bored.

Note that unless the kids' home is favorably located, the kid may need to be of driving age and with an accessible car to make this practical.

There are a lot of other things that kids CAN do during the summer, moreso perhaps than was the case a generation ago. Sports, marching band, volunteering, research programs, and academic programs. Some of these, for some kids, may be better than a minimum wage type job. But there's value in the latter, too, even if the kid/family doesn't really NEED the money.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by miamivice » Mon May 20, 2019 3:06 pm

Thanks all. I appreciate the comments. I think what most people wrote really mirrors my thoughts: Yes, kids should work to earn spending money rather than just be given it from parents. (The stipend idea is a neat concept too). Work shouldn't interfere with school. Summer jobs are fine.

For my personal experience, I didn't mind working for minimum wage when I was treated with respect at my job. Unfortuantely, I had a couple jobs where I wasn't treated with respect, but I felt like I had to work. The worst job was when I had to wash cars at a dealership, my coworkers were druggies and went through major mood swings. I remember the first words that one person said to me "do what I say and we both get along fine". I wouldn't want my kids to work in abusive or other environments where people don't treat them with respect. At this job I was paid $6.50 an hour. Today I am treated with respect by my employer but am paid between $60-$90/hr. In retrospect, I should have left that job immediately, but wanted my parents to be proud of me and didn't feel they would be proud of a quitter.

I do remember my first paycheck. Worked 25 hours at $4.50 an hour, expected to get a paycheck for $112.50. Was confused when a chunk of it was missing (taxes), asked my Dad, and he laughed with a smile on his face.

My kids will figure out what they want to do, I am sure without my input. Likely they'll have summer jobs. I just want them to be able to focus on their human capital first and work as a distant second.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by smitcat » Mon May 20, 2019 3:10 pm

miamivice wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:50 pm
In the case of my nephew, he got the job because he wanted to buy a car, and his parents want him to pay for the car. While making him responsible to pay for his car is a good thing, I am not sure that a 16 year old necessarily needs their own car...I do think he'll probably keep working year round once he gets used to a paycheck and expect that it may have implications on his schoolwork or school activities.

I took the hardest set of classes in high school and I wouldn't have been able to do that set of courses had I worked. I would have had to take easier classes. I am not a fan at all of kids working during the school year, especially if it impacts their learning.

I didn't have a car in high school (I did have parents who were really happy to drive me around) and thus my personal expense need was small. I did have a summer job as I lived in a touristy area that had a lot of summer employment opportunities. We don't have that where we live today, so I am not sure my kids will have a lot of summer job opportunities.

In college, I enjoyed working at the school cafeteria, washing dishes, etc. What was nice is that you only needed to sign up for 5 hours a week or something like that, and you could offload your shifts when necessary, or pickup more shifts. So I was able to balance my schoolwork and paid work very easily. Plus it was only a 10 minute walk from where I lived, so that was nice too.
My daughter worked mostly summers in High school since she was 16. She also was involved in a bunch of volunteer work since that age and played sports in both HS and college. I think it has helped her immensely along her path, they turned out to be better than min wage jobs and she received skills, contacts and learned about the workplace, earnings and money.
She is 25 now past grad school and will still do the HS job part time now this summer.
YMMV

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Watty » Mon May 20, 2019 3:14 pm

I am not saying that it is right but they way we handled it for our son was;

In high school;

1) He was expected to get a summer job.

2) He could not work on school nights during the school year.

This was around 2008 when there was the financial crisis so there really were not a lot of jobs for teenages in our suburb since so many older adults were taking jobs at places like fast food restaurants because they could not find any other work.

He did eventually find a job at a big box department store which worked out OK since they needed extra people on the weekends and Christmas holidays. It was not until several years later that it came out that one of his duties was to check the bathroom once an hour and clean it as needed. Between that part and working with people in their 20s and 30s who were working there full time I think that helped to motivate him a bit to get through college.

I'm not sure how it is now but it might be harder than you expect for them to actually find a part time job.

In college.

1) We were paying for his costs at a state university so we set the rule that he could not work during during the school year his freshman year since we did not want him to neglect his studies.

2) After that we only allowed him to work during the school year if it was somehow related to his major. He was in Computer Science and by his sophomore year he found a job at the campus computer center which was good experience for him and helped him find a job when he graduated.

Part of our logic was that if he had any extra time for a part time job it was more cost effective for him to take more classes than working for minimum wage flipping burgers.

One of his roommates his freshman year was working at a Taco Bell and would often have to work well past midnight even during finals week and that greatly impacted his grades. The main reason he worked there was to support his car but if he did not have that job he would not have needed a car so other than having a car I really don't think the Taco Bell job really helped him all that much financially.
Last edited by Watty on Mon May 20, 2019 3:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by stoptothink » Mon May 20, 2019 3:14 pm

FelixTheCat wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:30 pm
Working was ingrained in me at an early age. It teaches a necessary life skill to earn things.
+1. I worked nights and weekends since I was 15, while also playing football, baseball, track, and did well enough in school to get a merit scholarship to one of the top public universities in the country. I then worked up to NCAA limits while simultaneously playing football in college and full-time through my MS and PhD. I don't know any different. Could I have accomplished more academically if I would have not worked? Possibly, but I did pretty well regardless, and I finished my PhD leaps and bounds ahead of my colleagues financially despite having received $0 in parental assistance.

It is harder for high school kids to get jobs nowadays, but my kids will be very much encouraged to do so and they will work while in college, period. As someone who hires dozens of recent grads a year, my #1 red flag is someone with no real world work experience.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by MrBobcat » Mon May 20, 2019 3:19 pm

miamivice wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 1:59 pm
My kids are too young for jobs right now, but soon enough they will be working age. Found out that one of my nieces/nephews got his first minimum wage job, and his grandparents are quite proud of him to be gainfully employed.

I winced when I heard that. While I suppose a minimum wage job is an exciting thing when one is 16, it will be distracting from studying, extra curricular activities, and the like. From my perspective, strong performance in school (both high school and college) strongly correlates to future earnings, and doing well at school is fundamental to future financial security.

Based on that, I'd be really hesitant to encourage my children to work a minimum wage job in high school, or even college for that matter, if it at all limited the time they spent doing homework or otherwise impacted their learning.

I do agree that a crummy job often is a good motivator for focusing on school and I don't want my kids to be entitled.

Any opinions on the importance of working in high school and/or college (during the school year)? From your perspective, does it compete with studies, and is this a good thing?
IMHO Summer jobs during HS/College yes absolutely. During the academic year (at least during college HS a coin toss), no. During college it could lead to a dreaded 5th year to finish up which costs way more than anything they could have earned.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Golf maniac » Mon May 20, 2019 3:21 pm

I have been on scholarship committees at high schools and the top students ALWAYS have a very active schedule including school, volunteering, sports or clubs, AND working. It is amazing what these motivated individuals can do while keeping top grades. Also, if your kids are incredibly busy in high school there is less opportunity to get in trouble. I would encourage your kids to do it all, they can become very good at time management.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by quantAndHold » Mon May 20, 2019 3:25 pm

All of ours worked off and on in high school. At one point, we had to tell youngest to quit his job during the school year, because it was affecting his grades, but the others handled working just fine. Our only rule was that they weren’t allowed to sit around playing video games all summer. They had to be doing something, whether it paid or not. During summers, oldest did fast food. The younger ones figured out that if they got WSI certificates, they could lifeguard, which was a much better job.

In college, 2 of the 3 worked during the school year. Neither of them had any trouble working 15-20 hours a week and keeping up with their coursework, and it definitely helped with living expenses. The third was going to an elite school, and it was all she could do to keep up in school, so other than summer internships, she didn’t work.

In general, we thought it was a good idea that they worked. They got to learn basic job skills, like showing up on time and having a good attitude, even though the job was basically terrible. It also motivated them to stay in school, and taught them how hard low wage work really is.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by finfire » Mon May 20, 2019 3:27 pm

Yes to both.

Put a limit on the hours. I worked 24/hours a week often in college and high school and it did affect my grades.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by adamthesmythe » Mon May 20, 2019 3:34 pm

A colleague once remarked that a summer spent working in a factory strongly motivated him to pursue an advanced degree, so he would never have to do that again.

Other important life lessons learned from working: working and knowing people from all backgrounds; learning to show up on time; and appreciating the value of all sorts of work.

researcher
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by researcher » Mon May 20, 2019 3:38 pm

miamivice wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:50 pm
Found out that one of my nieces/nephews got his first minimum wage job, and his grandparents are quite proud of him to be gainfully employed.
I winced when I heard that. It will be distracting from studying, extra curricular activities, and the like.
Based on that, I'd be really hesitant to encourage my children to work a minimum wage job in high school, or even college for that matter, if it at all limited the time they spent doing homework or otherwise impacted their learning.
I took the hardest set of classes in high school and I wouldn't have been able to do that set of courses had I worked. I would have had to take easier classes. I am not a fan at all of kids working during the school year, especially if it impacts their learning.
I have held a job continuously since age 15 (I'm 40 now). I don't believe it had any negative impact whatsoever on my education/learning.
Quite the opposite actually. It helped me...
- be more focused, utilize my spare time in a productive manner, stay out of trouble
- learn the value of hard work, money management, time management
- learn how to conduct yourself during an interview, at a job, interact with co-workers/managers/customers
- real-world experience on how a business is run, taxation, unions, ect, ect.
- provide experience to discuss in an interview or on a resume

You really spent every night/weekend in high school/college studying? You never partied, goofed off, played video games?
You didn't have a few hours of free time during the weekend to work a part-time job?

Your "impacting their learning" argument seems like a very weak excuse for not holding a job.
Unless you are a high level athlete on a club-level team, there is no reason you can't spare a few hours on the weekend to work, and it would have absolutely zero impact on learning.

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FIREchief
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by FIREchief » Mon May 20, 2019 3:43 pm

Other than math and science classes in HS, I probably learned more useful skills flipping burgers then attending HS. In two short years, I encountered every type of boss and co-worker I would ever encounter during my later career. I also learned how to pay for my own stuff instead of relying on parents. When it came to college, I needed just about every waking hour to focus on studies (STEM). If I had worked then, my gpa would likely have suffered and reduced future employment opportunities.
I am not a lawyer, accountant or financial advisor. Any advice or suggestions that I may provide shall be considered for entertainment purposes only.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by cshell2 » Mon May 20, 2019 3:51 pm

I think the amount of work and the flexibility of the job needs to be considered too. Where my son's friends all work they just sign up for as many or as few shifts a week that they want and schedule them themselves based on what is available and when they have time. A high school kid working one or two 4 hour shifts bagging groceries a week when he has free time is probably not stressing themselves too much, but if you're talking about working a set shift every night or more than 15 or 20 hours a week during the school year then it might to get to be doing more harm than good. Again, depends on the kid though.

There's been a lot of discussion about the time being better spent on academics and I agree, but you can't just put that motivation into your kid. Maybe some parents have that figured out, but I haven't been able to.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by soccerrules » Mon May 20, 2019 3:57 pm

it depends
School is #1, always.
Our kids played sports, involved at church and also worked usually starting around 14/15. They didn't work full time but did everything from mow yards, referee youth sports, food service, lifeguard, pet sit, babysit, paid internship, warehouse workers/driver and summer camp counselor. Other than the summer full time work, they typically worked about 10-20 hours a week, depending on the job. They did know that if their grades dropped, then work is dropped.
We provided an older model car for them to drive including insurance. They paid for their gas and whatever fun they were involved in. We also asked them to contribute to their larger expenses/trips. (cell phone, trips) at 20-25% of the cost.
We also set-up a parent savings match from 50-100%, with the caveat that they had to leave the money in the account for minimum 12 months.

I think all the above helped them appreciate the value of hard work, dollar and benefits of saving. We are not rich but LBYM and save for our future.

1st 2 kids worked more in HS than college.
Don't let your outflow exceed your income or your upkeep will be your downfall.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by shell921 » Mon May 20, 2019 4:02 pm

YES to working in high school and perhaps first 2 years of college. That's what I did. When I was 15
my mom told me I needed to get an after school job. I did not want to but she insisted. It was the best thing for me!
I learned the value of work & money and being responsible. It helped with my self esteem and friend making skills.
Plus I saved money and had spending money to boot!

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by bradpevans » Mon May 20, 2019 4:06 pm

Besides what has been posted, a job often does a couple of other things:
Time management: many kids will skip a class (perhaps even to study for a test "next hour"),
but skipping work is a bigger deal. So you have to plan ahead better.
Dealing with things outside the "college bubble", such as bad bosses, jerks at work, a lousy job (which may motivate...)
"skin in the game" - much easier to spend others money, but perhaps more attention is paid to spending what ourselves earned

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by mak1277 » Mon May 20, 2019 4:09 pm

researcher wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 3:38 pm
miamivice wrote:
Mon May 20, 2019 2:50 pm
Found out that one of my nieces/nephews got his first minimum wage job, and his grandparents are quite proud of him to be gainfully employed.
I winced when I heard that. It will be distracting from studying, extra curricular activities, and the like.
Based on that, I'd be really hesitant to encourage my children to work a minimum wage job in high school, or even college for that matter, if it at all limited the time they spent doing homework or otherwise impacted their learning.
I took the hardest set of classes in high school and I wouldn't have been able to do that set of courses had I worked. I would have had to take easier classes. I am not a fan at all of kids working during the school year, especially if it impacts their learning.
I have held a job continuously since age 15 (I'm 40 now). I don't believe it had any negative impact whatsoever on my education/learning.
Quite the opposite actually. It helped me...
- be more focused, utilize my spare time in a productive manner, stay out of trouble
- learn the value of hard work, money management, time management
- learn how to conduct yourself during an interview, at a job, interact with co-workers/managers/customers
- real-world experience on how a business is run, taxation, unions, ect, ect.
- provide experience to discuss in an interview or on a resume

You really spent every night/weekend in high school/college studying? You never partied, goofed off, played video games?
You didn't have a few hours of free time during the weekend to work a part-time job?

Your "impacting their learning" argument seems like a very weak excuse for not holding a job.
Unless you are a high level athlete on a club-level team, there is no reason you can't spare a few hours on the weekend to work, and it would have absolutely zero impact on learning.
Agree with pretty much all of this.

Krui24
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Krui24 » Mon May 20, 2019 4:14 pm

I learned a ton from waiting tables and scooping ice cream in HS / college. Teaches you responsibility, customer services, sales, and most importantly, the value of a dollar!!

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Nate79
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Nate79 » Mon May 20, 2019 4:15 pm

Yes I thinking working during school (HS and college, hours variable depending on free time) is fundamentally critical to growth and development.

GT99
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by GT99 » Mon May 20, 2019 4:31 pm

I'm really fascinated with the responses here. When I was in high school I started working at a grocery store pretty much as soon as I turned 16. I also helped a friend's father who ran a construction company on occasion doing basic demo work and stuff. I played baseball and tennis, was involved with several other extracarriculars, did well enough to go to a top tier engineering school, and never once did I think working inhibited my high school experience.
While in college at a notoriously difficult school, I worked 15-20 hours per week the quarters I was in school, and I still had a fantastic social life.

I don't say any of that to brag (none of that registers on things I'm proud of), I say it because the idea that working a part time gig in high school or college somehow detracts from the experience is just very foreign to me, and I'm surprised at the number of responses along those lines. I grew up in a pretty typical upper middle class area - very of few of my friends had a financial need to work, but pretty much everyone did. My kids are a long way from that age, but they certainly will.

I have a brother-in-law who is in college right now who has never worked a day in his life, and it shows. Very smart kid, but irresponsible and no sense of how the world works. I think his parents have done him an injustice by not pushing him to get a job. He was trying to get an internship this summer, and a friend of mine owns a company that was hiring interns...but it was a no go because he didn't want someone who had never worked before.

All anecdotes, but I agree with the prior poster who said they've observed correlation with success and working from a younger age.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Doom&Gloom » Mon May 20, 2019 4:33 pm

Both of ours chose to work after they got their drivers license--so their last couple of years in HS and during college. In HS each worked part-time evenings and/or weekends but full-time (or nearly so) during the summers. Our primary stipulation was that working must not interfere with academics or extra-curricular activities. If we thought that it did, we would restrict their driving privileges which essentially killed their opportunity to work.

Each chose which jobs to seek, applied on their own, etc with very minimal input from us. They learned to network to find better jobs at other places, chose to work in areas which entailed contact with the public, etc. All of us thought that employment was a positive experience for them (despite my early trepidations). DW and I believe that it did not detract from study time but rather cut into the time that they would have spent unproductively hanging out with friends, etc.

I would heartily recommend it if the kid is a self-starter and is interested in working. If not, I don't think I would push it. (Edit: Depending upon the kid, I might well consider trying to make his/her choosing to work a part-time job seem attractive.)

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Mon May 20, 2019 4:39 pm

Nothing like seeing you child open their paycheck and seeing all the deductions. Pretty good life lesson.

All daughters had jobs, were involved in extracurricular activities, and maintained trades good enough to get scholarships.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

CommitmentDevice
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by CommitmentDevice » Mon May 20, 2019 4:49 pm

The primary value generated is the young person's professional development, not the money earned. If I had a high school aged child, I'd encourage/require that she organize her summer around a skill building activity... job, internship, start a business, take online courses, etc.

bltn
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by bltn » Mon May 20, 2019 5:00 pm

Yes, for summer jobs. And consider having the kids contribute something to their college education costs.

I don t recommend kids working during the school year. They should spend their time studying, and afterwards, socializing with their friends. Both are important parts of their development.

One of my most vivid memories of college was watching the football players who lived on my dorm floor get in about 6-7 oclock in the evening after a hard afternoon of work, and start trying to study to keep up with the rest of us. They didn t have much of a chance.

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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by leeks » Mon May 20, 2019 5:00 pm

Yes, encourage them to work, at very least part time in summers. There are many valuable people skills and work ethic to be developed at ANY job.

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Johnsson
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Re: Should I encourage my kids to work in high school/college?

Post by Johnsson » Mon May 20, 2019 5:02 pm

No question... yes. Preferably working for a successful business, starting in some menial position.

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