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Contemporary Parenting Questions


Last updated on 01/21/09

Should teenagers be encouraged to get jobs?

With the economy in shambles and job losses and foreclosures happening at a frightening speed, many parents are asking their children to spend more of their own money for both extras and necessities. Many teens wish to take on after-school or summer jobs to fund these expenditures, have more pocket money, or save up for college.

As with many other decisions, allowing your child to get a job is a personal decision. While some preteens are capable of babysitting, lawn mowing, or doing a newspaper route, others may be too immature or irresponsible. Before allowing a child to accept a job offer, parents must clearly evaluate the child’s ability to work at the job. Even when a child or teen is fully capable of working, parents must research the job to ensure its safety. Children can easily be taken advantage of; it is the parents’ job to make sure that this never happens.

Though it is very normal for children to take on afterschool jobs, academics should not and cannot be affected by it. Parents must explain to their children that their primary job is school, and everything outside of that is secondary. Children who find work to be too difficult during the school year should reserve it for the summer vacation. Although working can give children valuable experience, the experience is useless if a child is not able to keep up in school because of it.

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 communicating with your teen about it, and offer positive feedback.

In the Jewish Community

One aspect of the Jewish community that some parents find difficult is the school’s involvement in a child’s everyday life. A school can dictate what a child wears outside of school, what afterschool activities children participate in, and where they go in the summer. Many schools have regulations about where children work for various reasons. While some are concerned about the spiritual safety of certain jobs, others are merely worried about how the school’s reputation will be affected.

As stated previously, parents have a responsibility to investigate the job their child wishes to fill. If a parent feels that a job is fine while the school disagrees, it is important to speak to the school about it. If a school is unwilling to compromise, it may be frustrating, but parents must realize that private schools have a right to institute any rules they deem beneficial. It is better to switch the child to a different school than to argue with every policy the school puts in place, as it will undermine the school’s authority and not allow optimum learning.

Use the following links to learn more about teenagers getting jobs. Educate yourself about the different jobs available to your teen and find out if your child is ready to work.

Frequently Asked Links

Is my teen ready for a job?

Should I encourage my teen to earn her own money?

What are some of the benefits of working as a kid?

What are some of the benefits and challenges for working youth?

Can afterschool jobs be detrimental to my child’s education?

What should I do if my child wants to leave Yeshiva and go to work?

By Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

What are the benefits of summer jobs and internships?

How can a summer job help a child?


How old do kids have to be to get a job?

What are the federal and state laws regarding youth employment?

How can I help my child find a job?

What jobs can kids do?

Where can kids find jobs?

What are some of the top part-time jobs for teens?

What are some of the top summer jobs for teens?

How can I help my teen prepare for a job interview?

How can I ensure that my teen’s job is safe?

What are some of the most dangerous jobs for teenagers?

How can I prepare my child for a babysitting job?

How can I teach my teen to be a good employee?

What should I do if my teen was fired from his job?

Related Articles

Life After High School
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Helping Your Teen Decide What to Do After High School
Helping to prepare your teen for life after high school is one of the most important tasks you will have as a parent.

Volunteering can be one of the most gratifying and fun things you can do. Learn more about donating your efforts.


Parenting Resources for the Jewish Community

Compiled by Rabbi Yakov Horowitz

Youth Venture
Youth Venture helps young people develop their own opportunities for leadership through community service organizations, small business ventures, or after-school clubs.

The National Consumers League
A private nonprofit advocacy group, the National Consumers League represents consumers on marketplace and workplace issues.

U.S. Department of Labor
The Department of Labor works to inform and advocate for job seekers, the employed, and the retired.

I Could Be
This website connects teens with career mentors over the Internet to help teens discover their potential.

Snag a Job
This site contains part-time, summer, and hourly employment information, plus tips on writing resumes and handling interviews.

Quintessential Careers for Teens
This site has job and career advice for teens, including part-time and summer employment.

Youth at Work

This website is designed to teach you about some of your rights and responsibilities as an employee, including what you can do to help prevent discrimination in the workplace.

Youth Rules
The resources on this web site will help you understand what hours you can work, what jobs you can work and how you can help prevent workplace injuries.

This career and recruitment site allows you to search jobs, apply online, be considered for openings, and get the latest news, info and tips on how to land a job, earn money, and/or get work experience.

National Safety Council
The National Safety Council offers information on first aid, CPR, environmental health, and safety.

American Red Cross
The website of the American Red Cross provides information on first aid and safety. It also gives details about enrolling in babysitting classes.

Rabbi Horowitz does not endorse any external sites or monitor or approve content on these sites. When considering information presented here, you should consult your experts to determine what is best for you. Our sole purpose is to help you access information that Rabbi Horowitz and others have made available on the internet.


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