Should Kids Work Part-Time?

Parents should carefully consider whether part-time work is right for their child. A recent study of teenagers found that those who work more hours per week earn lower grades, spend less time on homework, exert less effort in school, are less involved in extracurricular activities, and report higher rates of drug and alcohol use and delinquency.

The students who worked did not have any advantages, compared to those who did not work, with respect to self-reliance, work orientation, or self-esteem. Other studies have found similar results.

You need to protect your children from these effects, such as limiting their work to fewer than 10 hours per week. If they work, keep an eye on how it affects their school work and social development.

Ask yourself, who are they associating with at the workplace? Are their co-workers or supervisors good role models? Are they people who will have a positive effect on your child's growth and development?

What values does this work teach? Does it promote short-term gains – like buying the latest smartphone – a shallow, materialist lifestyle at the expense of your child's education and long term development as a quality person -- someone who will do well in his or her future work?

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