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Jackie Hyland: Summer fun vs. summer working for teens

Posted July 22, 2013

This summer is flying by! It's already mid-July and I am starting to panic!

I love summer. It is, by far, my favorite season. I wait all year long for summer and everything that comes with it! Although I have to admit this summer in North Carolina is a little soggy! As I write this blog, I am sorely missing those Carolina blue skies!

As a working parent, I am well aware of how summer can be a difficult time of year. With no school, kids and teenagers are suddenly home with nothing to do and they can get bored quickly.

Thank goodness for summer camps! My girls have been busy with volleyball camps and beach volleyball. They are lucky!

When I was younger ... in my teenage years ... summertime meant work for me. I had a variety of summer jobs during my tween and teenage years. I did a lot of babysitting, I was a pool lifeguard. I also worked at a grocery store, a jam factory and a suture factory!

By the time I was 17, I had years of experience working!

There were times growing up I wished I could have had the summer off just to go to the pool or the beach, but looking back now I see how important it was for me to have a job.

So, next year, I think it might be time for my older daughter to get a job. She's on board with the idea!

What do you think: Should teenagers work during their summer vacation or should they enjoy those long lazy summers? Because let's face it, once you start working there is no looking back!

Jackie is the mom of a tween and a teen. She is an anchor for WRAL-TV. Find her here on Go Ask Mom monthly. Click here to follow her on Facebook.


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  • snowl Jul 23, 2013

    yes, they should get summer jobs especially if the family needs help financially. Sometimes the summer job can extend into year-round employment depending on the position. My daughter started out babysitting and at 15 worked for the local "chicken fast-food chain"...:) Then she went to a clothing retailer, and then a lawyers office. Now she is in college and working as a hostess at an upscale restaurant. She has quite the resume! She has her own checking account and credit card which helps her with managing her own money. Working never hurt anyone! That's life for most of us.

  • jabbo22 Jul 23, 2013

    Encourage her to get a job. My girls started babysitting at 12 to have their own spending money and once hit high school, they paid for all their social life activities (we paid for church related and things done as a family) Now in college they pay for their social life and their fun clothes, etc. They have learned to budget and what they can afford to do and what to save for. And what just isn't worth the money--it's different when it's THEIR money and not from our wallets. They are also saving for a car and apartment deposits, etc that they will need when they graduate. So, it just sort of evolved with them taking over some of their responsibility so after graduation won't be such a shocker.

  • pinkuh Jul 23, 2013

    Yes they need to be working. You don't get a 2-3 month break from jobs once you graduate college/highschool... so they should learn that they have to cope with it early. The earlier the better.

  • newssaavy72 Jul 23, 2013

    My teen will be 15 next month and next Summer, I hope that she will be working as well. Time for the real work experience and there is alot for them to grasp these days. The earlier they get the experience of managing finances, savings, etc... the better!She can buy her own clothes for school and other things, with my input of course for the clothes.

  • schoonie79 Jul 23, 2013

    I am 100% in favor of teens getting jobs in the summer. They learn how to manage money, develop a work ethic and most importantly, it keeps them out of trouble. I worked a variety of jobs babysitting at 12 years old to managing a convenience store my senior year of high school. I don't regret working at all. My alternative was to sit around twirling my thumbs so it was nice to go to work and make some money.

  • countrylivinglover Jul 23, 2013

    I am in favor of teens getting jobs. It doesn't matter whether it's at a fast food restaurant, babysitting, store clerk, etc. It will teach them many lessons that they will need in later life. The necessity of being on time to the job and handling their responsibilities appropriately. The thrill of earning their "own" money and some freedom in how it's spent or saved for something more important. I babysat for 4-5 years before I was able to get an afterschool job tallying up routemen's books for a local dairy.

    During the summer, they will still have plenty of "free" time even with a job. I think you are on the right track.