My oldest daughter is just about to turn 13, and I can’t believe she is a teenager already. As I always have money and personal finances on my mind, I kept thinking SHOULD I MAKE MY 13 YEAR OLD GET A JOB? When I was a kid growing up in New Jersey we raked lawns, shoveled snow, babysat, and walked the neighbor’s dogs. Anything that it took to earn a few bucks so you could get that pack of baseball cards, new comic book, or save enough money to get a video game for your Atari system. Certainly there is no game combat on your Wii gaming system today.
In today’s culture kids have pretty unrealistic expectations about money and bills. Pay for the $39 a month cell phone bill, get me an i pod so I can listen to the latest tunes, or give me $20 bucks so I can see a movie and get some popcorn with my friends. When should the workload be burdened by your kids to chip in for their fair share (and we aren’t talking about clay pottery on Father’s Day)?
There are so many varying schools of thought as you try to help your child manage schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and growing through the formidable years of being a teenager. Can my child handle all of the stress of these challenging times, and on top of it am I really going to make them get a job?
The thing I can share with you is that nothing is worthwhile unless you have skin in the game. Recently, my kids asked me to buy a ping pong table for the house. I very quickly asked them to take their saved up money and put in half of the price of the table and I would match the other half. Now, that ping pong table has become their prized treasure because they had skin in the game.
I can remember as a teenager how rewarding it was to put in some work whether it was raking leaves, babysitting, or waiting tables and how that began to teach me the value of a dollar. Jobs teach you a lot of things about failure, success, and life. I believe you value what you earn not what is given to you. My 13 year just secured a 4 hour babysitting job on Saturday night. Looks like I am going to put my 13 year old to work. I guess it is only work if it feels like job, and kids love making money!
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oXYGen Financial, Inc. co-CEO Ted Jenkin is one of the foremost knowledgeable professionals in giving financial advice to the X and Y Generation.
Ted Jenkin, CFP®, AAMS®, AWMA®, CRPC®, CMFC®, CRPS®
Co-CEO and Founder oXYGen Financial, Inc.
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