At what age did you encourage your teen to seek out a job? Were your kids eager to go to work and have their own money, or did they resist the idea? Our family has always had to learn to do without additional luxuries. It was an exchange we willingly made in order for me to stay home, and for my kids to be home educated. We wanted to build strong roots so that when they did leave home, they would have a solid foundation, so instead of buying name-brand shoes and clothes, and driving new cars, we bought used curriculum, used cars, and wore hand-me-downs.
Needless to say, working for an income was something they were all READY for when the time came. They loved the thought of buying their own stuff.
When my oldest son was looking for a job two years ago, I overheard some great advice on the radio that was geared specifically for teens in the workplace. I loved the simple tips and wondered why it made such an impact to employers. Then I realized that MOST kids DON’T follow these tips, so those who do, really stand out in a crowd. He told his radio audience that if your kid will do these 5 things, they will be guaranteed job security, and most likely an early promotion.
If you have a teen, let them know that when they start work at their first job:
1. Come early
2. Stay Late
3. Leave the cell phone in the car.
4. Limit frequent shift changes
5. Before you leave ask if there is anything else you can do
I shared this with my son and he took the advice immediately. This is my strong-willed, fiercely independent child, the one my husband and I scratch our head over the fact that he survived childhood! When the idea of graduating high school early, working at a paying job, and taking advantage of multiple opportunities came up, he ran with it. For instance, how many 17 year olds do you know who work part-time, teach Logic classes to middle school students, coordinate and organize a local Ultimate Frisbee league, run a profitable piano studio (when you have no expenses, it’s all profit!) , and carry a full load at college?
He’s not alone, his older sister actually paved the way for him when, at 16 she started working for a nutritionist handling her appointments, inventory, shipping, and customer service. She then graduated high school early and went to work as an intern at a law firm. She’s now 19, working 30 hours a week at Starbucks, a full-time senior in college graduating in May, Latin tutor, musician in her father’s band, and an assistant director for a local theater group. She does not get much sleep, but she loves her life and is committed to finishing strong with all she has put her hands to.
After homeschooling for 17 years, with a current brood of 8 kids living at home, I’ve learned a few tricks and tips along the way. Successful and motivated teens don’t just happen to families, they are loved, disciplined, given boundaries, nurtured, cultivated, and given freedom to fly.
Take time this week to nurture, cultivate, and love your young children. Write in your journal about how you are feeling, and what gifts and talents you see in them. Or write them a letter, dated and sealed for later. Give them some face time, and treat them now as the successes they will one day be.
Love them to greatness!
Characteristics of successful teens
• Visible – they don’t hide their faces in a smart phone, or under a hoodie
• Savvy – if they can’t afford something, instead of complaining, they use creative solutions to make a way for the purchase.
• Communication skills – probably one of the most dominant characteristics, is they know how to communicate with people of all ages
• Structured – because they have had the freedom to organize their own days, structure is something they have learned way before heading off to college
• Time Managers – in the same vein as structure, they are able to critically assess their time blocks and calculate more accurately how long a task will take to complete.
• Leaders – because of their strong family roots, they are able to step out and make things happen, lead others younger and even older than themselves, without fear of rejection and failure.
• Conflict resolution – They have learned healthy ways to resolve conflict with all personality types.
• Disciplined – They understand the phrase, “you do your ‘must-do’s’ before your ‘want-to’s’” They work hard and they play hard.
We have all heard the old saying…”Give ’em Roots & Give ’em Wings”…They will be flying the nest before you know it!
Enjoy these years Mommas!!!