+61 2 9290 2649 heidi@heidiheron.com

Recently I was asked what I think about kids having jobs. Well, I’m all for it! Jobs around the house and even a job outside of the house. Jobs teach kids responsibility, work ethics, honesty, honour and pride.

Of course, if the job is done by the parent or a parent is overly involved in pushing the kid to get things done, the opposite may happen… the kid might not learn how to be a good worker, they may learn to be a great slacker.

I have two examples:

Amanda is 15 and since she was 10 years old she got an allowance from her parents for doing jobs around the house. Her parents had to continually remind her of her jobs, write lists of things for her to do and more often than not complete her tasks. Guess what. She still got her allowance. I’m not sure if this is right or wrong – but looking from the outside in, I can imagine that Amanda is learning that she doesn’t have to do much (or anything) to earn money.

Jason is 17 and for the past year he has been working at a fast food restaurant. His mother drives him and picks him up and keeps his schedule written on a list on the refrigerator so ‘she’ will remember when he works. She only started doing this after Jason’s manager called when he hadn’t shown up for work – his mother had not remembered and therefore he didn’t go to work. Again, I don’t know that this is right or wrong – but again, looking from the outside in, I can imagine that Jason is learning that he doesn’t have to be responsible for his own schedule. Who knows how he’s actually doing AT work!!

I do have a personal bias here. I started doing chores around the house when I was very little and got paid accordingly. And, I started working outside of the house when I was 14. The Mac shack of McDonald’s was my first job and I worked there for 5 years. It was a great learning ground for all of the things that I’ve mentioned, and most likely a few that I haven’t.

In short – I vote YES for kids having jobs and a big fat NO for parents being too involved or letting kids take shortcuts!!

I’m curious, what was your first job?