How To Encourage Your Kids To Earn Their Own Money

As any parent will tell you, it can be frustrating when their teen son or daughter asks for money despite receiving a reasonable allowance. So, instead of forking out more cash from your already stressed wallet, why not let your kids find work so they can earn extra money themselves? 

After all, with a part-time job, your child can do work that they’ll be proud to include on their future resume. They may even learn new skills that’ll be useful as they become more independent, and learn the value of money along the way.

With this in mind, here are ways you can encourage your teen to start earning through a part-time gig.

  • Have A Planning Session

Due to the many side hustles for teens these days, it’s important to sit with your child and identify the different reasons why they need to earn extra money and what their interests are. This planning session will allow you and your teen to work out important questions, such as:

  • Why does your teen need a part-time job?
  • What talents does your teen already have?
  • What skills does your teen need to improve?
  • How much pay does your teen want to earn from part-time work?
  • How much time should your teen devote to part-time work?
  • What sort of work will suit your teen?

These are all important questions to ask so your teen won’t be jeopardizing their school performance in order to earn more money. If they’re not doing well in school, it may be necessary to postpone a part-time job until their performance improves.

  • List The Benefits of  Part-Time Work

Your teen will likely be motivated by the fact that part-time work will pay them money. But beyond the obvious financial factor, there are additional benefits that your son or daughter will reap from a part-time job, such as:

  • Discovering talents they never knew they had
  • Developing skills that may help when seeking work after college
  • Learning how to work with a team
  • Learning how to measure work based on timekeeping
  • Learning how to handle responsibility
  • Finding contacts to list as character references on their resume
  • Networking with other teens working part-time
  • Contributing to their college fund or the family finances

Once your teen is aware of all the side benefits and responsibilities that come with working a part-time job, ask them if they are still willing to seek employment. If yes, then that’s a good sign they’re mature enough to take on a job.

  • Help Your Teen Create a Great Resume

As this may be the first time your teen has applied for any kind of work, it’s best to help your teen craft a winning resume. You shouldn’t construct the entire resume for your teen, but rather, offer pointers on what employers generally look for in a resume and how they can position themselves as a good candidate. Offer suggests on formatting and the types of things to include, along with the sort of language appropriate on a CV. 

Perhaps start by pointing out the talents and skills of your teen so they can highlight them in more detail. You can also indicate what fields of knowledge your teen has experience in and recommend names of teachers whom employers could consult as character references. The resume doesn’t have to be award-winning, nor do employers expect ample experience in a school-aged candidate, but it does have to look presentable, which is why your teen needs your assistance.

  • Search For Employers Offering Part-Time Work to Students

Since your teen will probably be working after school hours or during weekends, it’s a good idea to help them search for suitable part-time work. You may have contacts from work or within your residential community who are willing to hire your teen—even if it’s just for a few hours per day. The advantage of doing this is you can negotiate for reasonable work conditions. As long as your teen is able to handle the work, there shouldn’t be any problems.

If your teen prefers to find their own employer, you can help by teaching them about work conditions and encouraging them as they go. For example, you could drive your teen to their job interview and wait in the car during the interview itself. Afterwards, you’ll be able to listen to how it went and ask questions. Take this opportunity to teach your teen about what to ask an employer, which answers are usually considered acceptable to such questions and whether you perceive that employer to be a good one or if your teen would be better off seeking employment elsewhere.

Sometimes, your teen may have to attend several job interviews before finding an ideal part-time position. This is normal and can even be beneficial in the long term because your teen will learn to be discriminating and not settle for any job that comes along.

  • Help Your Teen Open a Savings Account in a Bank

Before your teen spends their first paycheck, it’s best to bring them along to a reputable bank to open a savings account. This will enlighten them to the discipline of saving a comfortable chunk of their paycheck every time they get paid. You should still allow your teen to spend part of their paycheck—after all, extra cash was likely the motivator for getting a part-time job—you just want them to get into the habit of saving.

If your son or daughter is not yet well-versed in the practice of saving money, this will be a good opportunity to teach them. Ideally, they should save 20% of each paycheck and deposit that percentage into the new savings account. If your teen is willing to contribute to their college fund, that means deducting another 20% for the contribution.

You should also encourage your teen to keep copies of every bank deposit slip in a filing envelope. Additionally, you can teach them to keep a record of all deposits and the interest earned, helping them to learn the value of record-keeping.

Risks of Part-Time Work

If this is the first time your teen is job hunting, getting hired may pose some risks. Parent should watch out for the following problems:

  • Your Teen May Get Fatigued – This is the most common drawback to letting your teen start a part-time job. They may be so tired by juggling school and work that fatigue will set in. It’s advisable to limit your teen’s part-time work hours to just 10 hours a week while studying, to avoid them becoming fatigued. Even with this arrangement, your teen will have to be great at managing their workload, so that their grades aren’t sacrificed in the process.
  • Your Teen Could Lose Sight of their Long-Term Goals – This is another common danger that crops up among students who work part-time jobs. They may get so caught up in earning money that they no longer think of schoolwork as important. If it seems your teen is drifting into this line of thinking, it may be time for a family meeting to determine where their priorities lie. Schoolwork should always be the main focus—especially if you think your teen will perform well in college.
  • Your Teen Might Encounter Bad Influences at Work – You already know you can’t shield your teen from all bad influences in the community. However, sometimes the greatest dangers are actually present in their workplace. For example, there could be people in the workplace that sell illegal drugs, or gangs recruiting teenagers into their criminal activities. If you discover your teen is exposed to these risks, a wise parent would remove them from the workplace immediately and inform the relevant authorities.
  • Your Teen Might Get Discouraged by Their Boss – Sometimes, teenage part-time workers may be exposed to supervisors in the workplace who are notorious for their disparaging words. Bosses like these may not be the supportive authority figures that your teen needs to succeed. Even though the discouraging words are not considered abusive in the legal arena, these bosses may still crush the spirit of teen workers at an influential time in their lives. If this is happening to your teen, it’s advisable to discuss how your teen feels, and consider whether it’s best for them to resign from that workplace and seek part-time employment elsewhere.

While these risks are real, they shouldn’t discourage your teen from getting a part-time job, nor worry you as a parent. They’re simply important aspects to keep in mind in the job-hunting process and continue to monitor once they start working.  

Final Takeaway

Getting a part-time job should always be a means by which your teen can test their wings to see if they can fly. For some, it may also be a way for them to contribute to the family’s expenses and build savings of their own. Many employers are very supportive of their part-time workers, ensuring your teen will gain valuable experience. With your support and coaching, your son or daughter will not only earn money but also learn critical skills that will help them progress into the college and career of their choice.


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