How old should Children be before they Start Working

Blessed 14, yes the magical year when young people morph into super intelligent beings, leaving their parents behind in a spray of befuddlement; ah, yes…the perfect time to have them employed. Three-for-three is my current record of which I am very proud beginning with my oldest (now 25), then next to my only son (currently 19), and ending with the baby who is a tender 16. Yes, all my children began working at age 14.

I trained each one of my children personally, supervising their work. I helped to design each of their first jobs. Since retiring from the military, I have mostly worked as an independent contractor and used different types of jobs to jump-start each child’s career.

Andrei delivered newspapers, I shadowed her each step of the way; eventually she graduated to researching land records. By the time she was sixteen she was making $500.00 per week. She learned to give an honest day’s work for and honest day’s pay. Quite early she learned that it was much better to do a job correctly on the first try rather than having to keep repeat it. Soon she let her friends talk her into getting a “real” job at a call center. She moved up quickly there but did not like the working conditions so soon quit. She ended up at McDonald’s.

Many years have past and we live in a different state. Andrei completed Job Corps where she learned carpentry, that lead to a career building Gibson Guitars. Long story short, she’s always been one of the best workers wherever she’s gone and no job she’s held was as difficult as the original one I designed for her.

Blainey was a bit more of a challenge but also started young. He racked yards, but ended up washing dishes as his first true job. He has since completed high school and decided that the restaurant field is his focus for now. He has turned out to be a very good worker but I do not know how much credit I can claim for that as he has always been a self-starter with a clear view of where he wants to go in life. I am proud of him and can’t wait to see where his journey takes him.

Kate began as a volunteer cashier at Bibles for China Thrift Center, then graduated up to product demonstrations. She was exceptionally good at demos and thereby was often request specifically by many companies. That little lady can sell ice chips to Eskimos in the dead of winter during a blizzard. Next she worked at the front desk of a hotel checking guests in and out, that was not her cup of tea. She now works at an all-you-can-eat pizza parlor and she is very happy there. Her employer and customers and fellow employees seem to enjoy her tremendously; when she works she gets lots of tips and excellent scores on customer comment cards. With her, my work is complete. Next year she should be off to college and hopefully prepared to supplement her education with the perfect job of her choice.

When should children start working? I say as soon as they start making independent and deliberate messes; have them pick up a toy, make a bed, load a dish into the dishwasher, put away clean clothes. Train them well at home and their future employees will thank you later. Yes, may work is done!