Should teens work after school?

Some teens have to work in order to save for college. There are cases in very poor families where everyone has to contribute, but in most this is not often the case.

Teen years are a small percentage of a person’s entire life and is very unique, special and often stressful period. Teens need this time to do school work, participate in sports, pursue extra-curricular activities and develop friendships.

A teen’s homework load seems to be getting heavier and more time consuming every year, so more time must be devoted to this part of their education. Kids also need to work on science projects, art assignments and other school related activities. A job will definitely take away from the study time or may deter a teen from joining in school projects like school plays or after school programs that they’ll never get to participate in after high school. The National Honor Society requires their members participate in volunteering or public service events, and this is a most important group to belong to for obtaining entry into many universities.

High school offers the opportunity to join a sports team, and playing sports gives teens who are athletically inclined and gifted a chance to explore football, basketball, tennis, track and other sports that they probably won’t have the opportunity to enjoy during any other period of their life. If a teen excels in sports, is athletic and enjoys them, their time is better spent this way than asking, “Paper or plastic?” Sports can also be an avenue to student scholarships or even entry into the college of their choice.

Studies prove that teens never get enough sleep. The added responsibility of a an after-school job will definitely cut back their hours of rest.

High school friendships are special and unique. This is when teens develop those friendships and learn to socialize. Hanging out with friends and talking, laughing and sharing are all very important for development of social skills and long-term friendships, or even life-long friendships. People may think that kids are wasting time spent with friends, but this is not true. The social skills they obtain this way are important, not to mention enjoyable.

If a teen insists that he or she wants to earn some extra money, suggest that they find a job where they can work weekends. Retail stores and fast-food restaurants often need extra help on the weekends. Occasional baby-sitting jobs will give teens a little spending money, but won’t commit them to long after-school hours on a daily basis. Teens that are gifted in math or science can earn extra money tutoring, which will help them assist another student, gain self-confidence and earn a little money at the same time. These jobs will allow them to earn a little cash without committing to a lot of hours or odd shifts that interfere with studies, friends and sleep.

Every teen is different. Some seem to have no problem juggling school work, sports and a part-time job. But for most, the time it is better spent studying, participating in school-related sports and activities, socializing or resting.