Building Teen Character: Part-Time Employment


By: Rachel Paxton

The teenage years are a crucial time in a child's life. They are not children anymore, but they are also not adults. During this time the choices they make may have an effect on them for the rest of their lives. It is the parents' responsibility to guide their teenagers in the right direction by helping them make responsible choices and building their character to the point that when their teenagers move out of the house they are on the road to being responsible adults and have the tools they need to succeed in life.

There are a number of ways that parents can help teenagers build their character. One way is through part-time employment. Having a job provides many learning opportunities for teens.

Of course, all this sounds great but in reality can be difficult to put into practice. The first job our daughter had she got laid off from because she and her boss could not come to agreement on the hours she would work. After she started working there he changed the hours he said she could work and it conflicted with other activities she had. It was very hard for her to feel like she was "fired" from her first job. We had to talk through a lot of the feelings she had towards her boss and some of the experiences she had at that job. But because she chose to honor her boss by showing him respect when he didn't necessarily deserve it, he gave her an excellent reference for her next job.

A couple of months later she did find another job that was much better than the first one, and she had many great learning experiences of working with others and learning to serve others even when it was very hard work.

Parents can't just throw their teens out into the workplace and expect everything will go great. Issues will arise that need to be worked through with the parents' help, but this is where the learning occurs, and character development begins!

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For more inspirational articles and tips for everyday living, visit her web sites at http://www.creativehomemaking.com/ and http://www.christian-parent.com/.

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