Job openings are at a record high. Your teen is making a case for getting more time with his video games this summer. What's a parent to do?
I am not ashamed that the nostalgia I feel for summer centers mostly around mowing lawns. From my pre-teen years through the end of college, lawn mowing was what I did in the summer. I think your teen needs a job this summer. Here are some reasons why.
There are several skills, called "soft skills," that are useful for all jobs. Punctuality, following directions, being polite and formal are all soft skills. One can learn these skills at a fast-food restaurant just as well as working in a law firm. The difference is that without basic soft skills, law firms won't hire you. I still use soft skills I learned pushing a lawnmower at age 11 in my current job.
It is not good for a person to be motionless (i.e., sedentary) and mindlessly entertained. Despite what your child says, he or she does not deserve a three-month break after nine months of schooling. Perhaps a week or two of family vacation would be nice, but three months off is not good for anyone. It is good for people to work and be challenged.
In most jobs, you work around people, and socializing with people promotes emotional health. Not all of the people I worked with in my lawnmowing jobs were model citizens, but the time we spent together was structured and usually overseen by a manager.
I am hearing about too many people taking too much pride in their video game accomplishments. Another person tried to brag to me about how quickly or how many times they watched 10 seasons of a favorite TV show. This is not to say that video games take no dedication or skill, but I think it is good for a person to do something that does good for the community or is valued by the community.
Independent living skills
It takes effort to manage all the pieces of doing and keeping a job. Managing transportation, a schedule, dress code, and specific relationships are just a few of the things required by a part-time job that are also good for adult life in general. Plus, part-time jobs pay money which needs to be managed. The learning and skills gained in a part-time job extend well beyond the work world.
Three months of idleness is not good for anyone, especially considering what can be gained through a part-time job. When making plans for the summer for your child, consider picking up and filling out some job applications.