If you have a teenager who’s not working a job, the question is, “Why?” Working a job will bring out qualities in your teenager that you won’t always see from them at home.

When teenagers work – whether it’s scooping ice cream, working the drive-thru at a fast-food place, or cashiering at a grocery store – they’re developing valuable life skills. They’ll learn to submit to authority and to handle responsibly when they’re in charge. They’ll learn how to serve others and to be accountable for their choices. They’ll discover God-given abilities they never knew they had before.

At work, teenagers learn to deal with uncomfortable situations, difficult personalities, and the pressure of meeting high expectations. And they’ll learn to handle it all as mature young men or women.

Working a job compels kids to get up early and to show up on time, even to work late and come back the next day with a clean uniform and a good attitude, ready to work. Getting and keeping a job is an important step towards independence. It teaches teenagers to be self-sufficient, rather than depending on other people to take care of them.

Some kids don’t work a job because they’re involved in other good opportunities for development, like athletics, theater, or a musical program. But if your teenager has time to work a job, I recommend it. Hard work paves the way toward successful adulthood.

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