Friday, March 3, 2017

Advice for Parents and Children About Summer Jobs, Chores and Finances

During each summer our youngsters will always choose different ways to enjoy themselves. Parenting often becomes stressfull at times, especially if children decide to stay at home or seek an holiday job. In either case, there are “trouble signs” to look out for. If you are a parent (or parents) who will always have an open mind to good and creative advice, then you will inevitably reduce your personal family parenting stress.

For those parents who will have teenagers seeking after “holiday work” this summer, in 2004 the National Consumers League published some extremely importnat information to protect your teen from making the very serious wrong decision (or mistake)to choose the most unsuitable summer job. “Teen Workers: Beware …These Five Worst Summer ’04 Jobs” will interest all parents with teens seeking jobs this summer, and during other summer times (http://nclnet.org). The “Five Worst Teen Jobs” and related detailed information reported by the National Consumers League include: (1)Agriculture. Agriculture is the most dangerous industry for young workers. (2)Working Alone and Late-Night Work in Retail. (3)Construction and Work in Heights. (4) Driver/Operator of Forklifts and Tractors and (5) Traveling Youth Crews.


While the full details are accessable online at http://nclnet.org may I say that the essence of this information is to protect our youngsters from very serious dangers and loss of their lives. Fatalities and injuries are very common among our teenagers and youngsters. Working in summer may seem to be a nice way to get some cash in summer, but if our youngsters choose the wrong jobs, they may not return to school after the summer or go on to college. While some will say there is no best job, parents can look at basic factors concerning their children (like their sex, age, physical structure, personality, peers, intensions, and others) in helping them decide. They are still children and do come under your responsibilities, even while they may be working or enjoying themselves. So looking-out for their welfare is still critically important.


While some children will seek work in summer, others (like the younger pre-teens) may decide to stay at home our in their neighborhood this summer and create their own style of fun. An issue that oftens becomes problematic is “Chores.” As adults, we may remember our own summer and the issuse of extra house work. While I had mixed feelings about doing chores, others (boys and girls alike) may just hate them. Nevertheless, “Studies have shown even simple, regular household responsibilities can enhance a child’s self esteem and self confidence, and help them connect more closely with their families” (Berkenkamp and Alkins 2003, page 93). Here I am looking-out for the parent and child in mutual family harmony.


Berkenkamp and Alkins have stated some basic features to adhere to in achieving the above harmony. Such as, keep the children chores and your expectations age-appropriate since some children will not be able to do beyond what they are capable of at their age; show the kids what you really want to be done so achieving it will not be stressfull; let the children know they have done a good job (of course your discretion will be very critical here). I believe psychologist will call this “positive reinforcement or reward.” Showing sincere appreciation, I believe, will always be welcome by anyone including kids. Keep the youngsters responsible for their contributions, since ultimately rewards will usually be in proportion to effort and mistakes will need have owners before they can be corrected. And, remember that Chores assignment by parents is work for the parents, so be very organised in delegating duties. If your family home situation fall in the above, then these ideas from Berkenkamp and Alkins will certainly help. Applying them will require your appropriate discretion, but as summer comes and go, you will remember them year after year.


While emphasing the youngsters, the parents often need a little direct advice. None of the above, and others you will encounter on your own, will be of much successful use if mutual parental support is not there – in the home. “If you are not getting the support you want in your relationship a significant reason may be that you do not ask enough or you may ask in a way that doesn’t work. Asking for …support is essential to the success of any relationship” (Gray 1992, page 245). In a two-parent home some meaningful support and assistance in managing youngsters (especially teens) will always require both persons. Even if you are a single parent, some aunt, uncle, sister, brother, and so on, support will be necessary. Summer and teens/youngsters will bring different dimensions to family life as the daily home and school routine take a rest. Both parents will need each other, and outside help. Ask, seek and hopefully fing a good neighbor to help. Support for each other and from the broader family will be important to you and the children.


Summer and parenting finances also require some assistance. Summer (like other holidays) will end. Family spending and money management will always need attention. “While it may be tempting to simple ignore debts and hope for a miracle, denying your financial dues will only add to your stress….Directly and honestly dealing with your debt load gives you a sense of control and helps to ease anxiety” (Remedies for Financial Holiday Hangovers at http://www.warrenshepell.com). I have always been a believer that good basic management of our monies will significantly reduce parenting stress and enhance family harmony. There are different ways to “manage the money” but o ignore our spending (especially in summer) will not help. Responsible Parenting includes better money management for our youngsters welfare and family benefits.


I sincerely hope the above will be of some help. Many kids and parents alike are not aware many of the above comments. With a little open mind approach and practise parents and youngsters can enjoy a more fulfilling summer relationship that will last year after year.


Labels: Advice for Parents and Children About Summer Jobs, Chores and Finances

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