Should Children Work Through College?

Dear Sara,

My sixteen-year-old daughter has an offer to have a job this summer as a waitress in a restaurant. She can also do this part time when school starts. She is really excited to be earning money but I am not so sure about letting her go to work. I really want her to go to college and I worry that this could take up time that she needs to study. I guess part of me feels that this is too soon for her to be out on her own working. Do you think sixteen is too young to have a job?

Dear Steve,

I think you have to consider how disappointed your daughter will be if you don’t allow her to take this opportunity. Sometimes as parents we have to pick our battles. You could let her try it this summer and see how it goes.

Does your daughter have plans for the money that she will earn? You could make a condition that she should put a portion of her money into savings for her college tuition. College is getting to be very expensive. You could also insist that she keep up a certain grade level when she goes back to school. If she is very social she may decide that her job is getting in the way of her social life. If she can handle everything a job could be a good experience for her.

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