In the past week or so, both my kids have started jobs. For my daughter, who is 16, this is her first job. She took the initiative and got it all on her own. She’s working right up the street, walking distance, at a fast food place. She’s been putting in about 10 – 12 hours a week after school and weekends.
My daughter has mentioned wanting to get a job before, but I’ve been hesitant because she was also involved in Drama and Show Choir and struggled with her grades for the first quater of the year. Since then, her grades have improved and Show Choir has ended, so when she said she was applying for jobs I approved. I’m proud of her. She got the first job she interviewed for and really seems to enjoy it.
For my son, who is 19, this is the first job that he has got on his own. He had a couple of others that were arranged by a program for troubled teens that he was involved in. I’ve briefly mentioned some of the issues he has had before. Unfortunately, drugs has been one of his issues. He was supposed to start a job a couple of months ago, but he said they changed their minds. He had no explanation and I didn’t ask, but I’m pretty sure he failed the drug test. The fact that he passed the drug test for this job is very heartening.
This is new parenting territory for me. Now that my kids are old enough to work, I find myself taking on the role of a supporter, maybe an adviser. I have given them tips on interviewing, how to fill out a W-2, and why being on time is so important. Unlike other situations, such as school, their employment isn’t something I think I should get too involved with. This is one of the first opportunities that kids have to learn and show responsibility outside of school or the home. It is situation where they need to stand on their own two feet and sink or swim (and where I overuse idioms, apparently).
It is so fascinating to watch your children grow up. Watching them handle new-to-them experiences that I once had to deal with both brings back memories and is a new experience for me. I’m excited that my children are becoming (hopefully) responsible adults. I am also a bit sad, longing for the time when they depended on me for almost everything. At the same time, though, I am grateful that I don’t have that responsibility anymore. If frees me up to enjoy spending time with my almost-grown, becoming-responsible kids. One of the true joys of being a parent.
Featured image by Omaha Public Library