So that weekly allowance you’ve been paying your middle schooler just isn’t cutting it anymore. Do you a) pony up more cash, or b) teach your adolescent a lesson in responsibility and the rewards of a strong work ethic by making them earn that extra dough? The truth is that there’s no wrong answer here. (There’s also a third and equally acceptable option that basically just involves saying ‘sorry, too bad.’) Indeed, there has actually been quite a lot of debate about the merits of putting kids to work in any capacity, with potential cons like less time for studying and interference with activities as frequently cited concerns.
That said, there’s a good amount of research that comes to mostly favorable conclusions. Per one study from the University of Minnesota, “work experience can promote the healthy development of some young people, especially when it is moderate in intensity and steady in duration.” The researchers also mention that young people typically have positive job experiences, and that work might play a role in helping youth develop invaluable time management skills. Still, when it comes to deciding whether or not a job is the right choice for your child, a whole lot of factors come into play, and the type of work is a big one. As such, if you have a budding entrepreneur in your home, you’ll want to ensure they meet their goals with work that’s wholesome and not likely to throw their social and school life out of balance. Good news: That’s exactly why we put together a list of jobs for kids that are easy-going and character building to boot.