Search icon

Big Kids

08th Jul 2024

‘I’ve been working since I was 16’ – When should teenagers get their first job?

Niamh Ryan

Years ago it was commonplace in Ireland for children to get a job and start working at a young age.

Many worked a job for long hours and for little or no pay.

For that generation, it was seen as a way to teach discipline and hard work.

However, now that things have changed for children of this generation, parents are unsure what to do.

Should teenagers be expected to work and earn their own money? Should they be getting a weekly allowance?

One woman said that her sister is having a hard time convincing her 16-year-old daughter to get a job.

She wants her to be able to fund her own social life, but the daughter refuses.

“I think it’s entirely reasonable and in fact a necessity of good parenting to encourage teenagers to work at this age,” she wrote on Mumsnet.

“But then I don’t have teenagers yet. Should we not be encouraging financial independence and understanding at this stage and even earlier?

“I always had a job from 16, or are things different these days?” she asked.

According to responses, many agreed that a job is important as long as it doesn’t interfere with school.

Some also argued that if teenagers are only using free time to socialise then they should pay for themselves.

“If all her spare time is socialising then it’s fair to ask her to get a job, if she is studying and doing CV-enhancing activities like drama all day Saturday or whatever then I would let her be,” one commented.

Another user said, “I think at this age it’s fair to fix an allowance, and then tell them if they want more than that they have to earn it.”

I only started working after my Leaving Certificate, as school took up a significant amount of time.

Yet, I think it can be beneficial for teenagers to learn the value of money and experience a work environment. It’s also a great way to make friends and learn some new skills.

What do you think? Are we too soft on kids nowadays?



job,pocket money