Thoughtful Parenting: Helping your teen find employment |

Thoughtful Parenting: Helping your teen find employment

Amy Morris/For Steamboat Today
Thoughtful parenting youth

There are many challenging issues we, as parents, get to face. If your child is approaching an age in which he or she can find and hold employment, this article is for you.

Does your child want to work? The answer might be “yes!” Interestingly enough, many youth younger than 16 want to work. They would like to earn their own money to purchase things. In reality, however, most find out relatively quickly that actual “work” requires a lot of effort for very little return. The luster soon wears off, and the lure of being a carefree child again may be calling.

As your child grows into the later teen years, it may become a necessity for him or her to find employment. The bonus is, your child can learn good work habits, time management and money management skills. In addition, many first jobs can be used as an exploration for future careers; many jobs, while a learning experience, may give your child insight into what he or she might want to do in the future. In addition to making great experiential stories, first jobs can serve as a rule out for what your child might not want to do later.

An important lesson for all teens, whether working or not, is budgeting. Many teens mistakenly imagine that adults have endless buckets of money and disposable income. I read a tip when my children were young that instructed parents to have teens help pay bills and balance the household bank account to see just how quickly all that hard-earned money disappears. In addition, it may get them thinking a bit more realistically about what fields they might like to go into and about their relationship with money.

In thinking about the many opportunities in the work world and some supports that will help your child get there, I would like to announce that Rocky Mountain Youth Services Coalition is sponsoring a career and job fair for all Routt County youth. While targeting youth age 16 to 18, it can also be a resource for younger teens. It will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday, April 4 at Steamboat Springs High School. Many youth agencies will attend, including many that are hiring, as well as informational representatives and community agencies.

If your child would like to attend, have him or her come to the high for the Youth Career and Job Fair with an open mind and a presentable appearance. This will be a wonderful chance to meet prospective employers and learn about different careers. In addition, the Steamboat Workforce Center will offer tips about applying for jobs, creating a résumé and information about Title I grant programs that may help your child succeed.

For more information, or if you are an employer or industry representative who would like to attend, contact Colleen O’Gorman of RCYSC at or 970-871-3161.

Amy Morris is labor and employment specialist at the Steamboat Springs Workforce Center. She can be reached at ‪970-879-3075 or

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