Q: For the past five summers my son has gone to summer camp. He has loved it, but this year my young teen son says instead of going to camp this summer he would like to get a job. I’m not sure he is ready for a job. I’m not even sure why he doesn’t want o go back to camp again this summer! What do you think?
A: If nothing else, it sounds like your son is ready for a change. The teenage years are all about changes- physical, mental, emotional, experiential, etc. And guess what- seeking change is perfectly healthy and normal!
Five years at even the most wonderful summer camp might be enough for your son. Savor the memories of past summer camps experiences, but allow your child to move on to new adventures: a summer job.
Is he ready? He certainly thinks he is! You may not be able to know how ready he is until he tries a job out. Remember he is not signing up for a lifelong career commitment. He is seeking an opportunity to earn some spending money, feel independent, and learn some job skills- and for just three months! Knowing that it is just for a short period of time makes it easier to “try it out”.
And rest assured an employer will not offer your son an opportunity if she doesn’t think he is ready. No employer wants an employee who is in over their head!
Teenagers want to be independent. They want to change (also known as grow up). A no-school-summer provides a perfect opportunity for teens to explore independence. Support your son’s efforts to find (and keep) a summer job.
And a busy teenager often means a safe teenager.