22 answers

Teenage Son Needs a Summer Job and Is Not Motivated

Have 3 teen age boys. First 2 have part time jobs in summer. Work hard, save money, have learned a lot since being in the working world. My husband and I have just told our 15 year old (youngest) he needs to think of a part-time job he can hold this summer.

Needs to work for someone besides us (b/c we argue a lot and he needs to report to another adult) and has to work at least 15 hours a week, so he doesn't sit around all summer in front on the computer. He is a great swimmer and could get trained & lifeguard, but he balks at any suggestion we make. (after all, we are stupid)

He doesn't receive an allowance from us, and the thought of not having fun/ clothing money or money for savings doesn't bother him. He says he'll just stay home, if he doesn't have money. He is a very good student and athlete, but is pretty shy and we wonder if the job search/ talking to strangers is what is making him resist. Or is it?

Any ideas on motivating a talented, but very introverted teen to get a first job?

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

Thanks, everyone, for the help. We have done some research together and have come up with a list of 4 options for my son for summertime. As a 15 year old, by law, he can lifeguard, or teach swim lessons as an employee for someone else. The classes begin in 3 weeks, so we have a time element here, even though it's still winter. (Son #3 needs to work for someone else---he worked for us last summer and that was horrible.)
So he has until the last day of Spring Break to decide: lifeguard, teach swimming, volunteer in the nursery at church, or attend summer school! Thanks for all your help.

Featured Answers

Maybe he could be a camp counselor for a day camp with city parks and rec. dept. He'd get to be in charge of a bunch of younger kids who would look up to him and not be hovered over by the boss, as those people are usually back at the rec center office or something. Just a thought. Good luck!
(I'm the mom of three boys as well...yikes!)

2 moms found this helpful

Now I think my son was about 18 years old, and I was a single mom of 3 teens, when I had that problem. He's very intelligent, shy and lazy. But the only thing that motivated him was getting a speeding ticket that I wouldn't pay for!!!

He's now a 30 yr old married Network Administrator that travels the world and he's expecting his second child. Hang in there, this too shall pass!

2 moms found this helpful

More Answers

Dr Phil says, "If you don't have a job for the normal
8 hours in a work day, then looking for a job during
those 8 hours, is your job." Good time to think about
what his dream job would be and start planning to get the proper training or education for it. Also, good time to be
an apprentice to get the first hand experience and training in what he thinks he might want to be his chosen field.
If he's not earning money, learning skills is like "the
only alternative". Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Tell him he has 2 choices
#1- get a job
or
#2- go to summer school!
A lot of kids go to summer school to get ahead.
It is usually from 6 weeks and classes are usually from 7;30-1;30.
Tell him those are his choices.
Check on line at the school district you are him b/c summer school registration starts soon.
Good Luck!

2 moms found this helpful

Now I think my son was about 18 years old, and I was a single mom of 3 teens, when I had that problem. He's very intelligent, shy and lazy. But the only thing that motivated him was getting a speeding ticket that I wouldn't pay for!!!

He's now a 30 yr old married Network Administrator that travels the world and he's expecting his second child. Hang in there, this too shall pass!

2 moms found this helpful

I think it's time for Mom and Dad to do some homework and be ready for a "teaching season" with son #3. I look back at my life with my two grown boys and see the teaching seasons (term coined by my older son). The seasons were/are harder with the younger.

First, gather all your information: Lifeguard classes times, cost, etc, as well as available lifeguarding jobs. This is something that your son would do ideally, but he is seeming hesitant, so you can do this much for him.

Second, find a good location for volunteer work that is "real" work. (ie: we donate to a food bank and resale shop that is always in need of dependable workers, rather than the drop in workers). Visit with the person a volunteer would report to.

Third, locate all the employment opportunities that you think he might be able to qualify for. Talk to your friends and see who knows of opportunities for kids his age.

Fourth, present it all to your son. "Staying home all summer is not an option. You are too gifted and capable to waste your mind and body. Are you going to A) go to lifeguard class and get a lifeguard job? B) work at one of these jobs (with forms in front of him) or C)volunteer 15 hours a week at the food bank/church/school (organization you have already located).

Even though he is old enough for all this he probably still feels like a 6 year old inside. (afterall, I still feel 12!) Don't let this become a parent vs. child issue. Developing a good work ethic is too valuable for that. Let him know that you are in it with him and that some employer will be lucky to have him as he works hard for them.

2 moms found this helpful

My mom made me pay half for any extra curriculars that I wanted to do. She ended up keeping and saving the money for me and I got it at graduation, but I didn't know that at the time. If I wanted to swim, or dance I had to work in the summer to pay for my "fair share."

I was a lifeguard. It was fantastic and actually how I met my husband. It is a good gig if you can get it.

I too was painfully shy. Sign him up for the class and drop him off. He will be forced to make friends and they will want him to work with him. It is a step that you can force him into that will break the ice.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful

Maybe he could be a camp counselor for a day camp with city parks and rec. dept. He'd get to be in charge of a bunch of younger kids who would look up to him and not be hovered over by the boss, as those people are usually back at the rec center office or something. Just a thought. Good luck!
(I'm the mom of three boys as well...yikes!)

2 moms found this helpful

You might want to give him the option of volunteering or working at a paying job during the summer. Both will get him out of the house and he can find something that interest him. Tell him that picking an activity is not optional, but he can decide if he would like to work for money, or volunteer his time with something that interest him. Maybe the fact that he gets to choose wil make him more likely to pick something without a fight because he has more control and options.

2 moms found this helpful

Life Guarding is a great way to meet (watch) girls all summer. He may want to rethink that one..You can practice the interview with him.. Also he could ask his friends that have jobs to recommend him to their boss. this also makes it easier to apply when you already know someone working there.

When I was 14 and 15 I used to watch children for a few days a week. I would prepare meals and walk them to their swimming lessons. We would play games and go to the library. My daughter has fed peoples pets for weeks at a time. She charges 10.00 per day per pet. She makes really good money. This includes bringing in their mail and newspapers, sometimes even watering a plant or too. This has even turned into a holiday thing for her. Since all our family is in town, we tend to stay here while everybody else goes away.. They know to call her.

My mom did a really funny thing when she wanted me to get a job.. One night when I had plans, she told me I could not leave the house till I filled out a few forms. She laid out 5 applications for jobs at Highland Mall. I filled them out so that I could go out with my friends.

The next week on a morning when it was a school day off (teacher wk day) she called me and told me to get dressed, nice, because she would be picking me up in 45 min, to take me to the mall for some interviews! I got dressed, she picked me up and dropped me off in front of the mall with my filled out forms, asked if I had money for lunch! Then said, call me when you get a job! No Kidding!

I went in and my first interview I got the job! I called my mom at work to tell her I had gotten a job, she had not even returned yet! So I told her secretary to tell her the good news and got some friends to take me home.. I loved that job. I learned so much..

My mom asked me if I wanted a car! I said yes, that would be great. She said "good cause I want you to have one, so I will make you a deal, you save money, as much as you can, and when you think you have enough, I will match it."(up to a certain amount, she was a single mom)!

I thought this was all very clever of her..

I am sure you have told your son this, but on his college applications, Volunteering and having jobs looks really good. Our daughter was a Presidential Volunteer for 4 years. She volunteered at her old elementary school during their summer camps. That alone was 3 weeks and between 90 to 120 hours of volunteering every year... She is now a freshman in college and has already contacted the school to volunteer this summer again.

2 moms found this helpful

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