PARENTS
05/03/2018 11:30 GMT

Saturday Jobs For Kids: Are They A Waste Of Time?

A study found younger parents thought they were a 'distraction'.

A Saturday job used to be a rite of passage for many children, but a new poll shows younger parents think working on the weekend is a “distraction”. The survey of 2,000 parents found that while a fifth of those aged 55-64 thought weekend jobs were a good thing, only three in 10 parents aged 25-34 agreed.

The study by Oxford Home Schooling found overall, just over half of parents thought weekend jobs were a good idea. When asked if a Saturday job was “too distracting”, six times as many younger parents agreed, compared with the older parents. When we asked our HuffPost UK Parents readers, they felt Saturday jobs were a positive beginning to their kids’ journey into the working world. 

Mum Emma Edwards, 38, said she had a Saturday job from the age of 14, helping out at the local market. At 16 she got a job at her local butchers. “It was good to earn my own money for luxuries,” she said. “I will encourage my four-year-old to get a weekend job and take pride in earning their own money. I think work teachers them independence, teamwork and a sense of pride.” 

Emma Kim via Getty Images

Mum Kirsty Judge, 30, agreed. She said as a younger parent, she still believes weekend work is a good opportunity for children to get experience in the adult world and should be encouraged. Her eldest child is nine and she will definitely be encouraging her to get a job when she is old enough. “Saturday jobs also encourage responsibility and teaches kids about finances,” she explained. “This cannot possibly be a bad thing. It would also be very beneficial if it were possible to get a Saturday job in a position relevant to the child’s current career interest (so like paid work experience).”

Others believe the study doesn’t show the whole picture and feels that younger parents, who have been brought up in the shadow of the global financial crisis, know success is no longer about the degree, but the CV and experience. Siobhan Freegard, 49, a mum and founder of ChannelMum.com, a community of young parents, where the average age is 27, argued younger parents know that getting early and varied work experience on your CV is vital to show employers your work ethic and that you are prepared to graft hard to get on - “A Saturday job is the ideal way to do this.”

“Younger parents are more entrepreneurial, many run side hustle businesses from home so they know the value of working their way up from the bottom. Saturday jobs provide a good way for modern teens to supplement their income and learn to manage their money,” she said. “If you want your child to get on in life, the the way to do it is with a Saturday job.”

What do you think? Is a Saturday job crucial for kids these days? Get involved in the conversation on Facebook here

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