Should Kids Be Allowed To Work?

Discussion in 'Education & Learning' started by Ken Anderson, Nov 3, 2016.

  1. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Please read this article all the way through, and let me know what you think. I think the author makes some points that are worth discussing, I think. Beginning in the 1930s and becoming increasingly so with our generation, we have prided ourselves, as a society, for ensuring that our children are not faced with having to decide whether to go to work or school, at least until after they have completed high school. How is that working out?

    Yes, it has worked out well for some kids but even before the 1930s, some kids were being educated beyond high school. In fact, that has always been the case.

    Other kids are unable to cut it in school, yet are too young to work, while still others complete college badly in debt, yet unable to find work, and it doesn't help that they have no work ethic.

    Anyhow, read this and weigh in on it. The article is called, "Let the Kids Work." By the way, here's the Photo Montage that the article references.
     
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  2. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    I think the Amish allow kids to work, details about age requirements and other related facts I am unaware of. However, I am sure that if youth safety laws in general were being broken, the State would intervene, if it knew. Certainly the Amish, as any other reasonably well-educated faction would be able to understand, kids' abilities vary greatly from one to another. For example, at 12, I was entrusted to burn off the peeling paint of our window frames using a blowtorch. I did not set the house afire, as my Mother's horrified brother suggested I would. But undoubtedly, a lot of other 12 year olds might have. Therein lies the question: does "age demarcation", hold any water? So, it is reasonable to assign the task, or rather allow the task, of "ability determination" to lie with the parents, not the government.

    The Amish of Northern Indiana, where my wife grew up, run a variety of businesses, ranging from Grocery, in which they sell goods they make and raise, to Restaurant, which is obviously mainly service-oriented. Antique stores are also owned. We have seen, in all of them, kids employed. Some still not yet physically-endowed with adult-like traits, meaning they looked 12 years old or so. They invariably acted as though they were 20, however, fulfilling the necessary needs demanded by the work performed. Splendid and most-worthy of accolade, I thought.

    Our country would benefit from more factions pursuing group social living as those folks are.
    Frank
     
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  3. Tim Burr

    Tim Burr Well-Known Member
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    Our youngest son was employed by a major seed company starting when he was 12,
    for the purpose of Detasseling during his summer breaks from school.
    It is a common practice where we lived.

    He learned a solid work ethic by the time he graduated and had earned enough to buy the car
    he wanted when old enough to drive.

    What I have noticed is that entry level jobs 'we' knew growing up are hard to find.
    It was common for a young person to start in a trade at the bottom and learn as they go.

    Sadly, these entry jobs are going to adults who will work for entry pay.

    The young people I see applying for trade jobs lack any practical experience,
    but have spent large amounts of money at 'Trade' schools.
    They arrive with expensive tools, but little knowledge of how to use them.
    You have to start at square one in their training, and kind of 'unlearn' them about how equipment works.

    It is the reason I still work. What knowledge I can pass on is a pay-back
    to the ones who took the time when I was starting out.

    After all my ramblings...I agree that young people need to have different avenues available to them.
     
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  4. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    I think its a major problem with society today, that younger folks are not given 'responsibility' as we were
    It was a blessing and we learnt valuable lessons
    Whether its in the home environment or work situation, its so valuable to give the youngsters 'life experience'
     
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  5. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    Practical work experience is so important to a youngster growing up. Long after the money has been spent,there remains the feeling of satisfaction, and the built up confidence that help us our whole life long.

    Growing up, we were spending the day on our own, pretty much...building shacks and forts. We organized and ran our own ball games. We built dams and erected tire swings. At the end of the day, we had experience planning, working, and completing our projects, with help from adults as needed.

    We weren't paid to be kids, but we learned how to function, using our own wits. By the time we were offered a paying job, we were equipped to tackle it with gusto. I guess it boiled down to learning how to handle responsibility.
     
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  6. Joe Riley

    Joe Riley Veteran Member
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    @Ken Anderson - After reading your article, I realized that the adults of that day did not have much leisure or playtime in their lives. It was all work. The children were imitating the adults, by wanting to do what they did. In today's world it is reversed.....the youngsters don't see adults working, only at play. The teens bypass the work ethic to go directly to the adult leisure and play mode. Both groups end up less enriched.
     
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  7. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I really don't know the answer because in my family education was key. I worked babysitting. My daughter had a host of jobs starting with babysitting to working summers and then weekends in college. Quite a variety of jobs also...from drawing blood from chickens in one place to a place that tested pesticides. Also bartender at The Spaghetti factory.

    My grandson wouldn't even have time for a job today, starting in about 8th grade you have to get a certain amount
    Of community service hours. Even more if you want to be accepted at certain colleges.

    He's folded towels at the YMCA, worked at homeless shelters, did yard work for a disabled person, taught catechism to youngsters, spent a week as a counselor at another church...these are just some of the things
    That I know....all done for free...just for credits.

    All high schools that I know in California require this for graduation.
     
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  8. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    Yes, Amish kids do work. They work hard, but they also have time for play and, for that matter, much of the play is done while they are working, since they are often working on their parent's farm, store, or shop. Although regulations differ from state to state, I think most states allow kids to work in family businesses, although there may be limitations as far as what they are allowed to do and for how long. For example, they may not be allowed to operate dangerous equipment and keeping your kid home from school in order to bring in the crops may no longer be allowed.

    It is true that the opportunities for jobs for kids has diminished considerably as more reliable adults can often be found willing to work for an entry level wage. Also, the family farms have given way to large, mostly mechanized, factory farms. I know that when I was a kid, local farmers would stagger their harvest times so that available kids and adults could help to bring in the crops. Haying season also provided work for kids. I came in at the end of a lot of that because my dad was no longer farming full-time by the time I came along. While he still had a farm, it was on a much smaller basis and, for some reason, I wasn't often required to help. The work was there if I wanted it, but I could also choose to play instead. Most often I chose the latter and as a result, I never learned to do a lot of things that would have come in handy later in life.
     
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  9. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    My grandson has 2 very good friends, the twins. They're twins and I think there are 5 kids in that family.

    The father has a construction company and the twins work there every chance they get. They are also not college material...but I'm sure they'll do well in the theirs fathers business, even eventually many years down the road take it over when the dad retires.
     
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  10. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    I think there was an idea when I was in school that every kid should go to college and, although I later (much later) taught college and was the program chairman of a college emergency medical technology program, I spent much of my life feeling embarrassed or ashamed of myself for being unable to go through college right after high school. I didn't have the money so I went to work and, for a time, I was working at the same company as my older brother, and being paid more than he was, with his Master's degree. Yeah, that made me feel good for a little while.
     
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  11. Patsy Faye

    Patsy Faye Veteran Member
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    Your Grandson having to do community work Chrissy - that's a good thing and it is work related
    Most youngsters here know 'very little' - at least we learnt the basics of keeping home, cooking, sewing etc
    I had a 'Saturday job' loved it
     
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  12. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    There has to be, or should be a middle ground somewhere. Both school and working are important for a well rounded education. An education can be useless without the desire to put it to function. We have forgotten to explain to our children just why they are being educated in the first place.

    When I was a child, the local school district had to threaten my father with court before he agreed to send me to school. I was 8 when I began school, and I only went for about 2&1/2 years before my father figured out how to get around the law. I covered the first five grades in that short time period. I was not able to go to school again until I was 35 years old. That is why I put myself through a full schedule each semester for 19 years. I wanted that education.

    Both of my sons had jobs very early on. My oldest at 10 started off with regular yard work customers. He joined the army at 17, and where he became an Army Ranger. He spent 10 years in the service before he was killed. My youngest got his first job all by himself at the age of five. He started by tearing cardboard box apart at the corner store. They paid him in candy, and he was so proud of himself that I couldn't tell him no.

    So yes, I see a need for both education and work in our youth today, just as it was and has always been a source of accomplishment in the human condition.
     
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  13. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    You're right, @Ina I. Wonder. There needs to be a middle ground. Every child should have an opportunity to be educated, at least to a point. Other than scholarships, I don't think we can get around the fact the children of wealthy parents are going to have more opportunities than those born to poorer parents. It's not fair, but one fact of life is that life isn't fair, and I say this as someone who would have loved to have been able to go straight through college after high school, but was unable to afford it. Of course, I wasn't without fault in this. My older brother worked very hard throughout elementary and high school and never received a grade below an A, that he wasn't able to turn into an A with extra credit, and he received a full scholarship. Scholarships weren't as easy to come by then as they are now though, and only the top of the class was able to get a full scholarship. I did well in school, but I wasn't nearly so ambitious, so I received spattering of Bs and Cs, thus my scholarship wasn't nearly enough to pay my way, and my father didn't have any money. Whatever he had been able to help with was gone when his house burned to the ground during my first full year in college.

    Bernie Sanders campaigned on a platform that included free college tuition. While that sounded nice to some people on the surface, when you look at it closely, it wouldn't do any more than effectively extending high school by two years, because if a two-year college degree was free to everyone, no one would be able to find work doing anything without at least an associate's degree, and the jobs would still go to those who were wealthy or clever enough to have attained a four-year degree, a master's degree, or a doctorate.

    Then there is the fact that far too many people are spending borrowed money to attain degrees that don't prepare them to do anything for a living. There are still people in school working toward degrees in library science, while libraries are closing everywhere, and many of those that aren't closing entirely are going entirely digital. I categorize web sites for a living and have come across several high schools whose libraries are now entirely digital, employing no one.

    There is no need for everyone to have a college degree, and some people are simply unable to succeed in college, yet they might do just fine learning a trade such as construction or plumbing, or learning to do electrical work, etc. There should be no shame in that, and several people are doing far better financially in a trade than others are doing with advanced degrees.

    My oldest brother was a teacher, and so was his wife until she decided to leave teaching and work in the office of a manufacturing plant instead. Both of them did quite well financially, and their kids were bright. Between scholarships and investments that their parents had made in their education, each of them could have completed college without difficulty, and three of the four did. One of my nephews found a job working at a McDonalds restaurant to help pay peripheral expenses in college. His tuition and board were paid for. He was promoted several times at McDonalds, and then the McDonalds administrative offices offered to send him to what they refer to as Hamburger University. It sounds funny, but it's the career training division of the McDonalds restaurant chain. He ended up as a regional manager for the chain, responsible for six restaurants or more, and retired in his early forties with a good pension. He did far better at what many people might refer to as a McJob than he'd have likely done with a college degree.

    On the other hand, I don't like the idea of the government determining the limits of a child's education based on results from an intelligence or aptitude test because I think people are better than that, and the true potential of an individual cannot be accurately measured in that way.
     
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  14. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    You can get through college with student loans but choose a career where you can pay them off.

    We weren't rich...the first 4 years, we payed and my daughter worked summers. Those years weren't that expensive but the next 4 were and she took out student loans. Even as a dentist it took awhile for her to pay them off but she did.

    My brother in law was downright poor. There were 5 kids in the family. He had massive student loans but chose to be a doctor and he's paid them off also.
     
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  15. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Tim Burr
    I would guess the Trade School tuition is largely mis-spent, unless it's applied through other than a for-profit private school. Our Community College here offers various Skilled Trades courses, including various phases of Electric Theory and Wiring. Those young adults you mentioned would do well to serve an Apprenticeship while working that first job. My Dad had numerous young men apprenticed to him as a Tool & Die Maker, including his kid brother.

    I am the unusual "bad apple" in the barrel. Learned the various skilled trades out of necessity, mostly by book 'lernin' and seat of the pants experience. Fortunately, I didn't kill myself along the way! But at the same time, I vowed early-on, while turning some part for my car on my Lathe, I would never work at a skilled trade in employment. And, I never did.....
    Frank
     
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  16. Frank Sanoica

    Frank Sanoica Very Well-Known Member
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    @Ken Anderson "On the other hand, I don't like the idea of the government determining the limits of a child's education based on results from an intelligence or aptitude test because I think people are better than that, and the true potential of an individual cannot be accurately measured in that way."

    How true! I've always maintained, after hearing so many dismal complaints from people having had a "terrible day" at work, that being gainfully-employed while at the same time being very happy doing it, provided the key to the best-adjusted work experience. I was always happy to go off to my job early in adulthood. Unfortunately, some kind of "wanderlust" interfered later in life, and during my last job, the highest-paying of my entire life, I was the unhappiest I ever was, so quit, sold-out of the big city, used the dough to buy 90 acres of ground in the Missouri Ozarks, and worked only for us until the magical S/S vault doors swung grudgingly open when I turned 62.
    Frank
     
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  17. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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    My best earning years were while I was working as a machine adjuster for the paper company, yet mechanical work was very near the bottom of the list of jobs that I was suited for according to aptitude tests.

    You know those aptitude test questions that display four or five gears. If one of them is turning clockwise, which direction is the last one going to be turning? Well, I don't have a clue. Give me five gears and I'll line them up. Otherwise, I'm on to the next question.
     
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  18. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    Youre always taking a chance with whatever you choose but if your going to choose something really dumb because you like it, well...maybe you should have done it for a hobby.

    Most people don't like their jobs...I know my daughter isn't thrilled with hers..what dentist loves their job? People hate you and complain and you have to work in some pretty disgusting mouths.
     
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  19. Yvonne Smith

    Yvonne Smith Very Well-Known Member
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    This is something that I have been thinking about ever since reading the article that Ken posted. Having read some of the stories about what children had to go through in past years when they started working about as soon as they could be sent to some factory to work, I think that some of it was close to being slave labor, and that should not happen to adults, let alone children.
    However, I am in total agreement that it is good for children to learn to work from an early age. Most little kids love to help their parents, and those who grow up in the country learn to help with farm chores about as soon as they can toddle along behind their mother or father.
    My mother had houses and apartments that she rented out, so from an early age, I would go along to help her clean a vacated house and get it ready for renting again. I answered phone calls, and even rode my pony across town (it was a small town) to show apartments, and sometimes to collect rent.
    My kids also learned to help when they were young, and when I worked in the hops during the summer, they often went along with me and helped out , as did many of the other children in that area whose parents worked in the hop fields.

    I think that kids now seem not to be as interested in getting a job, and especially if it is one that doesn't pay a lot and is easy to do. many of the seasonal jobs that school kids did in the summer are now done by migrants, like picking fruits and vegetables. Most of the work that we did in the hop fields is all done my Mexican labor nowadays, and has been for quite a while now.
     
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  20. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    One of the things that worry me is that I don't see a burn desire for eduction much in today's youth. Instead I am seeing a lot of our youth throwing their chances for an education away, yet they still show the world their sense of entitlement.

    I have my stepdaughter's son living with me now. He is 26, and has not worked more than 6 or 7 months total in his whole life. He is a big help to me, he does whatever needs to be done around the yard, and he even helps with the cooking and cleaning. But he shows very little desire in joining his working or playing contemporaries.

    But you can bet your "bippy" I'm chewing on his ear. :rolleyes:
     
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  21. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    I don't think I've ever had a job that I didn't like, or learn something from. Now yes, I did like some less than others, but I would either quit, or work my way up. I liked a challenge.

    I've worked at many kinds of jobs, such as cleaning houses, working in a bar, ( this was before I could get an adult job at 18), as a bonded courier, stores, rebuilding water meters, as eye candy, as a payroll officer, as an accountant, and the last 15 years of my working career I worked as a CEO and CFO of my own company with 329 employees.

    I think because I was denied an education, I was always striving to learn as much as I could.

    I'm very much the self taught individual. I saw my first library at 7, and to me it was heaven. I taught myself to read, and was doing better than the children at school when I started at age 8. Oh how my heart broke when my father pulled me out of school at age 10. But that didn't stop me.

    But it wasn't just academics that I applied myself to. Now days people call me artistic. I called it fundamentals. I taught myself everything from animal husbandry, farming, home economics, to anything that advanced my family's situation.

    After my husband retired from working with the city, he came to work for me. When people would ask him how working for me was, and did he resent my position, he would tell them, "I have no problem with her keeping me in comfort. I have no problem being a kept man. I did it for her for many years."
     
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  22. Ken Anderson

    Ken Anderson Veteran Member
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  23. Ina I. Wonder

    Ina I. Wonder Very Well-Known Member
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    Thank you @Ken Anderson, Life would be so boring without the challenges. I'm finally beginning to look forward to the challenge of starting a new life as a single individual.
     
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  24. Chrissy Cross

    Chrissy Cross Veteran Member
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    I see a different picture, it is very competitive if you are college bound. At least here. Not easy to get in a good school.

    Everybody is trying and a 4.0 and a decent ACT score isn't enough. My grandson will have that but since some of his classes were AP they count more so that helps. He's also done the extra community service and he's still worried. His 2 top choices are very competitive and he may not even get in. He's applied to at least 10 Universities. They are driving up to Oregon before thanksgiving to look at one there.
     
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  25. Janice Martin

    Janice Martin Well-Known Member
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    Hi Ken, I'd vote 'no' for many reasons, but one concern involves the bolded part in your post above. While I wasn't thinking much about it at the time, a much-older cousin brought this up way back in the early 1980s: she was saying in her hometown, whenever possible businesses preferred to hire high school kids because by giving kids part-time hours they didn't have to give them benefits (like health insurance, etc.) Not too many years ago, I learned businesses were taking the same approach to adults- expecting adults to manage on part-time hours.
    I don't know how widespread this is, but this area has been debating a minimum-wage increase, and the increase is said to only apply to adults. So with all that in mind, can you imagine how many adults who need to support themselves and/or their families will be denied jobs and the jobs given to kids because it'll be more 'cost-effective' for the employers?

    Logically, there are plenty of people in our generation and even younger who, for various reasons, did not have the opportunity to attend college or earn degrees, and will be in bad shape when employers prefer to hire school kids.
     
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