I recently talked to a parent who told me about a negative summer job experience their teenager was going through.  I agreed with them that their child was in an awkward situation.  The parent felt bad about the poor first real job.  Quite the contrary.  This is an absolutely fantastic learning experience!  The teenager was completely being under paid and taken advantage of.  Having been there as the young person, it was a really good lesson for me.  I  should have asked, up front, what I would have been making, I learned to confront my employer and it taught me to draw the line when I felt that I was not being treated fairly.  As a parent you can talk about these lessons on car rides or around the dinner table, but to LIVE a bad situation, is the best way to learn.  This gives you, as the parent, the opportunity to discuss real life problems and how to solve them.  I always told our kiddos that it is fair to change one’s mind when there is new information.  Of course, you want to teach your child to be responsible and to be a good employee with a good work ethic.  However, when a situation is just not fair to your child, you  cannot allow them to be taken advantage of.  You have to help them decide when it’s appropriate to stay with it and when they need to just separate themselves from it.  A bad experience can stifle or hamper a good work ethic and you do not want to do that.  Likewise, a really good summer job experience can be an opportunity to learn from some very good mentors and positive roll models in a child’s life (I had plenty of those too).  The summer job experience can be an opportunity to discuss a whole new vocabulary and bring up new topics that may lead to interesting discussion and times together, making for some Great Days 🍎