Some teens get a job to help out with the family's finances, but even if you don't need the help, your teen benefits in several ways from having a job of his own. Fast food restaurants are teen-friendly employers and give your child the opportunity to make some money and learn the ways of the workforce.
Earning his own paycheck is an ideal way to help your teen learn how to manage his money. You can teach him how to save some of his money for college or a car and have a little for lunch at school or going to the movies with friends. If he blows the whole paycheck on new clothes or that fancy new pair of shoes he's been eyeing, he'll quickly learn that now he'll have to pack his lunch and forgo nights out with friends until his next paycheck comes. This helps your teen make responsible money decisions, but also gives the chance to learn from his mistakes.
Working in a fast food restaurant helps your teen learn to manage his time so that he fulfills each of his obligations. He'll learn to schedule study breaks, homework time and extracurricular activities around his work hours. This is a valuable skill that will serve him well as he moves on to college and enters the workforce. Being able to get everything done on time without letting his employer, professors or friends and family down is a vital aspect of having a job and teaches your teen how to stay responsible.
Standing behind the counter at a fast food restaurant and interacting with customers throughout his shift is an ideal way to help him learn people skills. Some teens tend to think the world revolves around them, but working in the customer service industry forces your teen to think about how his behavior affects those around him. For example, if he rolls his eyes when someone orders a burger with no ketchup, he'll quickly find out that the customer will be upset and his boss likely will, too. Your teen can learn how to treat others and how his actions impact the way he's treated by those he works with and the customers he serves.
Teens who work have a better chance of having a job and earning higher wages after high school, according to the University of Minnesota. Working teaches your teen work ethics and prepares him for being employed in his career of choice after college or technical training. In addition, some teens move through the ranks at fast food restaurants and may end up working for the same company in a higher position, even after high school and college.