Friday, March 13, 2009

Earning her keep

Chicken fingers last night were awesome. Two of my girlfriends met us, and I hadn't seen them in a bit, so it was really fun to catch up. There were actually a few things that they needed to fill me in on that were not Munchkin-appropriate, so I got the last 10% of the conversation this morning by email. Oh, the things that men do...hee hee.

No huge weekend plans. The Boy and I are planning on going on an early St. Patrick's Day bar crawl, but that could very easily get cancelled (or at least cut short). Hard to imagine it not turning into a complete shit show, and I am not sure how I feel about losing Sunday to a hangover. Munchkin is going to be at a friend's house, which really doesn't effect the decision (on one hand, it is the chance to be off the leash for a night; on the other hand, it is the chance to be alone at home all night...)

I guess we will see how it goes.

OK...I leave you this week with a discussion topic. Munchkin says that she wants to get a job this summer. Overall, I think it is a great idea, and I am happy that she wants the responsibility and the independence. She will be 14, which is old enough to work in Massachusetts, and I think it would be good for her.

It's not like we are talking about 14 hours a day in a coal mine, either (although 14 year olds are allowed to work 40 hours a week when school is out...surprising). It will most likely be 3-4 days a week, for a total of maybe 15 hours or so, max. Plenty of time to learn about taxes;-)

There is an issue, though. For a couple of reasons, she would most likely work at the beach and spend the whole summer down there. I think she is more likely to find a job she that she likes (and that is good for her) in a seasonal place, and she will most likely need to work on weekends when wherever she is working will probably be busier. So, a job around here that would require me to leave her in Boston on weekends is a no-go.

The issue then is that, if she has a 3-4 day a week job, she would have to pretty much stay down there all summer. I have left her there for weeks at a time before, but the idea of only seeing her on weekends for the whole summer is a little disconcerting. She won't really be alone...there is almost always some family member or another down there (or I could make sure that someone was), and she has enough friends down there that she could stay with their families on the odd nights that no one was around.

But it still seems like kind of a lot... Thoughts?


laurwilk said...

So, I sort of have strong feelings on this. LET HER GET A JOB! At 14, most jobs she could get will be very flexible. She could easily just work Thursday through Sunday and therefore spend some week days at home with you.

I started working at a coffee shop when I was 13. (Ooops, illegal.) Funky Java (and later Arnolds Perk) was seriously one of the greatest things about ages 13-21. (I maybe overdid that a bit.)

Let her get a job. She will make new friends, have fun and make a bit of money. Just try to find something with a flexible schedule. I think it would be easy to find a job where she'd only have to work weekends (at the coffee shop, we worked 7-12 or 12-6 or 6-12 so family time wasn't an issue) or could pick different days and sort of schedule based on her schedule.

Accidentally Me said...

I don't think that just weekends would work. It is not always predictable when we will be there every weekend, and I don't think she would enjoy heading there every weekend just to work.

And she has no way of getting back and forth on her own...someone needs to bring her.

SoMi's Nilsa said...

So, your dilemma strikes a familiar tone to a girlfriend who was unsure whether to send her son to overnight camp. At the end of the day, HE was just fine. It was my friend who had challenges related to him growing up. Might it be the same with you? I'm with Laurwilk - let her get a job so long as she can figure out the logistics (any chance she can bike to/from work?!). It might be a really wonderful experience for her to be at the beach for the summer. And worst case scenario, things don't work, she quits her job and you move her back to the city!

Ys said...

I think her getting a job is a great idea obviously, start them young and they'll think it's the norm, which is really nice :) But, no, I wouldn't leave my fourteen year old anywhere on her own during the week and then only see her on the weekends. I understand that she's growin up and that there'll be family members/friends looking out for her BUT she's still your responsibility and I personally wouldn't be able to cope with not seeing her every night/day. That might make me a big clingy but I know that's how I'd feel.

Girl Friday said...

Way out of my depth here unless you count the fact that I act 14 at thirtyehmermmsomething. I did,however, have a very independent from 13 on and it created a great work ethic. That said, a job and no structured home life for the whole summer might be pushing it.

Still just me said...

I agree with the idea of a job, but not leaving her alone. She seems to be mature for her age, but you never know what kind of situations may pop up, not to mention all the creepy crawlies out their that may take advantage of the situation if they found out she was alone.

W T G said...

Working at 14 - Indeed, get her on the hamster wheel. There's something to be said about being untutored and untocuhed in the city to develop social awareness but being young & female creates too many variables thanks to the abundant weirdos roaming about ... Ah, city life.

LiLu said...

That is a tough choice... I say definitely yes to working, and though it may be difficult, I would say yes to letting her go for the summer as well... you're right that the seasonal jobs at the beach will be much more fun. As long as, as you say, there will always be family or family friends around to keep an eye on who she's hanging out with... I think it could be one of the best experiences of her entire life.

JE said...

Why not decide on the work parameters that you can live with and then see if she can find a job that fits those? If she can't, no big deal - it's not as if she has to work to pay her bills.

And PS - I am shocked that the legal working age is 14! My dad had to lie for me so that I could work before my 16th birthday. At 14, I was still having kid summers.