Help Your Teen Stay Safe at Work


If you have a teenager it is likely that he will be looking for a job for the summer. Or he may already have a part-time job. One of the major considerations for our young people is safety in the workplace. Parents can and should take a role in preparing our children to understand the steps they can take to keep themselves safe while at work. 

But first. If you missed the previous newsletter I invite you to take a look. It’s about the issue of physical punishment of children and is important. You can go to the newsletter on my website and for more information and to endorse our efforts visit the Corinne’s Quest: End Physical Punishment of Children website.

It’s Important to Prepare Your Teen for His Summer Job

Your teenage child is going to be looking for a good summer job. It’s a very exciting time and there are many reasons why a part-time job during the school year and a summer job are positive experiences for our children.

They will learn the importance of being on time because the consequence of tardiness is losing the job. Excuses won’t work in the workplace.

A job teaches them an enhanced level of responsibility. They may have the opportunity to work as part of a team, they will develop new skills and often learn to work with people of different ages and backgrounds.

For our kids it’s usually about the money. They love to be earning their own wages. Many teens are using their income to save for their post-secondary education. It’s a challenge to think about saving enough money for the whole year so it’s helpful to break down the costs.

So maybe they first figure out what travel will cost them and save for that. If they are going to be traveling a distance to a school in another city that will involve saving money for airfare. If they plan to study locally they will be looking at transit costs or maybe a car, which includes fuel, insurance and upkeep.

Once they have reached that benchmark they can look to a second need, possibly tuition or books.

A certain percentage of their income should be for their personal fun. Movies, outings or clothing. We can’t expect that most kids will be happy putting every penny they earn into their savings account.

Quite apart from what they will do with the money they earn from after-school or summer jobs, we need to help our teens to understand the question of safety in the workplace.

Young workers are the most vulnerable group when it comes to injury at work. More than half of young workers’ serious injuries or deaths happen in the first six months on the job. The majority of these injuries are a direct result of poor training or supervision and the fact that many young workers do not have enough experience to question risky situations at work, even if they feel really unsafe.

It’s important that we take a role in teaching our kids about their need to protect themselves from injury and their rights in the workplace. Young workers get into trouble because they are afraid to say no to a risky job, will say they have a skill instead of asking for help and be uncomfortable standing up for their rights.

And what are these rights?

Employers are required to provide safety orientation and training to all workers and keep records of the training they have provided.

Employers need to provide safety equipment required for the job and the worker needs to provide personal items such as work gloves, footwear and headgear. So, you need to take your youngster on a shopping trip to outfit him appropriately.

Do your homework so that you are aware of the responsibilities and risks associated with your child’s job. Then when he comes home talk to him about the work. Pay particular attention if they are using any equipment. Did they receive any training? What did that involve?

It will be helpful if you have involved your child in work around the house. Whether it’s using power tools or the lawn mower you can demonstrate the importance of learning about equipment before using it and taking safety measures when going to work.

WorkSafe BC  has lots of easily accessible information for both parents and young workers.

While it’s important for you to talk to your teens about workplace safety and their rights they may dismiss your concerns by thinking; “Well that’s just my Mom being a worry wart, I’ll be fine.” So besides talking to them, send them to the website which has anecdotes about other young workers as well as all the information you have given them.

If you do your homework and ensure that your teen is ready for the job, you can relax. He will have a great learning experience and you will notice him develop a new level of independence and maturity.

Sarah is shy, Jared is bossy and Pat is Easy-Going. What do we need to know about different temperaments?

One thing we learn about kids is that every child is unique and different.  My mini guide e-book, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments addresses some of the temperaments we see in our kids.

I looked at my two children who are as different as night and day. Then I consider my siblings and we are a textbook example of different.

But, now I have three grandchildren, all the same age and the differences from their births has been striking.

The result is the e-parenting mini guide, Vive la Différence: Raising Children with Different Temperaments. The guide is available on my website.

How Can I Bring Kathy to My Community?

I offer keynotes and workshops,  have written books and have ongoing newspaper columns, books, blogs and newsletters.

And, no matter what the actual topic, they all share a basic value that I call:

P.U.R.E. Parenting.

P — is a parenting plan

U — is unconditional love

R — is respect for your child as he is right now

E — is encouragement

I look forward to working with you for your professional development, workplace wellness or parenting education event.




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