Your Kids At Work – A Guide for Parents

Cafe GirlAs a parent, you want to raise your kids to be self-sufficient, capable and responsible adults. Summer and part-time jobs are a great way for young people to learn these things, all while earning their own money. Of course, it can also be a bit scary letting your kids out into the working world. No parent wants to get that phone call telling them that their child was hurt at work or, worse, never coming home.

As a parent, there is a lot that you can do to prepare your kids for the workplace. The most important thing is to talk to your kids about their new job. Ask them questions about the work they’re doing, the training they have received and the equipment and processes that are in place to keep them safe. If you ever get a bad feeling, don’t ignore it! Talk to their employer about your concerns.

Ask Questions!

There are several questions you should be asking your kids about their workplaces. Don’t just ask these questions once at the beginning. It is important to have regular conversations with your kids about the work that they are doing.

  • What do you normally do at work?
  • Do you climb or work at heights?
  • Do you lift and carry heavy objects?
  • Do you use any kind of machinery, powered tools or work around moving parts? Have you been trained in their proper use?
  • Has your employer provided workplace safety orientation training and information?
  • Do you know what protective equipment to wear and how to use it?
  • Do you work with chemicals? Have you been trained in their proper use?
  • Are you tired at work? (Full-time school, homework, social life and work together can cause fatigue, increasing the risk of injury at work and while driving.)
  • Does your supervisor work near you?
  • Does your supervisor provide on-the-job safety feedback?
  • Do you feel you can report safety concerns to your supervisor?
  • Do you know how to report workplace injuries?
  • Do you know about your legal rights and obligations?

Having regular conversations with your young worker will help you stay informed about changes in the work that they are doing or in attitudes about their safety.

Empower Young Workers!

The best thing that you can do as a parent is empower your young worker to speak up for themselves, exercise their rights, and ask questions when they are unsure of something. This is achieved not just through regular conversations, but also through leading by example. Model a safety first attitude when you are working around the home and provide examples of times you asked questions, reported a hazard or refused unsafe work at your own job.

The Phone Call No Parent Wants

Julie Hamilton is a mother who has experienced the pain and heartbreak of losing her son to a needless workplace tragedy. Watch below as she shares Tim’s story, and take the advice she offers to other parents to heart. You can learn more about Julie and the work that she does to prevent other families from experiencing this pain by visiting