Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Study your teen’s workplace.

What you can do

Visit your teen’s workplace and make sure he understands what to wear as well as when to take breaks. Review the work schedule with him, and be sure to discuss when to go to the bathroom or get a drink of water and how much time he’s allowed to take for these activities.

Observe how your child’s coworkers interact with each other and with supervisors and customers. Practice starting and ending similar conservations at home to help increase the chances your child will feel socially successful at work. Help identify a nurturing coworker or supervisor who can offer assistance if your child isn’t sure what to do or where to turn for help.

What you can say

“Jacob, I noticed on your work schedule that your first break is an hour and a half after you start. If I were you, I’d get to work a little early so I could use the bathroom and eat a snack before my shift started.”

“I wouldn’t drink a lot of liquids beforehand to help me make it to the first break without stopping work. If you do need a bathroom break, keep it short. No detours or distractions.”

“Also, remember your strategy at school of picking a student who’s really on the ball and watching what he does? That helps you figure out when to start getting ready for the next activity. You can do the same sort of thing at work. Look for an experienced worker who’s doing the same job and watch him for cues on how to do a new task.”

“He might even be someone you could ask for advice. Just be sure you don’t take him away from his work.”

Why this will help

Knowing what to wear and how to interact with coworkers will help your child feel socially successful at work. This will greatly increase his stick-to-itiveness at work.

Understanding the differences between a work setting, home and school will help your child function more effectively in the work environment and not stand out for the wrong reasons. Having the appropriate clothing and equipment will help your child get off to a good start.

Explore more tips on how to help your child succeed in the workplace.

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