“Dad, school is running an Austrian exchange – can I do it.” Those were the words that started this. Then I was handed the letter that explained the exchange, and more importantly how much it was going to cost us. This is where we had to say to our teenager, “get a job.”
The fact is that when you have four children costs mount up – and that’s just for the everyday things. But, we want our girls to have these experiences and will always do out utmost to make them happen. Frankly, the fact that Grace is taking such an interest in something it great and of course we want to nurture this. But with the best will in the world, money can only be stretched so far. So, we asked her to get a job.
Sadly, it’s the wrong time of year for casual Saturday jobs in cafes in our area so she tried her luck with the newsagents. They had a paper round for her and that means she’ll be getting a bit of cash each week. We’re not deluded, a paper round is not going to pay for this trip at all, not even close. But the deal is that half her wages she can keep, and the other half we put in a jar to contribute to the trip.
It’s the act of contributing that’s important here, not the amount being contributed. A life lesson in earning money to do the things we want to do is a good lesson to learn.
She did get a job
You may remember that I’ve written before about teenagers getting a job. It’s something that I feel is important for them to do. It gives them some financial independence and a sense of self-worth. In Grace’s case, we’re also hoping it will help her to develop some more refined organisational skills as she will have to be if she is going to catch Dad’s taxi to school!
Today she started her paper round. It’s not a big one and she should be able to whizz around it in about 20 minutes if she doesn’t dilly-dally. Duke and I went with her to help her learn the route.
Before any school-age child gets a job it’s work checking out the UK laws governing this here – www.gov.uk/child-employment.
The Austrian exchange
This summer we hosted an Austrian student as part of a one-way exchange and we really enjoyed having her to stay. She spoke excellent English, so this meant communication we easy. This new exchange will be two-way, meaning that later next year we’ll host another Austrian student in return. Interestingly, Grace has only studied German since easter when she started at the secondary school we moved her to. The fact she doesn’t speak German doesn’t seem to bother her, or her teachers! I know she’ll have an amazing time, especially as she will be going to Austria in the winter!
I’ll write more about this exchange experience and the fact she did get a job int he coming months.
Thanks for reading.