My son, a junior in high school, has never had a part-time job. Do you think that there are any benefits to his getting one this summer and possibly during his senior year? --Unemployed


High-school students need to fill their summer days with activities. They can work, take classes, participate in sports, art and music programs, or volunteer. Any of these activities or a combination of them is definitely a plus on a college or job application. Colleges and employers frown upon summers just spent lazing around home or a pool.

A job in the summer or during the school year could benefit your son by teaching him how to handle responsibility, manage his time, deal with adults and get a glimpse into the working world. Besides, busy teenagers usually stay out of trouble. And the additional responsibility of a job can increase a student's self-esteem.

As far as the school year goes, most research shows that students who work part time during high school are typically better students. Keep in mind that not all students are capable of handling a part-time job during the school year. A job can interfere with essential study time or important extracurricular activities. However, by their senior year, the experience of having a job is usually a very rewarding one for most students.