Parent Rights

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Stressed2theHilt, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. Off the wall question (perhaps) that I just can't find answers for (probably a bad google night).

    The question(s) regard child employment and the parents rights.

    I've got a "all too full of himself" 17 year old that has been working since last summer. At one point I caught him lying about his schedule so that he could stay out later at night. I went to the fast food place and asked for his schedule and was told "we can't give it to you". To make it worse, they told me that in front of the kid.

    The fact that I went down there was enough to set the boy on the correct path for awhile. Until tonight.

    I would think that as the parent, I have a right to the minors schedule. Also, if I feel that the job is interfering with school and behaviors, shouldn't I, as the parent, be able to terminate that employment?

    Sounds kinda crappy to even consider that I know but I need to know the answers here. I feel certain that providing the kid with the "official written word" is much better to do than to make what could be empty threats.

    I would have thought that I could find these answers by searching for youth employment law but no go. Searched for parents rights regarding youth employment law and no go. Perhaps I'm just not using the correct search terms.

    So many rights have already been taken away from parents, I hate to think that a minor can do whatever he wants and parents have no say so.

    Yes, working is good and I like him being happy and earning his own money. But in my home I view him having a job as a privilege.

    Sometimes, privilege needs to be taken away (or at least threatened to be taken away).

    Not really a problem child type of question but I figured someone on here may have experience with this.

    Appreciate any answers.
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I could help you in Australia, but not here.

    I suspect the laws are such as to allow someone autonomy when they are old enough legally to get a job and keep it. In other words, once he's in the workplace, unless he has made it clear that you are to be given access to his work information, it is confidential.

    If this were not the case, it would be too open to abuse by unfit or non-custodial parents.

    Unfortunately, when you went to his workplace and they said this to you, in front of him, you lost authority. Not good. A discreet enquiry would have been better. Maybe if he hadn't been present, the boss would have quietly told you. But he can't tell you in front of difficult child, if telling you is possibly actionable (which makes me think that this is confidential).
    Think - if he were older and you were his wife/SO who turned up asking these questions, giving you the answers could cause a lot of very embarrassing outcomes for the workplace, for the worker, for the partner. A wife who does that is showing a lack of faith in her partner. A mother who does this is publicly showing a lack of faith in her child, which doesn't look good either for him or for you.
    It also will badly eat into his respect for you - it backfired badly, in other words.

    I had a co-worker whose wife worked in the same department, but in another area. She would often drop in so I knew her well. But I also strongly suspected that he cheated on her, every chance he got (he really was a nasty piece of work). It would have been very risky for me to tell her - he would have found out and made my life even more unpleasant. But whenever she was going away on a conference, he would make some excuse about being needed at work and then secretly put in for leave at the same time. He threatened me with dire consequences if I told her about his leave, and the personnel office would never have told his wife because it was considered confidential.

    You are concerned that your son is lying to you about when his shifts are, and perhaps staying out partying when he's told you he's working.

    So what is your specific concern? Are you worried he will lose his job? If he does, it will be entirely his own fault, and a valuable lesson.

    Are you worried that his late hours and perhaps too many shifts are interfering with his studies? Again, if he flunks it will be his own fault. But why do we go to school? It is to get an education so we can get a job. He HAS a job. If later on in his life he decides he wants a different job or perhaps a career, he can go back and study for it then.

    Are you worried because you don't know where he is at any given moment? OK, this could be putting him at risk but he IS 17, this also will bring its own consequences.

    Are you worried primarily because he is being less than honest with you? This is common with teens, even PCs. You need to begin to let go.

    Are you worried he could be in serious danger? Then watch and wait.

    I think you need to back away quietly. Say nothing, don't indicate a change of tactics. Stop pushing and he might stop rocking the boat just to see you react. He seems to be having fun, playing cat and mouse - instead, treat him like a person with responsibilities. GIVE him some responsibilities - get him to bring home the milk or the bread. Make him do his own laundry. Make EVERYONE in the house take a turn with doing the laundry. Instead of being the parent with two children, turn the household into a flatmate situation. It will be good training for the boys (ALL boys should have the same domestic skills as all girls, and vice versa). Learn to involve the kids to work as a team.
    I did this with difficult child 3 today. I wanted to teach him how to make damper (a sort of scone dough cooked over an open fire). So I began to make his lunch (pizza made with a slice of bread as base) and talked him through rubbing the butter into the flour. He didn't want to do it, but I pointed out that he wanted his lunch as soon as possible, I would help when I was finished making the pizzas and they were in the oven, but until then, he could save me time.
    We worked as a team.

    Another example - the older two don't like peeling potatoes, but they DO like what I cook with them. I promised to make potatoes dauphinois but I couldn't start until they peeled enough potatoes for it.
    There were no arguments. And I made sure to thank them all for their help.

    If you still need to know what difficult child is up to, then learn to play detective discreetly. Either yourself or someone you know (but who difficult child doesn't know well) can wander past the shop when difficult child is supposed to be there. Ring him at work - make sure you have a plausible reason. "Can you please bring home some extra kebabs when you finish?"

    If he's not where he's supposed to be, say nothing. Just make a note of it, and keep observing.

    If he's not working much but is instead going off with his friends, it will show. He will not have as much money as he should have if he WERE working all those shifts. He will be more tired. His boss might ring looking for him when he's not there - the problem about lying like this, you can sometimes get things muddled and go out when you ARE supposed to be working.

    Frankly, he should be telling you when he's working, purely as a matter of house courtesy. So should your husband. Just as you both should be telling your kids where you will be and when.

    He will be 18 soon. There are lot of of things he can legally do at 18. Is he prepared for that responsibility? How do you think he would manage if you stepped back entirely, did not wake him in the mornings; made him cook occasional meals; made HIM do a few turns in the laundry; made him do the shopping occasionally, made him budget to pay the utilities etc.

    What are his plans? Surely he is hoping to one day (maybe soon) leave home? How well prepared is he for this? Does HE know what he's likely to be in for?

    Watch and observe quietly. Step back. Then see how he copes, with you doing less for him.

    Mind you, it IS far to warn him that he is going to have to get himself up in the mornings. You DO need to play fair in this!

  3. skeeter

    skeeter New Member

    I found a little bit on Ohio's regulations -

    The following standards apply to 16- and 17-year-old youths employed in non-farm jobs
    (ORC 4109.07). NO person sixteen or seventeen years of age who is required to attend
    school under Chapter 3321 of the Revised Code shall be employed:
    1. Before seven a.m. on any day that school is in session, except such person may be
    employed after six a.m. if the person was not employed after eight p.m. the previous
    2. After eleven p.m. on any night preceding a day that school is in session.
    3. For more than five consecutive hours without allowing the minor a rest period of at
    least thirty minutes. The rest period need not be included in the computation of the
    number of hours worked by the minor.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I think its on the Dept of Labor's website.
  5. Marg I appreciate that response. Bare in mind that when I posted that query it was around 3:30am and I was pretty ticked.

    You went way beyond to scope of the question with your reply! Said a lot of the same things I was thinking this morning, after getting some sleep. Better to vent it out in a question than flip out on the kid.

    Skeeter I found that but it didn't really apply to parents rights.

    My concerns is a teen that is a bit too full of himself right now. Guess I should be glad that in that respect that he is a normal teen.

    While asking for the schedule did "backfire" on me, I'm still the first person the kid will come to with problems (not generated by him) about the job. That includes calling me to come down while he's at work.

    Appreciate the input. Thanks
  6. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    I think if your son was younger, the owner or manager would probably have been willing to give you the schedule. However, at 17, they are so close to adulthood that we really do lose a lot of the parental rights (of the few we do have to begin with) that we had. I doubt there are many employers who would be willing to give out that information to anyone for any reason on a 17 YO. The risks of liability for breach of confidentiality probably are too high.

    However, when my daughter was younger, I insisted that she write her schedule on the calendar to help her remember her schedule (true). It was also a way for me to keep track of what time I should be expecting her home. I also expected a phone call when the schedule changed while she was at work. She was pretty good about following that rule, especially after the one time she didn't and I went to her store in my jammies to make sure my baby girl was okay. (I even pretended I didn't see her and went straight to the manager.)

    Now, she is pretty much free to do as she will but I do ask that she do me the courtesy of letting me know when she expects to get home just so I don't worry. She's pretty good about doing this. She wasn't a few years ago.

    If you really want him fired from the job, there is a way to do it. Call every time he works on a school night and kvetch to the manager. Call when you know the owner will be in the store constantly to complain about his schedule and how it is affecting his grades. Drop by not to buy something but to loudly proclaim to his manager that he needs to get off early tonight to do his homework. Not a pretty thing to do, but it should work. If you cause enough disruption, they'll get the message. Of course, your son will be furious at your actions, so it is up to you which is more important -- school, coming home when's supposed to do or having him learn responsibility and have a feeling of independence. The trick is to teach that with that independence comes responsibilities not just on the job but in all aspects of his life (home, school, friends). He needs to learn how to balance that. It is not an easy task for any of us on either side of the coin.
  7. I have no intentions of "getting him fired". Since I view working as a privilege, I wanted to be able to impress upon him that it is a privilege that I can take away. Him knowing he does or does not have the upper hand can make a world of difference is my thinking.

    He'll be 17 on Valentines Day so I have a whole year to go.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    You don't have the right to that information. I would schedule a talk with the scheduling manager and tell them what is going on with the deception. Not in a way that says "you have to correct this", but in a way that says "I feel that you should know that my child is using you to deceive me." They will probably give your difficult child a stern talking to. They won't like having liars or troublemakers working for them.

    I would be careful not to get difficult child fired. You don't want him home without a job, and you don't want him angry at you for doing that.
  9. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Odd...I have never had an employer give me any grief about getting my adult kids schedules. Heck I even called the Marines and asked if my son was getting his holiday break before Xmas or over NYs and they gave me that information. No biggie. I have run in to several places to get schedules so I could set up my doctor appts around the kids schedules and no one has ever said a word to me.

    I would say it must just be different states...but then I was also dealing with the govt who knows.
  10. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If her son said "Don't give my mom my schedule", they can't.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I do think a big part of it may have been because it was in front of difficult child. But the precedent has been set now, with this employer.

    I'm glad he still comes to you to talk - that's a HUGE bonus. Can you move him into the "house rules" courtesy thing, where EVERYBODY tells people (at least the cook) who is going where, and when? There are so many reasons to do this that go far and above "checking up" on people.

    For example, I go out to the shop. "I'm going to the shop - does anybody want anything? Is there anything we need that hasn't been put on the shopping list yet?"
    I might add, "I'm dropping in on my friend's place on the way home, if you're looking for me."
    The kids then roll their eyes and say, "See you next year," but they know they can call me at her place if they need me for something.

    I just asked easy child 2/difficult child 2 what her shifts were this week. "I want to know if you finish early on Thursday, I might need a lift home from the hospital."
    She told me her shifts which included info that she is home all day Thursday, so I asked her if she would come and get me if I needed her to, and if she will keep an eye on difficult child 3 for me.

    mother in law tells us when she's going out, so we know when to expect her home in case she isn't home and we're worried abut her (she's getting old and frail).

    husband rings me from work just as he's leaving, so I know roughly when he should be home. Or he might say, "Don't forget I'm seeing the doctor tonight," so I won't worry.

    I need to know if my kids will be coming home or staying overnight with friends, so I know to leave the light on for them if they're coming home, or lock the door and stop wasting electricity, if they're sleeping over.

    I need to know who is going to be home for meals, so I can cater well ahead.

    These days with mobile phones, it's easier to make contact with your kids and say, "Are you OK? Only I just heard there was a big accident on the freeway and I was worried you might have been in that area." So kids are less inclined to give us specifics about where they're going, and when. But when they'll be back - it's still needed.
    And with the "where, and who with" - it's still important for us, because I might have some errand they can run in that general direction. "Oh, you're seeing John? Can you please return this book I borrowed from his mother?"
    Or I might add, "If you and John are going to the mall, I'm going there later myself. Do you want a lift home? I could drop John home too, on the way."

    It's all part of family interconnecting. Even if privately that is not your aim, it can at least be a public reason.