work hours

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Wiped Out, Mar 8, 2015.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    So difficult child has been working at a restaurant since July. Recently he has begun to get a lot more hours. The kitchen manager really likes how he works because he is always ready to go above and beyond (yes, this is actually my son we are talking about here).

    I'm actually a bit concerned that he is working too many hours. He has been working about 20 hours a week and is still in high school. This week they have him scheduled for 29 hours! He is also working a lot of split shifts on the weekends (up to 6 hours and then goes back for another 2 1/2 hours). For him this is a lot; he gets exhausted, low energy, but also crankier (and unreasonable) than usual (on his own he is cranky enough).

    Of course, he likes the hours because he likes the money even though he readily admits it isn't good for him because he gets too tired and effects school.

    Thoughts? Doesn't 29 hours seem like a lot for someone in high school? I checked and there are no laws in our state that say he can't work that many hours which it also surprised me.
  2. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    It sounds like a lot to me, especially since it's interfering with school. Can he talk with his manager, or does he even want to?
  3. confuzzled

    confuzzled Member

    I worked a full 40 in HS (eons ago-I also walked to work, probably uphill both ways lol), but i'm not technically a difficult child, and I had the early school shift so I was out at 1:30, worked until 9 a few days a week and typically 8-12 hours on sat and sun. I don't recall having the crazy homework that kids have today--I think I managed to get most stuff done in study hall. I did however have a tough time getting up in the morning since school started pretty early--I was late to school a time or ten which could have been an issue, I had said study hall 1st period so it worked out.

    but I managed.

    I can absolutely say, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the second I wasn't able to manage my parents would have stepped right in and probably made me greatly reduce hours or quit completely. they would have had zero tolerance for crankiness or anything else that affected day to day life and the money would have been completely irrelevant in their mind.

    so basically, in my opinion, if you the parents feel this is a problem, it probably *IS*. (the split shift thing would annoy me the mom to no end!).

    I might talk to him and suggest that money isn't everything--it cant buy health, so he will need to learn the lesson of balance eventually anyway-no time like the present!

    but congrats to him--he sounds like a great kid who you should be enormously proud of ;-)
  4. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Mary-That's the problem; he doesn't want to talk to the manager. Still, I don't think it is good for him. The medications he are on required he gets a good night's sleep so I guess we'll have to see how things go. The good thing is he has Friday off of school this week because of a teacher professional development day.

    Confuzzled-Thanks, we are proud of him (especially considering where he was just a few years ago). I think the split shift is the biggest problem. Usually it has only been on Sundays and that has been bad enough but this coming weekend he is working a split both Saturday and Sunday and that is after he will have worked Wed, Thurs, and Friday night (plus he usually works Mon. nights as well. Balance is still a really hard thing for him to understand. With his cognitive disorder it is hard for him to process that and he has never been one to listen to reason.

    The good thing is that on M,W,T it's usually only about 2 or 2 1/2 hours.
  5. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    JMO here but... anything more than 20 hours, and you should be looking at impact on school and/or reducing school (i.e. I did 30+ hours per week and went to university... but not with a full load).
  6. runawaybunny

    runawaybunny Administrator Staff Member

    If you sense that too many hours may be a problem and he readily admits it isn't good for him because he gets too tired and work effects school then it is a problem.

    If I were you I'd be happy that he's being responsible and has a good work ethic. Maybe just encourage him to dial back the work hours to something more manageable to keep his education as the top priority.
  7. Kathy813

    Kathy813 Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would try to keep a high school student at no more than 20 hours. I have too many sleep deprived teenagers in my classes who tell me that they worked late the night before.

  8. Bunny

    Bunny Active Member

    To me, 29 hours sounds like a lot. I worked as a cashier in high school and I had some weeks where I worked a lot of hours like that, mostly for the same reason your son has been given more hours: I did my job well, and I rarely complained. Working all those hours was a real pain, though. I remember rushing to get homework done before I had to leave for work, and I was never able to go out with friends on a Friday night because I was at work.

    Does he not want to talk to the manager because he's afraid to, or if he concerned that if he does say something they will cut his hours way down to below where they were before?
  9. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thanks Ladies! We are going to see if it continues after this week. We think he can handle 20 but that 29 will be too much. One good thing is that he doesn't have any homework. He doesn't have any due to his disabilities. The big thing is the tiredness and a lack of him and sleep do not work well.

    I think if they continue with these high hours we will have to say something. He wants the money because he is saving up for a tattoo.

    I also think he is afraid to talk to the manager (he will need us to help because part of his disability is he can't remember what to say). Of course, we will funny talking to the manager but on the other hand, with his disabilities we need to help him out at times.
  10. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sharon, school comes first! Your difficult child is a smart young man, he knows this is too much and, like you said, speaking to his manager is a little daunting for our difficult child's. I think I would ask him whether he would like you to help him on the phone or in person. Let him be the judge of which he feels more comfortable with.

    I tell you, I am such a proud board auntie -- what a long way he has come!!

  11. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Wiped Out, that does sound like a lot with school, hopefully he realizes this soon and lets his boss know. Good luck and hugs!
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    We must really have been in tuned because today we received an email from his case manager at school saying difficult child has been falling asleep in the nurses office every day for over an hour. At least this will help when talking to the manager.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    School has to come first. Tell the mgr he can work more hours in summer, but cap the hours during school to under 15 or 20. If he is sleeping in school at 20 hrs, I would suggest only 15 for a while.

    One thing that will help is protein. Even if you must get the protein bars like zone or balance bars, make sure he is eating plenty of protein. Stress that on split shifts he MUST eat a meal with protein or at least a protein bar. It can really help with the grumpies and crankiness, along with helping with being tired. Make sure he has protein before school also - you might be surprised at the difference. It sure makes a huge difference with both of my boys. Not so much with J, but WOW with the boys!
  14. Confused

    Confused Active Member

    Hows it going with his job and school? Less hours at work yet?
  15. Farmingmom

    Farmingmom New Member

    How wonderful that he's doing so well in a work setting!

    Boundaries - that's something all of my G F Gs struggle with, especially Kid3. Sounds like this is the perfect time to help yours understand boundaries and how to set some for himself before something becomes a problem. Although I'm sure, if yours is anything like mine, that's a tough abstract lesson to learn. (Heck, I still struggle with setting healthy boundaries for my own life balance.)

    Kid3 also has trouble talking to anyone about things like this. He'll use me as a crutch to deal with things at the college if I let him. (He can't remember what he should say either.) We started writing down what he needs to say when he first started classes - sometimes even helping him type up a letter to whoever he needs to talk to about whatever. When he can't remember, he has cards to work from or if he gets really flustered, he can hand them the letter. Luckily, most of his professors and the admin staff at the college have come to know him and his 'quirks.' Some of the ladies in the office know him for his cards and letters and think he's such a sweet kid who's just really shy.

    We've even "rehearsed" conversations he needs to have - like when he has to talk to someone in financial aid. Or when he has to give a speech or presentation. I've found it helps him remember what to say when his articulation problems become an issue.

    Interestingly, setting up the cards, typing up the letters, and our mock rehearsals over the last couple of years have really helped him to not need those things as much lately. Most of the time nowadays, we do the cards or a letter and he winds up not needing either. But knowing he has them gives him the security he needs. He's even told me once or twice that we didn't need to do cards, he can remember what to say.

    Whatever works!

    Keeping good thoughts that you can help him find the right balance between work and school. It's so hard when they're doing good in one area, but suffering in another.
  16. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    SusieStar-We try to get him to eat protein and he will a little but only the processed stuff. We'll keep trying!

    Confused-Still a lot of hours this week-24.9. We still need to talk to the manager. We were waiting to see if the 29 was a one time thing.

    Farmingmom-We've definitely done the rehearsals-he still can't remember. We can try the written note, however, his reading skills are very low but maybe with practice and the note he could do it! Our other problem is he doesn't care about the hours because he is obsessed with saving money for a tattoo. He doesn't see school as the priority we see it as! Yikes-with two teachers as parents we would have thought he would understand!
  17. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Healthier, less processed proteins are better, but processed protein will do the trick. I always have a few boxes of protein bars (NOT every meal bar has a decent amount of protein!) on hand. I do not keep them in the kitchen because husband and the kids would eat them in an afternoon. thank you has a few of them and some jerky in his bedroom to take in his backpack or pocket as needed. I send bars with any of us going out of town (husband teaches 90 min away 3 days a week and will NOT eat if I don't send something AND nag him) or at other times they seem needed. The only brands that I buy with-o looking at the label to see how much protein they have are Zone and Balance bars. Those keep to a 30-30-40 ratio mostly (protein-fat-carb). Big Lots usually has the best deal on them - I refuse to pay $1 or more a bar! Aldi's does have some good protein bars too, at good prices.

    They make a real difference in how my family feels AND how they behave.

    Protein powder or shakes are also a good option. Powers can be added to LOTS of things and often we like it better with protein powder than without.