With that said, parents need to encourage kids to pursue their interests as well as a paycheck, Steinberg says. Don't pull them out of activities they enjoy so they can work; as long as they have structure in their day and are exploring their interests, that should be enough.
"Parents shouldn't come in and say, 'Sorry, you're going to be working instead of exploring this hobby or interest that you have,'" he says. "Let them pursue the activities they most enjoy, but let them know at some point it's not all sparkles and rainbows."
In other words, let your kids have a childhood, but remember that part of childhood is learning how to grow up into a responsible adult, he says.
When deciding whether to encourage your child to work, remember that kids today generally have more schoolwork than those of previous generations and are often more stressed, Ross says.
"I believe that if you have a child who is enrolled in a competitive school, who is overscheduled during the year with team sports, dance, gymnastics and the like, then it's probably better in the long run to give your child the summer off for fun and relaxation," she says. "If, on the other hand, you have a kid who is not in a competitive school environment and does not seem overly stressed during the school year, then they will clearly benefit from being in a work environment during the summer."
For teenagers, there is a lot to be said for having a week or two to spend decompressing and relaxing after the school year ends, but there is very little that's useful about having 12 to 13 unstructured weeks, Gilboa says.
"It's totally reasonable to say to a child who has finished half of high school, 'You need to earn a little money this summer,' 'You need to contribute to your cellphone bill.'"
Consider what they're learning
For teenagers, it's great to get advice from an adult other than their parents, Gilboa says.
"You can't get fired from home if you don't do your chores well, but you can get fired if you don't do your job," she says.
As much as a parent can underline the need for punctuality and responsibility, the advice is sometimes has more impact coming from someone else, such as a boss or supervisor.
"The high school schedule model is not a great life lesson in that it's not sustainable in most careers work hard for a few months, then do nothing for a few months. Kids need structured activity year-round," she says.
Whatever you want your child to do this summer, the important thing is that you set expectations. Let your child know that if they want you to stop treating them like a kid, having a job or taking on some additional responsibilities around the house is a great way for them to prove to you that they are an adult.
"It's great for kids to see what it's like to have to go somewhere every morning and earn a paycheck," says Barbara Greenberg, parenting expert and author of Teenage as a Second Language.
"It may be the first time they get a real sense of money. They see that a lot of work goes into that $100 top at Abercrombie," she says.
If your teen really enjoys working or at least the paycheck that comes with it make sure you lay ground rules early for when school starts back.
"There's nothing wrong with working full time in the summer, but if teenagers work more than 20 hours per week during the school year, it can negatively affect their schoolwork," Greenberg says.
If once you discuss the summer with your child you find they really don't want to work in a traditional job, take a look at what they're going to be doing with their time, Steinberg suggests. It may be worth more than you think.
"Would it be better for your kid to work at a cash register or sit around teaching themselves computer programming? Many parents miss how much learning can be accessed online that may be far more valuable than the $7 an hour they may get paid."
By Kathryn Tuggle