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 | By Cynthia Kaan

It’s summertime - Do I volunteer or get a job?

Sometimes, parents and teens disagree about how to spend the lazy summer months. Kids may see that time as an opportunity to explore an interest area, while parents understandably might be looking for their child to start bringing in some cash. What to do?

Following are some thoughts to consider as you discuss this together.

Experience matters. If the volunteer position is in an area of interest for a future career, this type of experience would be invaluable.

Faith formation matters. If the position is one that will expose you to other Catholics who are living their faith in the “real world,” this will help create a heart for Jesus in all things.

Financial responsibility matters. Is it possible to volunteer as well as have a part-time job? It may be a sizable sacrifice of time between the two, but it would certainly be a memorable summer!

Family responsibility matters. What about helping out in ways that are not financial? Extra chores? No new clothes or nights out? You might have to make some sacrifices.

Parents, you’ve clearly done an amazing job of modeling volunteer work. And kids, kudos to you for wanting to spend your summer volunteering rather than hanging out at the beach or the mall.