Q: Should a 20-year-old living at home with her parents and going to college be required to have a job, too? I provide very little spending money (usually for chores) and encourage work experience, even though volunteer work, but I’m not sure how hard to push the job issue.
A: Your question reveals that you’re a caring mother who wants to guide her child in the right direction. That love alone will open up your daughter’s receptiveness to her own progressive steps.
Every child is different, so I don’t have a one size fits all answer. Perhaps some questions need reflective prayer, followed by earnest listening for God’s guidance before you make any decisions.
Hold your daughter’s character and personality in thought and then as you pray think about the answers to these questions: Will her school work suffer if she gets a job? Will she grow spiritually or be morally depleted? Will working give her a better sense of responsibility or will she become overburdened? Is there a position or a volunteer opportunity that supports the subjects she is taking or her major in college?
A relative of mine had several children and the older they were, the less household demands were made on them. This seemed contrary to what should happen, according to the younger children. They felt more responsibility should be placed on their older siblings because they were more capable. But the parents thought that education and learning were the most important area in which children should focus. Since the eldest child was very serious about his studies, the outcome of this parenting style served their son well and he is now a practicing attorney.
Certain types of work may make your daughter feel successful, while other jobs may drain the energy away from her coming home and studying. You and God know your daughter’s needs and what creates pressure and stress for her rather than triumph. If she does have the time to work or volunteer, pray together that she will be led to a place where she is blessed and blesses others too. Jobs that make us feel more exhilarated and purposeful usually don’t feel like work. If she likes the idea of volunteering but needs income, there are paid internships. Many nonprofits offer this and train a person for a position they hope to pursue.
Trust in God’s perfect direction.
Here are a few verses to add to your prayers.
My child, don’t forget what I teach you. Always remember what I tell you to do. My teaching will give you a long and prosperous life. Never let go of loyalty and faithfulness. Tie them around your neck; write them on your heart. If you do this, both God and people will be pleased with you. Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Never rely on what you think you know. Remember the Lord in everything you do, and he will show you the right way.
– Proverbs 3: 1-6. Good News Translation
Do not let anyone look down on you because you are young, but be an example for the believers in your speech, your conduct, your love, faith, and purity.
– 1 Timothy 4:12. Good News Translation
The Lord your God will lead you.
– Deut. 1:30. Good News Translation