A Mom Explains Why She Refuses To Let Her 15-Year-Old Get A Job — 'Watch Your Friends With Jobs & See What Happens To Their Lives'

Being an adult may seem cool in your teens, but reliving your childhood is something you'll never be able to do again.

Esther Boyd talking about 15-year-old son getting a job @saltyfilmm / TikTok

A mother on TikTok, named Esther Boyd, recently went viral after posting a video where she explained how she decided to raise her 15-year-old son, Noah.

As Boyd and her family live in Australia, her son has been asking her if he could get a job. Noah argues that all of his friends have started to get jobs, so he would like to have one as well, but Boyd is reluctant to allow him to start working so early.


The mom wants her son to live out his childhood before getting a job.

“He’s at that age where everyone’s getting jobs, and I was like, ‘I don’t want you to get a job,’” she explained in her TikTok, posted on August 15, 2023. The natural teenage argument was that, because all of his friends were getting jobs, he wanted to get a job.

Teenagers feel drawn to doing what their peers are doing to fit in and feel like they belong, but Boyd tried to explain to him how it might look "cooler" on the outside than on the inside.



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“I was like, ‘watch your friends’ lives. Watch, and see what happens,’” she said before talking to her viewers next. “I’m like, bro, you do that your entire [expletive] life, why start now?” She’s referring to the fact that he’s going to have to work for the rest of his life — and it’s not exactly all sunshine and rainbows.

Most people work until they're old enough to retire or can retire with enough money to last the rest of their lives. In the United States, retirement looks a little different, so we’re looking at around 61-62 years of age, according to Gallup.

This process can start earlier or later for others. For example, I’ve been working since I was 20, but some people may not start working until they graduate college at around 22, before that at 18, or even far after all of these ages if they plan on pursuing a higher education career.

At 15 years old, Noah still has several years ahead of him where he doesn’t need to worry about having a job. “If you wanna get work experience,” Boyd said, adding that he could find a way to shadow someone so he can find something that he really wants to do without actually working. “I can fund your existence,” she told him.


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Boyd thinks it’s ‘insane’ to tell teenagers to enter the workforce for experience.

“I just think it’s insane to tell a small child who’s 14 that they should go out in the world and get a job for experience as if they’re not going to experience that their whole [expletive] life, are you [expletive] kidding me?” she asked.

According to the employment laws in Australia, teenagers as young as 13 are allowed to enter the workforce — with restrictions on what they're allowed to do, of course. In the United States, there’s a similar set of restrictions, but the youngest working age is 14.



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At that age, teenagers are still developing in both body and mind. They’re finding their place in the world, figuring themselves out, and living their lives as teenagers. These are some of their most formative years, and Boyd doesn’t want any of them being spent behind a cash register or any other type of "starter" job.

As someone who was a teenager once, I remember believing that adult life would be a lot more fun since I would no longer have to worry about school, but adults often find themselves reminiscing about their past as children as well.

A study that was commissioned by Tropicana, reported by The Independent, found that more than a quarter (26%) of adults wish they hadn’t taken childhood for granted when they were young, with an overwhelming theme being that they’re no longer having as much fun.


Boyd doesn’t want her boy to lose out on those experiences of having fun and thinks he’s far too young to start his adulthood. If Noah still feels this way at 18, she may not be able to stop him, but he’ll have to see how his friends are doing after three years of working in their teens.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is an Assistant Editor for YourTango who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics.