Q&A: How Can I Improve My Teen's Work Ethic?

Teen parenting expert Rosalind Wiseman on how to help your child get a grip on her job responsibilities, plus how to manage your relationship with her boss.

Q. I got my 17-year-old daughter a job at my friend's store. She often goes in late, fakes sick days, and has a bad attitude. How do I get her to shape up?

A. Sit down with your daughter, tell her you love her, then explain precisely what she did that was irresponsible. Let her know that in addition to returning to work with a better attitude, she has to apologize to your friend, being very specific about what she did that was unacceptable. She can't just mumble "I'm sorry" and run out the door. Phone your friend, tell her your daughter is coming by to apologize, and ask her to call you after your daughter leaves so you know she went through with it. When your daughter gets home, spend a moment alone with her and tell her how proud you are.

Originally published in the November 2006 issue of Family Circle magazine.