Tonight after I got my daughter home from her scout meeting I had to make a run to the local grocery store. It was later than I prefer to go however it was quiet and less crowded than it normally is so that wasn’t too bad. As I was checking out of the self check-out, the cashier in that area was closing the stations and stopped to speak to the two women in front of me. I didn’t hear much, however as I was finishing up, the cashier said to me, “Oh I was telling her she doesn’t need a job. She’s 15 and wants a job. I told her she doesn’t need one and should be a kid for as long as she could.” If I had heard her say that to the young woman though, I would have stepped up and offered my advice. Jobs for kids is a good thing.
While there were not many jobs for kids, from a very young age I had one. In fact, I was the youngest paper carrier to ever deliver the Daily Tribune, my community newspaper. My route was three blocks long and my parents had to take responsibility for the route until I could prove to the newspaper that I was responsible enough. So every day for four years, I delivered those papers. Paper route money was OK, but the Christmas bonuses were what I really looked forward to.
With the paper route I was able to buy an airplane ticket to go and visit my great aunt and uncle in Biloxi Mississippi. I also remember going to the Naked Furniture store and buying the TV stand I had been wanting. I don’t know if my parents would have bought these things for me, but I do remember being very proud to have the money to buy these things.
After the newspaper route I became a cashier at the Sears Candy Counter. I was only 14 then but allowed to work at the counter. Once I turned 15, and jobs for kids become easier to find, I worked at several retail stores in the mall, was a babysitter and as I became a teen, I was a bus person at a high-end eatery in our town. Having these jobs allowed me to pay for many fun and frivolous things, but they also helped me buy a car at age 16 and pay for the first two years of my college.
My children have both heard these stories. Both have been in awe, and have asked for many years when they could “get a job”. Sadly, newspaper routes are no longer something kids can do. My son however found his first job mowing lawns and shoveling snow for several neighbors. When he turned 11, he started as a soccer referee.
My daughter has followed a similar path, only she put a bit more energy into it by starting to sell her own dog treats. She wanted to offer dog walking, however she is small and I worried about her size. The neighbor across the street has paid her to let their dog out most afternoons last summer, so that started the business idea.
Why Kids and Jobs Are A Good Thing
So why do I think kids having jobs is a good thing? For one thing it helps to teach them the value of money, it helps them save and it teaches responsibility. There are things to consider though when deciding if your child should have a job. Parents should first consider a child’s age, what types of jobs are available in your location and your child’s temperament. Your family lifestyle should also be taken into account.
So what kind of jobs are available to younger children? I am a big proponent of supervision, so having a job near home is important to me. Dog walking or pet sitting, watering a neighbors garden or flowers while they are on vacation is good as well as having a good old fashioned lemonade stand. My kids have loved participating in Lemonade Day on several occasions. As mentioned above, mowing the lawn, snow removal and raking leaves are all good options too. As kids age, babysitting or tutoring younger children can earn them a lot of money.
Choosing a Job
Whatever job they chose though, sometimes it just takes a kid to think out of the box. I have appreciated my daughters entrepreneur spirit and have another friend whose daughter has built a successful jewelry making business. Whatever your child is inclined to do, there is likely a need for it. Do they enjoy putting things together? Perhaps they could offer their services as someone who can assemble small furniture. I know many families who would love to have someone come in and put together their Ikea furniture!
So to that mother and daughter I offer this. Yes it is good to be a kid, but a small part time job can be a wonderful thing too. Think about what your child likes to do, skills they could improve or ways that they could help others. Chances are in doing this, your child can find a job they would love to do. They would earn some money, learn responsibility and possibly find a passion in life.
Would you like some ideas for jobs for kids? Below are several links for you to consider.
- A guide for 12 year old kids: How to find, get, and keep a job
- Best jobs for kids under age 13
- After school jobs that are good for kids
- Jobs for kids
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