School’s out, and long summer days are ahead. While older teens often work seasonal jobs this time of year, now may be a good time for your 14- or 15-year-old to consider doing odd jobs for family friends and neighbors.
Parenting expert Tim Elmore says gaining work experience is a good way to help your young teen mature. “There’s something about showing up on time, laboring with one’s mind and hands and serving people in the process that does something to mature a human being,” he says.
Elmore recommends helping your teen brainstorm odd jobs that relate to their interests, talents and even their dream job for the future.
“There’s something about showing up on time, laboring with one’s mind and hands and serving people in the process that does something to mature a human being.” – Tim Elmore, parenting expert
Need inspiration? Here are four odd jobs for enterprising teens to consider this summer.
Many families prefer younger teens as baby sitters because they typically have fewer social commitments than older teens.
Carl Nielson, a professional career coach, says a baby-sitting job requires appropriate work conduct — “such as not talking on their cell phone or texting or inviting a friend over to the client’s home” — which can help teach personal accountability.
Before a baby-sitting gig, encourage your teen to take the four-hour online Red Cross babysitting course to learn the basics of caring for children and earn a certification.
Yard work, cleaning and other domestic tasks are popular ways for teens to earn some summer cash. (Remember, though, that federal law prohibits children under 16 from operating tools like lawn mowers and weed eaters.)
Elmore says teens can learn about the satisfaction of accomplishment by doing manual labor tasks. And, “because of this … teens become more self-reliant and better problem solvers,” he says.
Know of any families going on vacation without their four-legged friends? Have your teen offer to take care of their dog or cat while they’re away. Many teens also combine pet-sitting duties with house-sitting tasks, such as watering plants and picking up mail, to earn even more.
Elmore says jobs such as pet-sitting can help uncover a teen’s individual passions, as well as their strengths and weaknesses.
If your teen excels at school, tutoring elementary-age kids may be a good option.
Nielson says tutoring can be a great resume-builder for teens. He says teens who tutor learn how to take responsibility for an expected outcome, such as their student improving grades or test scores.
A little work experience for your 14- or 15-yeard old this summer might help him pass the time, earn a little spending money and learn valuable work skills for the future.