Tired of hearing "I'm bored"? Maybe your tween is ready for an after-school job.

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Parenting-wise, the tween years -- ages 9 to 12, give or take -- are not the easiest to navigate. Are they little kids, or are they teenagers? Are they too young for independence, or ready for responsibility? And just how long can you stomach the phrase, "I'm bored"?

The fact is, some structured responsibility for a preteen is a good thing, and an after-school job, paying or not, can have all sorts of positive effects on someone who's somewhere between sitting in your lap and borrowing your car. After all, tweens are on the verge of navigating life with a certain degree of independence, and how much can they learn from texting between the hours of 3 and 6?

Here, some after-school jobs that preteens may be ready, able and willing to take on, both paying and nonpaying. We'll begin with the ones that involve cash-earning potential, so your tween can see a movie every weekend with his or her friends without raiding your wallet.