Pulling a $20 out for your tween's weekend plans might hurt a bit more than usual these days, so it's as good a time as any for your little angel to learn the value of money, not to mention time management, reliability, self-reliance, work ethic and other invaluable life skills an adult needs to succeed.
A paying after-school job may seem far off when your child is just 10 or 11 years old, but labor laws don't prevent him or her from earning some cash by helping out around the neighborhood. There are a bunch of options, including:
- Babysitting (make sure your tween is ready for the responsibility!)
- Lawn care (mowing, raking, weeding)
- Pet care (washing, walking, litter-box cleaning)
- House cleaning (vacuuming, dusting, first-floor window washing)
- Car washing (right in the neighbor's driveway)
- Snow shoveling (seasonal labor, of course)
You can post flyers, talk with neighbors or do some direct marketing (a note in mailboxes, perhaps) to drum up some gigs. As much as possible, vet each employer and environment beforehand to make sure the job is up to your safety standards. Then sit back and watch your tween make some money while staying out of trouble and gaining the confidence that comes with a job (hopefully) well done.
Smart spending is an excellent lesson to learn early, but there are others. If money is not a primary issue, you might want to look into options that teach another highly valuable trait: service-mindedness.