Jobs Your Tween Will Love

Many tweens are ready for that first job, here are a few ideas

Tweens can develop a work ethic and strong self esteem by working.
Allow your child to discover interests, and the thrill of earning his or her own spending money. Sadeugra/E+/Getty Images

Tweens typically aren't old enough to apply for a job, but that doesn't mean they can't work. Your tween is old enough to begin developing a work ethic, and to learn new skills. Also, it's important for children to know that they can chip in and help and that their contributions are needed and appreciated. Allowing your tween to work, whether it's for money or as a volunteer, is a great way to help your child learn responsibility, develop a healthy sense of self or self esteem, and continue to mature both emotionally and socially.

Your child may have already asked you about the possibility of earning money by working around the house. Or, he or she may be interested in working outside of your home. If your child has approached you about the possibility of finding a job, refrain from discouraging him or her. Rather, use this opportunity to help your child find a way to embrace work and brainstorm ideas.  

Many parents assume there are no jobs available to their tweens, but that's not the case.  Tweens who are looking for jobs shouldn't worry -- they are everywhere, you just have to look around and be persistent. Your family, friends and neighbors might be able to find a job or two for your preteen, to help him develop skills and learn the importance and satisfaction of earning his own money. To encourage your child's entrepreneurial dream, consider the following tween business ideas. Most tweens are more than capable of tackling these projects, learning important life lessons along the way.

  • Mother's Helper, Babysitter
  • Pet and Plant Sitter
  • Gift Wrapper at Holiday Time
  • Gardener for Vacationing Neighbors
  • Dog Walker
  • Tutor for Younger Children
  • Birthday Party Assistant
  • Housecleaner
  • Outdoor Painter (curb addresses, fences, outdoor furniture, dog houses)
  • Refrigerator Cleaner
  • Dog Washer
  • Bike Repairer

In addition to the above suggestions, remember that your tween can learn important skills by completing everyday chores around the house, too.

It may not be glamorous, but it's a great way to start learning independence, discipline, and responsibility. Just be sure your tween is prepared before tackling a job for the first time. Tutor him and show him how to properly execute his new job, and then be sure you're available to answer any questions he or she might have along the way. 

Also, be sure to consider to the idea of volunteering. Your tween may not be as interested in earning money as he or she is in developing skills and making a contribution. Volunteering will help your child develop skills, feel appreciated, and even network. Look into volunteer opportunities at your church, your neighborhood, or through civic organizations. These groups may enlist your child to help them with babysitting, events, or even with routine work such as cleaning, cooking, or visiting. 

Of course, while you want to support your child's developing work ethic and entrepreneurial skills, you also have to make sure that any commitments your child makes are realistic. During the summer months your tween may have loads of time on his or her hands, but the school year is another matter. School work must come first, and that means you'll need to pay attention to your child's commitments and activities, and how they impact his or her calendar and overall health.

If volunteering or working a job interfere with homework, sleep, or other important activities, you may need to step in and help your tween learn how to manage time, commitments, and prioritize. 


Note: While your child may benefit from earning a little spending money, you still need to make sure that your tween's activities are safe and legal. Before your tween commits to a job be sure you understand the legalities involved. Research your state's laws regarding taxes, child labor, and safety issues. 

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