By Kimberly Blaker
An important aspect of helping kids develop into responsible adults is teaching them the value and rewards of hard work and earning their own money. Through this they gain self-esteem, come to understand the real value of a dollar, and become more thoughtful in the way they spend money. Check out this list for a broad range of ways they can cash-in this summer.
The grass is always greener – What better way to soak up the sun, get fit, and make spare cash all at once, than mowing lawns? Create some fliers, and be sure to mention that you live in the neighborhood.
Young entrepreneur – Make the most of neighbors’ garage sales by setting up a refreshment stand in your own front yard.
Kiddie care – Are you old enough to stay home alone? If so, you may be ready to care for other children. Spread the word through family, friends, and neighbors.
A little dirt never hurt – Garage cleaning is a big chore, especially for the elderly. So, offer your services to relatives and neighbors.
Fence finishing – Wood fencing requires ongoing maintenance, so offer to assist your neighbors in sprucing up their yard by painting or staining their fences. The homeowner should supply the paint or stain and the necessary tools. Be sure to follow directions, and take your time to do a careful job.
Window washing – Offering your services for this dreaded task is sure to be a success. If you get the job, make sure your parents know the homeowner and approve of you going inside. Clean the interior of all windows, including doors, and don’t forget to open the windows and clean the ledges and tracks. Offer to do exterior windows that you’re tall enough to reach without a ladder.
Life’s a zoo –Pet owners who don’t like to kennel are often in a dilemma at vacation time. Do the sitting in your home, garage, or fenced yard, if your parents agree. Otherwise, make regular visits to the pet’s home.
Weeds away – Are weeds taking over your neighbors’ flowerbeds? Then offer to get them back into shape. Before you get started, find out which are plants, or flowers that have not yet bloomed. When in doubt, ask before you pull them out.
Dollars for duds– Have you hit another growth spurt? Ask your parents if you can consign your clothing and split the profits. Look for consignment shops in the yellow pages under “resale,” “clothing – used,” or “consignment.”
Errands for the elderly – Are there handicapped, disabled, or elderly persons in your neighborhood? If so, they’re apt to need some help. Offer to run errands within walking or biking distance. If you have your driver’s license, offer to do more distant-runs.
Who’s walking whom? – If you’re looking for a new summer pal, why not make it man’s best friend? Pass out fliers to offer your pet walking services.
Old McDonald had a farm … You don’t have to be raised on a farm to make a good farmhand, although it’s certainly a bonus. Visit area farms, and offer your help. Work may include laboring in fields to feeding and caring for livestock.
At your service – Offer home cleaning services to your neighbors, and plan to do the following tasks, unless other arrangements are made. Dust furniture and window ledges; vacuum carpet and stairs; sweep and mop tile, linoleum, and wooden floors; scour sinks, bathtubs, and toilets; shake out rugs; vacuum upholstered furniture; and make beds.
Daycare duty – Do you love little kids? I mean lots of little kids? Then contact daycare centers and home daycare providers, and find out if they’re in need of a young assistant.
Nurturer of nature – If you’re a nature lover, don’t forget about your local parks. Possible positions may include assisting with planned activities and events, maintaining park grounds, and tending ticket booths.
Tips for Business Success
Get your parents’ permission before accepting a job, and make sure they know where you’ll be.
Dress for the type of job, and wear old clothes if they could be ruined.
Discuss payment in advance to avoid disputes or hard feelings.
Do your best. Not only will you earn respect and feel good about yourself, it will likely affect whether you are hired again and can use that person as a reference.
If you make a mistake, don’t ignore it or try to cover it up. Inform your employer, offer your apologies, and ask what can be done. Your honesty will likely make your employer overlook the error.
Be on time. Call right away, if you’ll be late or can’t make it.
Kimberly Blaker, of Arizona, is an author and freelance writer. Her articles have appeared in more than 200 newspapers, parenting and women’s magazines, and other publications throughout the U.S.