There are many reasons to why kids should have the freedom to work and earn money for themselves. The most basic concept, is that if parents just buy their kids everything they want all the time, they will never develop an appreciation between money, time, and things.
Some parents have strict thoughts around children working, and I know that we live in a time where parents want to shelter their kids from discomfort (such as working) and while I know that desire is coming from a well-intentioned place, you’re doing your kids a huge disservice if you do this.
Working gives children time management skills that will benefit them in their school and every aspect of their life. It is a way for kids to learn to be proud of their independent accomplishments.
Working does not have to be labour intensive, which is where the worries come from - and 9/10 times your child is coming up with the idea and just needs a little guidance on the what, how, where, when's to ensure they are earning their independence in the safest manner.
1. Lemonade Stand
The classic Lemonade Stand. An easy job that every kid has to experience... squeezing half a dozen lemons, adding sugar, and sitting out waving at everyone that drives or walks by. I know I can never drive-by a lemonade stand put on by kids, the nostalgia of being behind the stand is the second best part to the fresh, cold, tangy lemonade.
1. Location, location, location - your driveway might be perfect, or the nearest corner could maximize your traffic.
2. Water, lemons, syrup/ sugar is all you need to make authentic lemonade - but never be scared about adding your own twist by adding watermelons, strawberries, or even selling baked goods.
3. Get the word out, find local Facebook groups for kids activities and advertise! Tell family and friends and encourage them to tell others.
4. Price it right, lemonade used to go for 25 cents, but today - thirsty visitors would pay 50 cents - $1 for a glass of your finest.
5. Set a goal! See how much you can sell before noon, or pack it up and celebrate after your first 25 sells.
- Make sure you have lots of ice to keep your lemonade fresh, and are close to home incase you need more ingredients
2. Pet & House Sitting
House & Pet sitting can be very valuable for your children. Tasks include stopping by a neighbour or friends house a couple times a day to walk their pet, water plants, and bring inside mail. This job is to be taken seriously as a child as they are taking care of important living things.
1. Reach out to trusted, well-known adults who are planning to be out of the house for a weekend, or even a night.
2. Go with your child the first couple of times, or at least wait outside so they can do their duties alone inside.
- Try not to remind them too much, let them keep track and remember their responsibilities. They will feel more empowered if they think it's their own "thing".
3. Yard Work
Doing lawn work for family, friends, or neighbours can be a good way to get outside and earn cash at the same time.
1. Depending on the age of your child, their tasks will differ. Usually 10-12 year olds feel comfortable with lawn mowers and trimmers, but the little ones can be useful and learn lots too! Bring the water can / hose out and let them run free.
2. Planting, trimming, and removing are all useful skills to know and will make the yard look the best.
3. Again, make sure you are sending them to a trusted, well - known house and feel free to go inside and visit with the adults while your child is at work!
- Bring gloves incase the house doesn't supply any, insect bites, and thorn scratches are very common
4. Washing Cars
This was my personal favourite job as a child. It was like a splash park and the most amount of cash, all at once.
1. Get the word out! Tell your friends, family, and coworkers to stop by your house this sunny sunday for a clean car at an affordable rate.
2. Make colourful signs and place them around the neighbourhood, or even go door- to - door advertising the service.
3. All you need is a bucket, hose, soap, and a sponge.
- Make sure you are wearing a bathing suit underneath as you are assured to get wet!
- To double your profits, set up your lemonade stand for customers to enjoy while their car is getting washed!
5. Garage Sale
This one isn't necessarily a job, but it will teach kids the importance of selling and second-hand shopping all while pretending to play "store owner".
1. Obviously this will have to be a family organized event, but go through your child's belongings with them, and try to get them to let things they don't use, go.
2. Make colourful signs, post them around town, and advertise through word-of-mouth, and Facebook!
- Let your child operate the cash box, and even bargain with somewhat-known customers!
These are just a few suggestions to get the ideas rolling, but ideas are only limited to your child's imagination. Remember to help your child with their money, introduce piggy banks, and maybe even their own bank account depending on their age. Try not to take over the process, as much as you want to help them out, the only way they will learn these valuable skills is alone, and sometimes with a couple errors. Be safe and have fun!
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