Good Summer Jobs for 13-Year-Olds
If you have a pre-teen or teenager at home during the summer, you know how taxing it can be to deal with an adolescent without any structure. A lot of teens have summer camps sprinkled throughout the months, but what about when they are home?
Without a plan, your son or daughter may resort to hours of video games, texting, television, or other activities that do nothing to promote responsibility. Even though the age for an "official" job is usually around 14 or 15, there are a lot of odds and ends jobs that you and your teen can arrange.
What are the benefits of a summer job?
- Your child learns the value of hard work
- He or she can earn money
- By earning money, they can begin to understand the value of a dollar
- Connecting with their community
- Structuring the day so they don't get into trouble
- Develop life skills that will help with future job opportunities
Jobs right at home
Sometimes, transportation is an issue and kids can't get to another location because a parent is working. If this is the case, there are plenty of around the house jobs a teenager can get paid to do.
- Mow the lawn
- Plant, weed, and maintain garden beds
- Repaint a room in the house
- Research, learn, and train the family dog (perhaps to enter an agility course in a couple of months)
- Refinish some old furniture
- Clean out an attic or basement and plan a garage sale
Jobs in the neighborhood
If you live in a neighborhood with lots of houses nearby, your teen has a lot of opportunities to earn some money. Here are some ideas.
- Start a dog walking business
- Offer to watch pets (cats, birds, hamsters, etc. when the neighbors go away)
- Planting or weeding garden beds
- Mow lawns
- Wash windows
- Take a babysitting course so she or he can watch young children
- Mother's helper
- Housecleaning assistant
- Cooking meals for elderly folks
- Assisting with grocery shopping or other chores (again for someone who is older or frail)
Jobs in the community
Even if the job doesn't pay a lot (in some cases, it might even just be volunteer work), working in the community is a great opportunity for your child to learn about how the world works. In school, kids are always with the same age range, but in a job, your teen will be forced to interact with young and old folks.
Businesses run by family and friends might be more apt to hire your teen for odds and ends jobs, rather than an established company.
- Work at a landscaping or flower shop, helping with chores
- Work at a local stable or farm, taking care of the animals
- Volunteer at an animal shelter (walking dogs and/or cleaning cages)
- Help at Church with Sunday school, the nursery, or cleaning the building
- Working at a local day camp as an assistant counselor
- Offering tutoring to younger students in math, reading, or writing
Special skills and talents
If your teen knows how to play an instrument, sing, paint, or do other crafty things, he or she may be able to make a little money by offering services to local places like a nursing home or church. Help him or her develop a business plan, a price sheet, and a letter to send out to the community.
- Performing at Church, nursing homes, or camps
- Entering artwork or other crafts at expos or Church craft fairs
- Selling jewelry or offering a workshop for younger kids at a community center
- Teaching instrument lessons to younger children (at a reduced rate)
- Helping a local dance studio or gymnastics center as an assistant coach
- Start a local band and ask about performing at local coffee shops
With the age of the Internet, many young teens can get started using their skills to work on a blog, Kickstarter project, or eBay/etsy shop. Can your teenager write? Does he or she know a lot about smartphones? Encourage your child to think outside the box.
- Teach a workshop about navigating the latest iPad or iPhone
- Start a blog and help him or her monetize it with a site like Google Adsense
- Set up an Etsy shop to sell cool t-shirts or jewelry
- Start recording YouTube tutorials that have the potential to go viral
- Use kickstarter to campaign a community project, new invention, or other idea
These opportunities are not as reliable as a source of income, but still offer great experience in developing a business plan, working with other people, and advertising.
How old were you when you got your first job?
No matter what your teen decides to pursue, it is important to help them learn the art of job seeking. Even if he or she is applying to work at a farm, have them dress appropriately and bring a resume. It doesn't have to be anything fancy, but presenting a skill set in the form of writing is a great way to impress a potential employer.
Ask a friend or relative to write a letter of recommendation to have on hand. Compile a list of skills, talents, and interests, including any previous experience in the area they are interested in.
Remind yourself and your child, if all else fails- a lemonade stand can be quite lucrative!