Child labor laws prevent anyone under the age of 16 from getting a regular job. While the law is designed to protect children, it also makes it hard for young teenagers to earn money. Although a 13-year-old cannot apply for a job at McDonald’s, there are still ways for a kid this age to make money. If you have a teenager under the age of 16 who would like a summer job, be supportive but realistic. Let your teen know there are ways for him or her to earn money as long as he or she is not too picky about the work that is offered.
Pet Care Services
One way a teen or tween can earn money is by offering her services in the care and maintenance of pets, particularly dogs. There are several ways to offer help to a dog owner such as:
- Dog walker
- Pooper scooper
- Dog sitting
A dog walker might be a good opportunity if you live in an apartment complex that allows dogs. Since people who live in apartments do not have backyards to let their dogs run around in, the dogs must be walked several times a day for potty breaks. Help your child make up a flyer that she can take door to door to offer her dog walking service. Put mom’s or dad’s cell phone number on the flyer so a parent is involved with the negotiations for the job. This will help put the dog owner more at ease and is also a safety precaution for the kid.
If you live in a neighborhood with a lot of dogs, your child could also go door to door offering to do occasional backyard clean-ups, in other words, scooping poop. This is not a job that most adults relished doing and would gladly pay a kid a few bucks to clean up the yard.
Another service your child can offer is dog sitting. Some dogs have real behavioral issues when their owners are gone all day working. This can also pose a problem for indoor dogs, (especially in apartments) because no one is around to take them out for bathroom breaks. Your child could offer to keep the dog company and make sure the dog gets sufficient potty breaks. Your child may want to offer all three services on the same flyer to increase his chance for work.
Another great idea for young teens looking to earn money this summer is yard work. There are several options for this type of work as well, including:
- Mowing lawns
- Watering flowers and shrubs
- Pulling weeds
- Picking up garbage
- Clearing out old brush or other plant debris
Have your child make up a flyer that highlights services such as these and don’t forget to mention the child is flexible for any other yard related work that might need done, such as painting a fence or moving rocks.
Your kid may also be able to earn a little extra pocket money by recycling items such as:
- Aluminum cans
- Glass bottles
Contact your local recycling center to find out what items they will accept and how much they will pay. Your child can then occasionally go door to door and ask neighbors if they have any of these items that they would like to donate to a recycling effort instead of just throwing them in the garbage. Some people may even be willing to save these items for up to a week if your child will come by regularly to collect.
Your child can also collect these items as he finds them on the streets, which will also make him part of the solution for a cleaner environment.
Finally, sit down with your young teen and brainstorm other ideas for making money. Your child might come up with some great ideas of her own.