Why You Should Give Your Kid a Job


give your kid a jobI worked from home this summer, so we decided to keep our first grader out of daycare to minimize her exposure to COVID-19. I panicked in early June, wondering what would fill her days. We signed her up for fun camps, bought a summer pool pass, and made her a list of required daily tasks.

My husband and I lamented to each other about our summers bored on our farms at home. That boredom stuck with us as it was comforting and renewed our spirits, even if we didn’t know it at that time. Read more about the delights of summer boredom.

Why Give Your Kid a Job

I spent some of my summers walking beans for my dad on our farm. I still speak about that experience in my professional career, as a parent, and as an educator. My memories of that experience gave me the idea to create a summer job for my daughter.

We agreed on a job description and her salary would be a budgeted yes day at the Mall of America to celebrate at the end of summer.

The job description included daily tasks like wiping down the table and watering the flowers. It also covered long-term projects like keeping her room clean and going through a big toy purge with me. She also needed to read and write every morning.

She blew us out of the water with all of the tasks! Having her along as a helper for projects also gave me added motivation.

I have told some other parents about the summer job and they suggested that next year I make her interview for the position. Because of this suggestion, I taught her what an interview was and she practiced on both parents.

Giving both of us this structure helps keep us on track, and as a bonus, it shows my child a peek into professional life.

Have you ever given your child a summer job?


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Niki grew up in Earlham, Iowa and now lives with her husband Ryan, daughter Riley, and son Merritt in Johnston. Riley has an observant stare that inspired the Facebook page Riley Is Not Impressed. Niki is an assistant director of public relations, social media at Drake University where she runs the university’s main social media accounts. She is also the director of the world-famous Beautiful Bulldog Contest. She has an Olde English Bulldog named Dexter, but he is ineligible to compete because she already knows he’s the most beautiful bulldog. She serves as President on the Board of Directors for Animal Lifeline of Iowa, which is a special needs, no-kill animal shelter. Niki is a two-time graduate of Drake University with a bachelor’s in journalism (2008) and a Master’s in Communication Leadership (2015).


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