As a mom of 5 kids, I realized a long time ago I needed help around the house and help with the little ones. Fortunately, I had my mother-in-law to help me with babysitting for a little while until she had health issues. Now my sister-in-law will jump in from time to time to help with the kids when our oldest son isn’t available to babysit. It’s such a blessing to have her help!
When my oldest son turned 13, I realized I could hire him to help me with projects around the house like trimming the hedge. While I could trim the hedge myself, I also had to keep an eye on my little ones and work in small chunks of time. My son was responsible enough to do the hedge trimming with supervision, and leave me free to other jobs that could be done with little ones around.
As I’ve grown my blog over the past few years, I’ve come to rely on my oldest son as a VA, virtual assistant. I pay him $10 per hour to do very simple tasks which allows me to spend time on writing content and working on images. Hopefully, he can continue to do these tasks for me while going to college next year. It’s easy money for him, and he doesn’t have to spend time commuting to a job. He will already be commuting to college since he’s a day student.
When I First Hired My Son
I hired this young man, who just turned 13 last week, to help me with garden maintenance and projects and house projects this summer. He’s my oldest son. He was looking for ways to earn extra money, and I needed another pair of hands for gardening and household projects.
I’m paying him a princely sum of $5 per hour, but so far, I feel like we’re both benefiting. Matt does get a bi-weekly allowance for chores around the house, but he wanted to earn money for his electronic games and equipment. He has shown himself to be wise about buying such items by sticking to used games and equipment as much as possible and trading in items he’s finished with.
Watch for Signs of Maturity
A year ago, Matt wasn’t ready for the responsibility, and I don’t want to paint him in glowing terms now. He’s a typical thirteen year old boy with all the quirks and foibles, but I see the adult emerging from the cocoon of the kid. Now more than ever, he needs the parent coaching to become the adult he’s potentially able to be.
Having my teenager work alongside me also gives me more opportunities for conversations that I don’t always get in the busy daily round of taking care of five children. Like many teenagers, Matt needs to have his hands busy before he’s ready to open up about more sensitive subjects.
Approach Extended Family Members for Job Opportunities
His new-found maturity has opened up other doors. My mom and my sister have also hired Matt to help them with yard work. My sister, who is single with no children, spent a day with Matt last week. She was impressed by Matt’s jumping in and doing whatever he was asked, and she was able to begin shaping their relationship at a new level.
Look for Volunteer Opportunities to Build Job Experiences
Next year, since Matt will be old enough to volunteer, we’ll add volunteering to his summer activities. He’ll probably volunteer at our local library. He knows some of the librarians, is extremely comfortable with using a library, and reads a lot. Volunteering at the library would be a good fit for Matt’s abilities and interests yet put him just enough out of his comfort zone to help him grow.