I don’t think I am breaking any child labor laws by saying this, but I do believe that by the time a child is 13 they are totally capable of working a few hours here and there beyond the normal, everyday, house hold chore list. Yes, it’s important they have down time. Yes, it’s important they have social time. Yes, it’s important they have extracurricular activity time and homework time. Keeping all those accounted for and in balance, and trust me when I tell you my kids have PLENTY of that, I have decided that this year both my teenagers will be involved in the family business. It’s far from a huge, fully funded corporation, but it is our very own little business. They will utilize their natural abilities and talents to help me market and grow our income source, and they will be paid accordingly as any other employee would, well, if I had any, that is. I have allowed them free rein to work in the area they know best. One loves to write, he will blog on nutrition; the other loves shooting videos, he will create some satirical commercials for advertising. ( check out some of their work below!)
I do believe that most of us parents had jobs around this age. Babysitting for neighbors, busing tables at a local restaurant, running newspaper routes, cutting lawns or bagging groceries. I started a dog walking service in my neighborhood when I was in elementary school. Why, all of a sudden, are kids not working? Where is that other level of conditioning beyond their education? To me, learning responsibility and community involvement is just as important as an education. Finding a balance between work, play and school is the makings of a very well balanced individual. Many of us think that we are doing our children justice by having them only concentrate on their studies, but it’s not all about that. To me, it’s about creating an environment for the child that prepares them for success, and keeps them mentally balanced. Feeding independence and responsibility, learning the value of money and finances on a small level, and involving them in the community that exists around them, and outside their home, are all important concepts.
I am very grateful that I have a family business to offer to my children as their very fist work experience. They truly have surpassed my expectations and I was able to witness first hand their work ethics and what they each personally needed to work on. I have been able to teach them boss-employee etiquette in a comfortable and natural environment, as well as the pros and cons of entrepreneurial independence, if they desired to learn strengthen those skills. They have their own money to do as they please, with in guidelines of course.
Here are some sample work from my two favorite “employees”. It is truly amazing what kids are able to do especially when you add a little cash incentive!
Eli’s Yevo Commercials:
Angela is passionate about her family, community health, the global food crisis and empowering moms to succeed in both motherhood and business. Please feel free to read more on her involvement in the wellness industry , follow her daily blogs of life as a stay-and-work at home mom or join her Yevolutionary Team of independent distributors out to rock the world!