As children grow, they become more independent and capable of assuming responsibility, including simple jobs that they can safely perform at home or in the neighborhood. Accomplishing simple jobs for neighbors or family members boosts self-esteem and may bring satisfaction from being helpful. This work also motivates kids when they can earn money to save up for special purchases. Furthermore, chores provide children with work experience and allow them to assume responsibility and ownership for a task. Parents and mentors in the neighborhood can take time to train and coach children on job specifics.
Above all, simple jobs for kids should be realistic in scope depending on a child`s capability, age and maturity. For example, an older child would be more capable of heavier and challenging work such as snow shoveling. All jobs should also be safe, performed after clear instructions are given and, if necessary, completed with adult supervision. A younger child or one who is new to a particular task may start out small and build up to more complex tasks as the child proves he can accomplish the chore independently. Children of any age feel proud to receive some payment for their work, or may perform jobs as part of their weekly chores for their family or as community service.
Chores done at home are most easily supervised and remain on family property in case any mistakes are made. At home may be a sensible place to start before kids are permitted to do jobs for neighbors and outside the home. Simple jobs at home may include sweeping floors, dusting, washing windows, folding laundry, putting away groceries, emptying trash cans and taking out trash, setting the table, walking the dog, pulling weeds, raking the yard, answering the phone and brushing the dog.
As kids gain experience and complete jobs at home satisfactorily, they are ready to expand their work to the neighborhood and look for jobs around the block. First customers could be neighbors and acquaintances who could use an extra hand, taking out trash on pickup day, doing simple yard work, gathering small litter scraps on the ground in the neighborhood, walking dogs, bringing in mail, helping around the house and bagging recycling items.
Finally, older kids and those with more responsibility may perform more complex jobs that require more physical work or assist elderly neighbors. For example, kids could mow lawns, shovel snow, paint, prune yards, run errands to the store, lift or carry heavy boxes or other items, make phone calls, babysit, do laundry, clean houses, assist at dinner parties, cook, write letters and keep elderly people company. Also, children independently launch their own businesses, selling lemonade or snacks or making items to sell at school.
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