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Encouraging Heroes. You can be one too.

Teenagers are often eager to earn their own spending money once they reach a certain age.

They want to buy clothes, music, food and other items without going through mom and dad. When your teen approaches you about working part-time after school, this is an opportunity to help teach them about the responsibilities that come along with a job. Despite a highly competitive job market, there are several good employment options for teenagers.

Animal Caretaker

Teens that love animals are a good fit for pet care jobs. Local animal shelters depend on dedicated part-time staff to care for animals while assisting with adoptions. Shelter work involves cleaning cages and feeding the residents. Providing veterinarian assistance may also be required.

Becoming a pet sitter is another option. Pet sitters walk, feed and nurture pets for owners on an as needed basis. This requires the ability to drum up clients through advertising and promotion of the service.

Lawn Care and Landscaping

If your teen is handy with a lawn mower and other yard tools, providing lawn care services for homeowners in the surrounding neighborhood may be just the perfect job. Tasks such as mowing the lawn, raking leaves, clipping bushes and shoveling snow are physically demanding. Many people would prefer to pay a young person to do the work.

Your teen could print up flyers and distribute them to neighbors to inform them about the services. Teens get fresh air, exercise and gain valuable knowledge about caring for lawns.

Office or Home Cleaning

When offices close for the day a cleaning crew comes in and picks up debris, vacuums, empties wastebaskets and cleans bathrooms and windows. Your teen could look into working for a company that provides cleaning services for businesses. With school in most cases ending right before most offices shut down, a job like this works well with student schedules. In addition to offices, cleaning services also clean private homes. This involves general cleaning and straightening up the home. Entry level custodial jobs pay decent wages with room for growth.

Grocery or Retail Store Clerk

Grocery stores are always in need of employees that are willing to stock shelves, handle incoming shipments, do customer service, clean and perform cashiering duties. Teens gain good work habits and customer service skills.

You can encourage your teenager to seek out jobs that fit well with their personality and skills. Working a part-time job after school teaches teens about the importance of hard work, money management and performing job tasks in a timely and responsible manner.

Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want responsible teens.