Pros and Cons of Your Kid's Summer Job

by Robyn Welling
Originally Published: 
Pros and Cons of Your Kid's Summer Job

As the school year draws to a close and parents start to think of the summer months ahead — oh, the long, long summer months ahead, peppered with kids’ complaints of boredom and their incessant begging for cash — you might consider helping your child look for a seasonal job. After all, a little part time work would keep them occupied and provide them with some spending cash! I mean, some spending cash they didn’t sneak out of your purse while you weren’t looking.

But which summer job is right for them (and, more importantly, right for YOU)? Here are some pros and cons of a few popular choices to help you decide:

Mowing Lawns

PRO: Good exercise. CON: They suddenly want to get paid to mow your lawn.


PRO: Teaches responsibility. CON: They’re mostly just expected to play and eat snacks, leading them to believe that taking care of kids is fun.


PRO: Promotes leadership skills. CON: They won’t let you slather them head to toe in zinc oxide.

Dog Walking

PRO: They’ll learn to nurture and care for animals. CON: Fielding calls from neighbors about all the dog crap in their yards.

Lemonade Stand

PRO: Helps develop basic money handling skills. CON: No one in the course of human history has ever made more than $1.75 running a lemonade stand.

Ice Cream Shop

PRO: They’ll stay nice and cool standing in what’s essentially a giant freezer all day. CON: You’ll be reduced to begging for leftovers after their shift.

Camp Counselor

PRO: They’ll get lots of fresh air in the great outdoors. CON: Get ready for everything in your house to smell like a combination of DEET and pond water.

Paper Route

PRO: Prevents them from sleeping in until noon. CON: Who, exactly, do you think is going to be waking them up at 4 a.m.? YOU ARE, that’s who.

Washing Cars

PRO: Potential to earn great tips. CON: Although they’re filthy with car gunk, they’ll insist they don’t need a shower because they spent all day up to their elbows in suds.

Golf Caddy

PRO: They might discover a love of golf that eventually leads to a college scholarship and lucrative career in the PGA. CON: They’ll probably just discover a love of swanky country clubs you can’t afford to join.

Congressional Messenger/Page

PRO: They’ll get to see United States politics up close! CON: They’ll get to see United States politics up close.

Stock Clerk

PRO: Reinforces the value of organization and order. CON: These new skills are unlikely to translate into a cleaner bedroom.

Amusement Park Ride Operator

PRO: Can add Entertainment Engineer to resume. CON: Widely considered to be a gateway job to later employment as Carny Who Runs the Tilt-A-Whirl.

Grocery Store Bagger

PRO: If you forget to pick up milk, you can ask them to bring some home after work. CON: They will almost definitely also forget to pick up milk.

Movie Usher

PRO: They’ll get to see all the blockbuster summer releases for free. CON: They’ll reveal all the blockbuster spoilers before you get to finally see the movies on Netflix next year.

Little League Concession Stand

PRO: All the hot dogs they can eat! CON: Pretty much everything else.

Related post: 6 Fantasy Summer Camps Every Mom Needs

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