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teens workingHave your teenagers been whining that they want this for Christmas or that for Hanukkah? 'Tis the season ... to get your teen their first job!

Yes, the dreaded J-O-B. Dreaded more for parents, I'm finding. Most kids actually can't wait to get out there and work, because they're sick of depending on Mom and Dad to cough up the cash for their newest gizmo or gadget. But there's something about sitting your baby down to fill out their working papers that makes you realize they are growing up before your very eyes.

You want to protect your little darling, but you also want them to get off their duff and actually do a little something to get that fancy schmancy game console. So what's your best bet? Maybe this list of perfect "first jobs" will help.

Babysitter -- A job as old as time, watching other people's kids has gotten an upgrade over the centuries. These days teens make a pretty decent wage. I'd suggest signing them up for a babysitting course first -- they'll learn, among other things, life-saving CPR to keep those kids safe.

Tutoring -- If your smarty pants is a bit of a know-it-all already, put them to work. You can check with their school to see if there's a tutoring program already in place, or just start getting their name out via the old-fashioned mom network.

Cashier -- No better place to brush up on their math skills -- and their people skills -- than in front of a cash register. Bonus: this is a job where you can check up on them rather easily.

Dog walker -- Live in an area with a lot of busy or older folks who don't have a lot of time to lavish on their pets? Get your teen some exercise and help them learn responsibility by talking dogs for a stroll every day.

Yard worker -- No job is too small for a teen with a strong back and a good work ethic. Bonus: your neighborhood will start looking a lot nicer (property value spike?).

Waitstaff -- There's nothing more humbling for a cocky teenager than having to fetch drinks and run their butt of at other people's beck and call. They'll make good money, learn a lot of responsibility, and maybe gain a wee bit more appreciation for the people who have been serving up their meals every day for more than a decade.

Computer expert -- They may not be up for a career in IT, but chances are your teenager knows a LOT more about how to set up a new iPad or navigate Facebook than your elderly neighbors. Farm them out to help with simple tasks, and while they're making money, they're also learning the value of spending time with our geriatric community. 

Are your teens working yet? What are they doing to make money?

 

Image via CEBImagery.com/Flickr