She’s too young to get a real job, and you can’t afford to send her to camp for twelve weeks. Here are some things your “tween-ager” can do:

1. Perhaps your child can be a “mother’s helper.” Usually, this job involves playing with a younger child while the mother is in the house. It may be a great way to make sure your young teen is supervised—and give a mother a much-needed break.

2. Many community agencies desperately need volunteers. Retirement centers are usually happy to have volunteers to talk with residents and help with daily routines. You may be able to arrange a volunteer placement. It’s good work experience . . . and it’s nice to write about when college applications are due.

3. Check with your local recreation department. Many offer special summer programs for young teens. If several kids go as a group, they will be sure to have friends to socialize with.

4. Your young teen might start her own business. One enterprising young boy offered to mow neighbors’ lawns . . . and ended up with a business that earned his entire college tuition before he completed high school. Two girls offered neighborhood children a series of week-long art camps. They made money while sharing a talent they loved.

5. Contact your school district. Many offer special summer programs in art, music and drama. Or, your teen may sign up to take a course (like computer science or a beginning foreign language) that she can’t fit into her schedule during the regular school year.

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