While 11-year-old children may be too young to hold down a steady after-school job, that doesn't mean that they can't make a little money in their spare time. Help your child develop a strong work ethic and learn the value of money by encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit. With a little creativity, you can come up with an alternative to the traditional lemonade stand.
Work at Home
One of the first jobs that most kids take on is helping out at home. Give your child a list of things that should be done each week. This may include tasks like vacuuming, washing windows, helping with dinner or watching younger siblings. Decide on a fair amount of pay based on the type of work performed and age of your child. Avoid paying them for those duties that are expected of a child their age, such as keeping the bedroom clean or folding laundry. As your child gets older and wants more spending money, increase the allowance each week as well as the amount of work expected.
Work for the Neighbors
If you have older neighbors who live alone or have a hard time getting around, your 11-year-old could offer to clean their house or rake leaves. Neighbors heading off on vacation may be interested in hiring your child to water plants or walk a dog while they are away. Keep your ears open for such opportunities and encourage your child to do a good job for repeat business.
Job opportunities are limited only by your 11-year-old's creativity and interests. Parents should determine what their children enjoy and do well. If they tinker with bikes, they could buy old or broken bikes, fix them up and resell them. If they enjoy pets, they could start a pet walking service. Other options include: washing cars, teaching a skill like swimming, wrapping gifts, shoveling snow, making birthday or get well cards, delivering papers, cleaning houses or tutoring younger children. Encourage your 11-year-old to be creative in how to earn money.
Use your best judgment when it comes to jobs that you allow your 11-year-old to seek out or accept. Eleven may be too young for big responsibilities like watching young children without an adult around or operating a lawn mower. Encourage your child to find work, but make sure he doesn't take on more than he can handle.