From designer clothes and shoes, to computers, video games and interactive virtual systems, items marketed to kids are more expensive than ever. If your child is asking for things you have no intention of buying, perhaps it's time to help him find legal employment suitable for his age and skill level.
There are several types of jobs available for kids too young to apply for traditional employment. Kids should think about what they like to and what they're good at, and then use word of mouth, fliers, phone calls and social networking to alert potential customers of their services. For example, kids who enjoy working with other kids can babysit or be paid playmates of little ones. Kids who enjoy working outdoors can perform lawn care or shovel snow. Other jobs include cleaning people's houses, and walking and grooming pets.
Underage working kids will likely be paid in cash, and should try their best to be responsible with their money. Parents should help them create a weekly budget (which might include business expenses) and then save the rest. If kids have their eye on something really expensive, like designer shoes or computer equipment, their wisely handled money will help them meet their fiscal goals. Kids should also consider having their parents help them open a checking account. Not only will their money earn interest, but kids can feel responsible and mature. Check the tax law in your state; depending on how much a child earned, he might have to pay taxes at the end of the fiscal year. His parents may also have to claim his earnings and pay taxes based on them, since the child is a minor.
Underage kids might enjoy working, but should remember that school and enjoying their childhood should be their first priority. Work should only be done after studies are completed, and high grades and test scores are maintained. If kids feel tired or overwhelmed, they should consider reducing their hours, cutting out some of their customer base, or asking for help from friends or family members. Kids should remember they will have plenty of years to work as adults; there is no hurry. Check the child labor laws in your state to make sure you aren't over-extending yourself.
Underage working kids should remember to always put their best foot forward and take every job seriously. It will help prepare them for real jobs once they are of legal working age. The job experience they are acquiring now will likely go on their first job application, and they might to use their customers as future employment references. Kids should make sure they establish a positive professional reputation. The person interviewing them for their first job might personally know one of the kids' customers. Remember, word gets around, and you never get a second chance to make a first impression.