The holiday season is a wonderful time for families to slow down and spend time together. But the weeks off from school is also a great time for your preteen to learn a little responsibility
. Be sure you put your child to work over the holidays, and suggest that he or she earn a little spending money by offering to help neighbors, relatives or friends with their winter or holiday chores. Below are a few ways your child can pitch in at your home, or earn a little cash elsewhere over the winter break.
Winter Break Jobs for Kids
Cleaning Homes: It's hard to keep your home clean over the holidays, especially if you work or have a particularly demanding schedule. If you have young children in your home, it's even harder. But your preteen can help keep certain rooms clean and tidy. Assign your child the responsibility of keeping your living room or family room clean, in case guests or relatives show up. Your tween can also earn a little money by helping neighbors tidy their homes for the holidays or for out of town guests.
Walking Pets: The holiday season can be so busy that sometimes pets are lost in all the commotion. You can assign your tween the job of walking dogs or feeding the cats over winter break. Or, have your child let neighbors know that he can take care of their pets if they go out of town over the holidays.
Wrapping Presents: If you have a lot of presents to wrap this year, enlist your tween's help. Make wrapping presents fun by playing music, offering cookies and cocoa and buying fun, festive wrapping paper and gift bags. Let your child figure out a way to personalize each gift, with a drawing or a poem. If your tween wants to earn a little money, he can operate a present wrapping business for others.
Cleaning Out the Fridge: If you're going to prepare and enjoy a big family meal, you'll need to find space in your refrigerator for all the ingredients, and later, the leftovers. Give your tween a sponge and a little direction and allow him or her to go through the fridge, throwing out expired foods, cleaning, and making way for all those yummy holiday dishes.
Decorating the Christmas Tree: Decorating the tree can be a lot of work, but your preteen is up to it. Just help get the tree in place, and make sure it's stable. Then provide your child with all of your lights, tinsel and family decorations. Busy or elderly neighbors might consider hiring your tween to decorate their homes, or their tree, for a nominal fee.
Taking Down the Tree: Removing tree decorations and storing the tree, or loading it into the car for removal, is another time consuming chore that many busy parents don't really have time to complete. If your child is able, give him or her the job. Cleaning up pine needles that stay behind is a part of the chore, as is moving furniture back into place. Again, this is a chore your tween might take off a neighbor's to do list.
Putting Up and Taking Down Holiday Lights: Decorating the outside of your home is another chore you tween can either tackle or help with. Before beginning, make sure you're in agreement on where the lights will go, and double check your supply of outdoor extension cords. Also, be aware of where the outdoor outlets are located, and make sure any lights you hang outdoors are indoor/outdoor safe.