The MyPocketSkill team are often asked what kind of tasks are suitable for today’s teenagers. We passionately believe that today’s teens are immensely skilled and resourceful and can offer a wealth of talents to the local communities and business. There is a raft of things that teenagers can do (watch this space for a truly exhaustive list!). Here are just a few of the top ones:
Babysitting. A responsible teenager can be the perfect solution for parents who need a bit of me-time. Look for someone who has some experience of younger children, perhaps who’s already done some babysitting or has younger siblings. It is important to remember that whilst there are no legal age restrictions on babysitting, for a babysitter, who is under 16, the parent remains legally responsible for ensuring that their child comes to no harm.
Dog walking. For busy dog-owners it is a time-consuming business to do walkies as regularly as your pooch would like. A teenager can provide just the help that pet owners need. Having lots of energy is obviously a bonus if you have the kind of canine that likes to run for miles in search of that elusive rabbit.
Academic help. Perfect for families who have one or more younger children. Maybe a child who is struggling with their maths or has SATs tests looming? Having an able teenager – for instance, one who has nailed some top-notch results in their GSCEs - is often a great way of providing some extra support and encouragement.
Musical instruments. Parents are often lost when it comes to helping their young ones learn a musical instrument. But particularly when they are starting out, having a more experienced teenager can be both a huge help and an inspiration too. Choose someone who has plenty of Grades under their belt or is used to playing and performing to others.
Tech-Savvy Teens. Make way for the new resident expert! In an ever iterating, digital and mobile world, we are increasingly needing all sorts of tech help. Perhaps you need help setting up a simple website, sorting out your twitter feeds or transferring your contacts onto a new mobile phone? In which case, a digitally native teenager is surely a good bet.
Declutter your life. Ebaying your old and unwanted things after Christmas is a fantastic idea, but is often let down by the time-consuming nature of the task. Step forward capable (may be even a fashion savvy) teenager. Just task them to photograph and list your unwanted items and sit back as the bids start coming in.
Sports coaching. Maybe you have a tweenie who has taken up tennis, netball or football? This is the perfect situation to bring-in a sporty teen to help out. You will be looking for someone who is going to provide skills and inspiration to help build confidence and ability. Chances are they will also know the best teams to join.
Fixing-up your garden. Have storms left your garden looking like a wreck? No problem. Engage a capable teenager to clear up the mess. Raking leaves, painting fences, mowing lawns, all tasks that a teen can manage. Now is a great time of the year to start thinking about that garden makeover. You could even enlist the help of a more creatively-minded teenager for garden design help too.
Pet sitting. For those of us who have cute things with paws or claws it can be an expensive or stressful business to put them up at kennels/catteries/guinea-pig-hotel whilst you’re on holiday. A teenager can provide just the help that pet owners need. Also, if they’re thinking of getting a pet of their own, it’s great practice too.
Wanting your motor to look like new? Car cleaning is a task which is either time-consuming or, with commercial car-wash companies, increasingly pricey. A teen equipped with sponge and hoover is a great way of bringing your prized vehicle up to peak condition. Work out a regular arrangement, say once a month, and never have to worry about it again.
This is the traditional 'teenagers job' list. Of course, there is a much longer list of areas where teenagers can help. How about some really 'out of the box’ ideas? Perhaps a fashion design student can make that special dress for your daughter, whatever the event is, or a teenage photography enthusiast taking family photos? You are screening a documentary and need one more in your crew? You are running a theatre group and need someone to ‘do the sound’? Marketing leaflets design? There is an abundance of skills that teens have and would love to use to earn some £££. You would be doing good for your community and probably paying a bit less - everything from drama and singing coaching, public speaking, fashion design & textiles, app design and coding… the list is endless!
Some general advice.
For a parent thinking about engaging a teen to do a task for them, we have a few general words of advice. Firstly, always try to do face to face (or at least Skype), with the teenager and a parent, just to see whether you will hit it off well. Ask for references for things like babysitting and tutoring – to begin with this might just mean talking to a family friend or tutor. Finally, do also rely on your intuition and if you have any doubts, find someone else.