A 9-year-old is probably too young to safely use a lawnmower, but he can definitely learn his way around a rake. Cleaning up grass clippings and leaves is a good task for 9-year-olds. Kids can learn how to use a garden hose to clean a deck or to water flowers, too.
But gauge your child's dexterity. It might be safer for everyone involved if he sticks with the hose for a little while before you entrust him with a pronged rake.
A 9-year-old is too young to babysit, but she can act as a parent's helper, minding a younger child while Mom balances the budget or Dad does the laundry nearby. This way of introducing babysitting to your child can make her feel more confident when she's old enough to care for other children unsupervised.
Just be sure that the parent your child is keeping an eye on is on site at all times if you let her branch out and offer her services to neighbors and other families. Make sure you know the adult fairly well and that she's not inclined to run outside for a cigarette break or to do a quick errand, leaving your child alone with a baby or toddler long before she's ready for such a responsibility.
03Household Chores and That Allowance
It might seem antiquated, but ask your parent or grandparent about life as a child. Odds are that she had a list of chores that she had to complete each week in exchange for her allowance. "Mom, can I have $10 to go bowling with my scout group?" wasn't an issue. She'd either saved the money from her allowance or she hadn't.
Yes, life was tougher back then and we don't necessarily want to make our kids live that way, but it had its merits. Consider a whiteboard in a prominent place where you can list age-appropriate chores that your child can tackle along with a compensating dollar amount—her allowance for that particular task. Break her allowance down into manageable, bite-sized pieces.
You can tweak the tasks to skills that match her age. Maybe she can't unload the dishwasher without climbing up on a chair to put the dishes in an upper cupboard, and you don't want that. But she can stack them up on a counter for you so that you can put them in place when you have a moment. And there you have it. She's earned $2. This can also teach her the art of saving if you make it clear that most "extras" have to come out of her chore stash.
Not every 9-year-old is suited for dog-walking, but you might start by observing how your child handles the responsibility if you have a family pet.
This job would require some degree of adult supervision, but it could be a good way for him to learn how and why schedules are important. The dog doesn't care if you don't feel like walking him—when it's time to go, it's time to go.
But get to know the animal in question before you let your child take on this type of job with another family. Pets can be quirky. A large Dalmatian that takes off like a bullet whenever a car backfires can drag your child for miles and cause injury.
And if you're a cat person? A 9-year-old can safely handle that litter box with a little instruction.
House-sitting is typically more suitable for slightly older children if they're going to do the jobs solo. A 9-year-old will likely need some help. You might suggest that she acts as an assistant when you or an older sibling stop by a neighbor's house to collect the mail or water the plants while the neighbor is out of town.
Give the child a specific task at each visit. This will help give her a feeling of ownership over the job and a sense of responsibility.
06The Family Business
Not everyone has this opportunity, but a family business offers a solid setting for your 9-year-old to learn about responsibility and wage-earning. He can help with small tasks like filing things alphabetically, stamping letters, or putting away supplies.
But don't take your child to your workplace if you're not going to be able to personally supervise him. It's not a great idea to treat the family business as a babysitting service and expect your employees to chip in with oversight and monitoring your child's activities.
Although it's not a traditional "helper" job, a lemonade stand can be a fun business adventure for kids. This is obviously a seasonal activity depending on where you live, but making the lemonade, setting up the table, and making signs are all definitely tasks that a 9-year-old can handle.
Your child will learn about customer service and how to count change, both skills that will serve her well in any job she might have in the future. An adult should be nearby to supervise, and your child's lemonade stand should be on a quiet street within view of your house. Set a time limit for "hours of operation" so your 9-year-old doesn't get tired or discouraged if sales aren't going well.
Check into any licensing issues you may face before your child sets up a full-scale lemonade stand. Some municipalities come down hard on unlicensed businesses, even when they're staffed and run by children.
Age-Appropriate Jobs for 9-Year-Olds
Kids can master a variety of jobs with some supervision
They're not quite tweens yet, but as most will be glad to tell you, they're not babies, either. Most 9-year-olds fall somewhere between "little kid" and "big kid" on the status scale. They love doing small jobs and tasks to show that they're old enough to handle responsibility, but they're not quite ready to be left unsupervised yet because—let's face it—kids will be kids.
Plenty of age-appropriate tasks and helper jobs can give 9-year-olds that "big kid" feeling they crave if they want to earn some money. Here are some jobs that can help teach 9-year-olds responsibility—and, in some cases, even a skill.