Whilst the summer holidays are my favourite time in the whole year (well they give Christmas a good run for it's money anyway) they're also not exactly kind to the purse strings, it's no great secret that the beginning of September is one of my quietest times in business and it's because all parents everywhere have ran out of money! This leads me to believe we need to find some much cheaper activities for our beloved tweens and teens to engage in so that we aren't all as broken as chocolate teapots when the month of September arrives. Now I have a theory that the best thing we can do for our older kids this summer is to teach them entrepreneurial skills. We could use those 6 weeks of summer to teach them new skills they're not likely to learn in school, and skills which are way more usable in real life than trigonometry!
This Summer why not help your kids set up their own business over summer? Encourage the entrepreneur in them, the chances are that if you are an entrepreneur then your kids will have picked up some skills, I know that Looby is the queen of doing chores for extra cash and she's going to undertake the laundry role over the summer, she'll be paid £20 a week for doing laundry and then putting it away and whilst I could just give her that money as pocket money I like to think it teaches her skills she'll be able to use in the future.
My cleaner charges me £36 per week (and she does a fabulous job) but if you have more than one teen and you could negotiate a £20 a week fee for cleaning, you've guaranteed yourself less bored teens, a cheaper rate of cleaning and happier teenagers who have money in their pocket. You'll also have a sparkly spangly house, and if you are a hard working parent it's going to make your life so much easier. For teenagers I find that money is a great motivator, you just have to negotiate a price you're both happy with, when the kids are younger you can pay them 50p a task and sometimes they'll do it but it's only because they don't really understand the concept of cash yet, embrace that stage whilst you can.
I think it goes further than just doing chores though, If you are running a business you can get your older kids to help with that, they could address letters or build a database of information, if you are a blogger, why not get the older kids to guest blog, I've just been chatting with Iain today about him guest blogging for me about gaming and tech, subjects he has a completely different viewpoint to me on. I see this as a way of increasing my readership, gaining new readers from a different demographic and also opening my blog up to a whole new sector, obviously I already employ Iain but it's something you can do with your kids.
If you give your kids goals this summer you might just find at the end of it that they'll thank you for teaching them new skills, maybe they want a new PS4 or Xbox game, show them how if they do tasks they'll achieve that goal and they'll love the game even more because they've worked for it, something I've noticed with Abigail and Looby is that they are keen and thrifty shoppers and they can get a whole lot of stuff for around £10 so I love to set them a charity shop challenge, they get half a day in Morpeth (or somewhere similar) and they get to go root around the charity shops and get amazing stuff for their budget and I'm usually either with them or I can be having coffee and catching up on work with Holly Bobbins at my side. It's a great skill because it teaches them about the value of money.
A couple of years ago when Looby was a little bit younger I helped Looby set up a lemonade stall, I bought her the ingredients and then we worked out how much she would have to sell the lemonade for to make a keen profit, she sold it to friends and made a little money but not a lot because what we found out is that to make great lemonade using good ingredients (lemon, honey, water, recycled paper cups) it's not the cheapest thing ever but that's good too because you need to know that not every business idea you have is going to turn out to be the most rewarding financially but maybe that's the thing you love so much that you do it anyway.
This summer don't just let the bored teenagers stay in bed all day watching endless youtube videos and then complain until midnight that they're bored or they need you to do things for them, teach them the skills that they'll be able to use for the rest of their lives and hopefully you'll not only survive summer but you won't be so broke going into September because you'll have a spangly house, you'll have been able to regain more working time and therefore have earned a little extra cash than you would have (fingers crossed)!