It's important for teens to have something constructive to do during the summer. A summer job is a good idea.
If your teen decides to get a summer job, help him or her see summer employment as a building block for their resume and not just busy work. In other words, teens should take summer employment seriously — because employers do.
It's best if your teen starts looking for a summer job long before summer begins — preferably by March for employment in June. But it's never too late to get out there and apply. Below are some other tips parents can use to help their teens find the “right fit” when it comes to summer employment.
1. Talk with your teen about their work interest. Ask whether they like working with people, working on computers, working outside versus inside, etc. The list goes on. Finding out what your teen is interested in doing will increase the likelihood he or she will stick with the job for the full summer and get something out of it.
2. Location, location, location. Consider employment that is nearby. This will reduce travel time and cost. It will also make it easy for your teen to walk to work when necessary. If there is no work nearby and family transportation is limited, scope out the bus and your route to work to provide drop off and pick up support.
3. Friends and family. If finding a job becomes difficult, don't forget to reach out to friends and family in the workforce. Often, who you know at a place of employment can work in your teen’s favor. Knowing where gainful employment is is half the job! Do not be afraid to ask. Remember, closed mouths aren’t fed.
4. Organizational work can tick all the boxes. Place a reputable organization at the top of your teen’s list of places to work. Working for an organization such as summer camps, recreational centers, intern work with a business, etc., may provide more safety, dependability, consistent pay and summer employment.
5. Remember, age is just a number. Just because your child is old enough to work, does not mean they are prepared for the responsibility. Not every 14- or 15-year-old is ready for employment. Developmentally and/or socially, they may need to mature and work on their social skill at home first before letting them lose on employers. A summer job can build a flattering or unflattering employment history. Be sure your teens is emotionally and socially ready for the workforce, otherwise it could be a very long summer.
6. Have the talk about money do's and don’ts. Whenever there is money involved, it's important to discuss the three big questions — saving, spending and giving. Talk with your teen about the percentage they will save and why. After the amount of saving is determined, then budget out monthly spending projections and giving (tithing, gifts, etc.). Keep in mind that a summer job is the foundation for future income habits.
7. Family chores are still required. Too often, teens who work feel doing any chores at home is off their list of things to do. Make it clear with your teen that taking on the responsibility of working does not mean they have no responsibilities at home. Teens who work will need to make their bed, take out trash, etc. Be sure to make this crystal clear with your teenager. It would not hurt to put it in writing as part of their agreement to get a summer job and post it on the fringe as a reminder. It's not always necessary, but it can be helpful.
Bridget Barnes has more than 30 years of experience as a Health and Human Services professional. Bridget joined Boys Town's Family Services Research and Development department to assist with creating what is now the evidence-based Common Sense Parenting program.
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“Tyrannosaurs: Meet the Family” is the newest exhibit at the Durham Museum, 801 St. 10th St. The exhibit opens Saturday and will run through Sept. 1. The exhibit will showcase the newly-revised tyrannosaur family tree and show how the group became the world’s top predators. The exhibit will feature more than 10 life-sized dinosaur specimens. More.
Grab the towels, sunscreen and inflatable toys because many pools, aquatic centers and splash pads are open for the season. Check out a list of area pools and splash pads here.
Come explore scientific concepts like trajectory projection, force and motion through the use of stomp rockets Thursday from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Sorensen Library, 4808 Cass St. The program is limited to teens in sixth through 12th grade. More.
The 45th annual Summer Arts Festival will take place in north downtown Omaha on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The festival will feature more than 130 visual artists and a stage of multicultural musical performances. On Saturday and Sunday, there will be a hands-on Children's Fair. There will also be food vendors. The Summer Arts Festival is a free event and will take place at a new location — alongside the baseball park on Mike Fahey Street between 10th and 14th Streets. More.
Come to the Florence Mill Farmers Market Sunday to shop local produce, do some crafts, bubbles and have some country school fun. The morning music will be performed by Dale Thornton and he invites kids up to sing karaoke. Afternoon music will be Ring of Flutes. This week’s Country School guest are some alpacas. Come feed and hear them hum. The fun goes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. More.
Come to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, 3701 S. 10th St., Saturday for World Oceans Day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Learn how your everyday actions impact inhabitants of the world’s oceans. More.
Bass Pro Shops and Cabela’s will host a special kids’ fishing event Saturday and Sunday. The event will include catch-and-release ponds, fishing seminars, giveaways and crafts. Bass Pro Shops is located at 2901 Bass Pro Drive in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and Cabela’s is at 12703 Westport Parkway in La Vista. More.
Kids can learn about how digestion works during STEM: Digestion Investigation Thursday at 1 p.m. at the Willa Cather Library, 1905 S. 44th St. Kids in third through sixth grade will dissect an owl pellet and determine what the owl ate and how it digests its food. Registration is required. More.
The Millard Airport is hosting its second annual Fly-In Breakfast and Aviation STEM Day on Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon. There’s no admission to attend the event, but breakfast is $7 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger. This kid-centered event is designed to show children the diverse possibilities within aviation, including professional and recreational opportunity for flight, maintenance, avionics, aeromedical, drones, airport management and more. The Millard Airport is at 12916 Millard Airport Plaza. More.
The Union Pacific Museum, 200 Pearl St. in Council Bluffs, will host a family night Friday from 5:30 to 8 p.m. During the event, which is free, enjoy an evening of games, a storytime, a sidewalk chalk party, ice cream and more. Plus, learn how to have your safest and best summer yet. The event is free and open to the public. More.
Test your driving skills using a variety of Sphero robots during robot tag Thursday from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Abrahams Library, 5111 N. 90th St. Snacks and drinks will be provided. The event is for kids ages 12 to 18. More.
Come to Carter Lake on Saturday, for a parade, family fun, fireworks and much more.
The community celebration will be held Friday through Sunday, and will include a parade, a family festival, hot air balloon rides, fireworks and more. The parade will take place Saturday at 10:30 a.m. on Main Street. More.
Come have some summer fan and learn about birds, insects, reptiles and amphibians during Joslyn Castle’s Summer Fun Series. The free event, which is presented in partnership with Papio-Missouri River National Resources District, will take place on Thursday in June at 6:30 p.m. This Thursday’s topic will be about birds (“Taloned Teachers”). It’s perfect for the entire family and will include hands-on activities. More.
Bennington Daze will take place Friday through Sunday. The event will include food, games, a street dance and a parade. More.
Celebrate National Doughnut Day on Friday at the following locations: At Dunkin Donuts, get a free doughnut with any beverage purchase. Find Dunkin Donuts locations here. At Krispy Kreme, get a free doughnut of any variety while supplies last. To find Krispy Kreme locations, click here. Visit LaMar's Donuts at 17202 Audrey St. and get a free glazed doughnut.
Regency Court will host a kid’s Funfare Thursday at 10 a.m. The event will feature the Omaha Children’s Museum: The Tinker Box in Center Court. Regency Court is located at 120 Regency Parkway. More.
Curious George will visit the Willa Cather Library on Saturday from 10:30 to 11 a.m. Come listen to a story and then take a photo with him. More.
The four-day festival will take place Thursday through Sunday and will include Taste of Blair, a parade, a craft fair, a carnival and much more.
The two-day festival on Friday and Saturday will include a parade, a free family dance and karaoke, a hotdog feed, an outdoor movie, vendors, games, fireworks, a parade and more. The parade will take place Saturday at 2 p.m. on Main Street in Springfield, Nebraska. More.
Omaha is home to more than 200 parks, and many include playgrounds, trails and other attractions. Check out the list here, and explore a new park with your kids.
The Omaha metro area has several indoor play areas for families to enjoy. They include Pump It Up, Backyard Playworld and BounceU in Omaha, and Jumpin Jax in Papillion. Oak View Mall and Westroads Mall also have fun indoor play areas. Check out Approach Climbing Gym at 4923 S. 72nd St. It offers day passes, instructional classes, youth programs and more. Several local gymnastic places also have open gym time, including Metro Stars Gymnastics, Premier Gymnastics, Airborne Academy, Go! Kids Gym and Kid's Body Shop. Eugene T. Mahoney State Park, 28500 W. Park Highway in Ashland, Nebraska, features an on-site indoor activity center.
Take an afternoon to go roller skating with your kids. You can laugh at each other while you fall down again and again. Check out Skate City, 1220 S. Fort Crook Road in Bellevue.
Do Space, Omaha's community tech space, is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Plus it's free. Check out five things to do at Do Space here.
There are tons of organizations that host weekday and weekend storytimes.
Join the Omaha Public Library at Lauritzen Gardens on Friday for stories that celebrate gardens, plants, insects and more. Kids will also discover the joys of nature, movement, music and literature. The event is geared toward preschool-aged kids, but all ages are welcome. The program is free. Lauritzen Gardens is at 100 Bancroft St. Register here. Other storytimes include Barnes and Noble (Oak View and Crossroads), Pottery Barn Kids, Leader Reader at the Omaha Children's Museum, the Omaha Public Library branches, the Gretna Public Library, the Bellevue Public Library, the La Vista Public Library, the Sump Memorial Library in Papillion, the Baright Public Library in Ralston and the Plattsmouth Public Library.
Are your kids animal lovers? If so, there are several ways they can help the animals at the Nebraska Humane Society, including reading to them during adoption hours. Check out more fun ways here.
The Omaha, Bellevue and Council Bluffs Public Libraries are currently offering free day passes to Fontenelle Forest. Each pass admits two adults and children from their household. More information can be found at each library.
Community centers offer something for every member of your family — from infants to senior citizens. For a full list of community centers, click here.
Several area organizations host craft time for children every weekend. Kids can create a free craft Saturday at Lakeshore Learning Store from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Finally, kids 3 and older can make paper flowers for mom Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon with the Michaels Kids Club. Sign up online or drop in. The cost ranges from $2 to $5 per project, supplies included.
The Ralston Arena offers public ice skating for $5, with free ice skate rental. The Motto McLean Ice Arena inside Hitchcock Park near 45th and Q Streets offers Family Skate time Sunday from 4 to 6:15 p.m.
We put together a list of must-see spots across the state. How many of these destinations can you cross off your Cornhusker bucket list?