Double Bonus

Here’s the thing about kids working outside of mom and dad.  They get a different exposure to the world.  And I’m all for having kids be exposed to all kinds of experiences.  Especially if it’s going to help them as adults.

Nathan and Ryan began “working” at eleven years old.  They had a once-a-week after school paper route.  It was the perfect first job.  They were responsible for getting their papers wrapped and delivered by 6:30 pm.  If they needed supplies, like rubber bands, they had to make the phone call into the office.

If a customer had a complaint, then they needed to take the phone call from the office and deal with it.  But they were also rewarded with customer tips for providing great service.

During a competition for a brand new ipod, Ryan learned how to go door-to-door (with me not far behind) and sell subscriptions. Ryan won the ipod – then proceeded to sell it on ebay.

Their years of throwing papers earned each of them their very first glowing letter of recommendation.

Although Ryan still has part of his original paper route, Nathan gave his up several years ago due to school.  But they both discovered another perfect job:  reffing soccer on the weekends.

Since they’ve been reffing, I’ve noticed a new life skill they’ve learned.  Dealing with angry adults.

Personally, I’m not sure if I was ready at 13 years old to handle irate coaches or parents at a soccer game.  But the boys come home with some pretty interesting stories of adults behaving like immature teenagers.  And bottom line is, as the refs, they have to effectively deal with it.

Sidetracked by the fact that the boys were earning extra money reffing, these other benefits never occurred to me.   But solving problems on the field has given them confidence in dealing with people who are significantly older than them.  And besides their paycheck, I consider that a huge bonus.

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