Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Au Pairs and Nannies Working with Teens

10 Great Volunteer Ideas for Teens

Andrea Persons is a full-time nanny working in Miami, Florida. Ms. Persons works for a blended family with two teen-aged siblings and two toddler siblings. She asked Be the Best Nanny Newsletter for advice.
Question: "The twin teenagers I care for are now over 16-years-old and need some structure this summer. Their mother feels they are still too young for summer jobs but they are too old for summer camp. Do you have any advice for nannies like me that have to find ways to keep teens busy this summer?"

Answer: We found great ideas on the web site. Below are 10 great volunteer ideas for teens, by Susan Friedman of

Unpaid work can help [teens] learn new skills, understand more about the workplace, and -- best of all -- give [teens] something to point to when [they are] looking for a paid job in the future. Check out our great list of volunteer opportunities. Then scope out the possibilities in your own community.

Tips for Volunteers!

1. Show up. Resist the urge to skip a day, no matter how tempting ("I'm not getting paid. . . I don't really owe 'em anything"). Remember, you're establishing a work record for that future job.

2. Speak up. Don't be shy about asking questions. Don't be embarrassed if you don't understand something. In the real world, successful adults speak up when they're confused.

3. Step up. Any time you see something that needs to be done, do it without being asked. They'll appreciate your initiative.

Are you an au pair or nanny that cares for teens? What will they be doing this summer?


Anonymous said...

Yes I am one of the rare nannies that cares for teens. I have been working for the family for 8 years now and we are going thru some major power plays going on. We are sending one teen to theatre camp and the other will be a camp counselor in training. It is really important to keep teens in some structured courses or summer camp programs because my charges would end up playing video games all day or getting trouble. There is still time to go to the pool and see movies after their day camps.
Marissa Cape Cod MA

Buffi said...

I'm a little surprised that teens who will likely go to college don't have more structure. More and more colleges look for teens who do something in their summer months, volunteer, intern, or work during their summer months if they're not involved in some sort of sports training. I'm on my third family of teens now and this has always been the scenario in my jobs.

Anonymous said...

I have the opposite problem. I care for teens that are over scheduled. Too much stress. I do not mind that they are continuing their music lessons and swim team this summer but they deserve a break. We should go to the beach, pool, picnics, bowling, water parks and such...