Literary Mama writing about the many faces of motherhood
For Your Journal: Writing Prompt

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Do you keep a journal – or wish you could get one started? Literary Mama wants to help.

Three times a month, I’ll post a writing prompt. Open a notebook and write for 10 minutes. Don’t worry about grammar or punctuation – just write. Then let the writing simmer and your mind wander for awhile.


Summer Jobs

Most of my mom friends have teenagers and, like me, want their children to be as active as possible during the summer months when schedules aren’t dictated by the school calendar.

We encourage our kids to find a job, to attend a camp, and to volunteer but acknowledge that a summer job often requires an ongoing commitment during the school year, that camps are expensive, and that organizations need only so many volunteers on a given day. We wonder which activities will be the most helpful on a college application form, worry about teaching kids the value of a dollar if they don’t have a job, and weigh the competitive nature of the real world against the carefree, easy-going days of childhood.

Suzanna de Baca, vice president of wealth strategies at Ameriprise Financial, and her friends had some of the same discussions but in this article, she added three more questions to the mix: “Why do I want my teen to get a job?” What does he/she need or want?” and “Is my child ready for a job?”

Good questions.

Journal Entry: Write about your first summer job. Describe the setting, the boss, and the particular activities you did. What did you like and dislike about it? What skills or work philosophies did you take away from the experience? Now, write about the summer employment expectations you have for your child. At what age will you expect your child to get a job? Will he/she work during the school year? Why or why not?


Karna Converse is a freelance writer who’s written everything from technical documentation and price proposals to newsletter articles, devotionals, personal profiles and essays. Her essays have been published in a variety of regional and national publications, including The Christian Science Monitor, Notre Dame Magazine, the Cup of Comfort and Chicken Soup anthologies, Our Iowa, and on Iowa Public Radio. She and her husband are parents to three young adults. Karna is a former blog editor, senior editor, managing editor, and editor-in-chief of Literary Mama.

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