Assessing your child’s developmental stages is a little easier, said Lisa Giannasi Foster, MSW LICSW, if you follow a model like the “Domains of Life.”

“It’s a way to organize your thoughts about a job best suited to your late adolescent,” she said. Here are some examples:

  • Economic — Even if money were not a necessity, would it enhance the child’s self-esteem to have his or her own paycheck and the freedom that comes with it?
  • Physical — Working on a landscaping crew in the hot sun may be just what one kid needs to work off excess energy, but might tax the stamina of another.
  • Emotional/Social — A student athlete who prefers the “loner” sports — golf, tennis, fencing — might be unhappy in a group setting like a camp, and a real team player might dislike an 8-hour day in a corporate cubicle programming for Web sites.
  • Cognitive — Is the teen-ager inquisitive, always looking for a learning experience?
  • Spiritual — Do you want your child’s summer experiences to be more of the same — same kind of people and environment — or do you want broader horizons such as travel or economic and cultural diversity?