The summertime is fast approaching. Soon school will lock their doors and your children will be enjoying the lazy, hazy days of summer. As they say, Idle hands can be dangerous. It’s important to give your teenager both relaxation during the summers and some freedom, but it’s important to do so under an environment of structure.
In the old days, a summer day often meant running around outside from sunup to sundown, today — at best — it often means a long day indoors playing video games or watching TV. At worst it can mean a teenager who is bored (with idle hands) being tempted to get involved in things better left alone. That might be drugs, alcohol or sexual activity. It could also just be other dangerous activities – like playing with the matches and candles in the house and burning down the house. Yea. It happens.
As a parent it’s important that you are always prepared for summer so that you can keep some structure in your teenager’s life. This is most important for young teenagers before they are able to drive or get jobs. The ages between 13 and 16 are the ages fraught with issues and honestly if you can get your teenagers through this time, you’re on easy street. Well, almost… but close. Fortunately, there are things you can do to provide structure whether you work outside the home or not.
Give them a job — Even young teenagers can do jobs around the house. Provide a checklist to the teenager to get done each day while you’re at work. It’s also important that you call and check in on the teenager a few times a day. The chores can be anything from cleaning the kitchen to cleaning out the garage to reading a certain book. It all depends on what you want to teach your child and the age and maturity of your teenager.
Send them to camp – Whether it’s overnight camp or day camp there are many different camps you can send your teenagers to during the summer. The experiences they have will often define their futures. A child who shows interest in space for instance, sent to Space Camp in Huntsville Alabama may get more serious about science in school and realize that they can become whatever they want if they work hard enough.
Sign them up for community activities — There are summer sports and activities that teenagers can get involved in. This will require some commitment from you in terms of transportation. It doesn’t matter if it’s swimming, tennis, or volunteering at the local community garden there are many activities for teenagers probably right in your city that cost nothing other than transportation. Ask your student’s school counselor or advisor for information about how to locate these types of opportunities. They’re also great for college apps!
Let them take a class — Some community colleges, and even high schools offer summer courses both for credit and without credit. Some of these college summer enrichment programs can give teenagers wonderful insights and lessons that can help them decide their futures better. Some of these courses even offer the teenagers dorms and places to stay and some are even overseas. Summer reading programs at community colleges and four year universities for teenager are very popular. Look them up for your area via Google. Check out info from West Coast Connection.
Regardless of which avenue you take, one of them or all of them combined, it is important not to just leave teenagers at their own devices before they are 16, have a job and transportation. They need some structure and some type of accountability to help — not only keep them out of trouble — but to give them a sense of belonging and joy about life. What do you do to keep your teenagers busy in the summer? How do you provide structure during the summertime?
Schools Out! Plan for The Perfect Teen Summer – If you are ready to discover how you can help your pre-teen or teen make it through summer by staying productive and out of trouble, this is for you. This package is equipped with a 10 Week Summer Action plan, 5 expert audio interviews, special reports and more.