Ahhh summer… the days are starting to get longer and the warmth of the sun is putting an extra spring in your step. The routine of school days and bedtimes will soon be a distant memory.
But maybe now it’s starting to hit you! Your teen has nothing really planned for this summer and you start to feel anxious about it. Will they do nothing ALL summer? Will they be influenced by friends into trying alcohol or drugs? Ohhh what to do?
They tell you, “I just want to hang out”. Simply put, they want down time. We get it! However, too little activity can lead to boredom, depression and loneliness; but on the other hand over-scheduled days can lead to stress and anxiety.
How do you find that balance? The key to success will be working together. Most teens do not want other people to tell them what their days will look like. So here are a few tips:
Get your teen involved
- Plan together what the summer is going to look like, include family, friends & down time.
- Ask for your teens input and really listen to their ideas.
Set family boundaries together
- Discuss limits on the computer, video games and TV use.
- Discuss curfew, be flexible for special occasions.
- Discuss responsibilities at home, including chores.
- Establish routines & monitor by checking in with them.
Explore volunteer opportunities
- Sit together and talk about what’s available. Many summer camps have young teens as volunteers. Also, check out Volunteer Halton or Community Youth In Action Network
for ideas in Halton.
Find a paid job
- Help them find part-time work. This helps them develop a strong work ethic and understand the value of a dollar.
- Unable to find traditional work? Discuss with your teen innovative ways to make money. Does an elderly neighbour need help cutting their grass? Do fences need painting? Does a friend need a babysitter or someone to walk the dog?
Encourage activities and sports
- In addition to helping them stay physically active, local recreation departments have short-term classes such as photography or art.
- Help your teen pursue a hobby; such as cooking or learning to play the guitar.
Have fun together
- Reserve some family time, such as going to the movies or taking a walk.
- Let your teen plan a family outing; provide them with any limitations such as time frames and budgets.
What are your ideas for keeping teens busy this summer?
If you want to connect with us more directly for additional parenting information, you can :
- Leave us a comment below
- Tweet us: @haltonparents
- Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dial 311 (within Halton) or 905-825-6000 to talk with one of the public health nurses. We’re around Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
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