Ah, school’s out for the summer! This is the time of year when you’ll find your teen sleeping in and laying lazily around the house with not an academic care in the world. Time off to recharge is healthy and necessary, but how much laying around is too much? And what are the best summer activity ideas for teens?
A fresh break
One of the most important aspects of summer for teens is getting a break from school days and being able to choose for themselves the activities they want to pursue. Summer is a great time to step away from the pressure of school, reignite an interest in a hobby, and find some motivation.
Some activities to get your teens involved in for the summer could include taking up a sport, starting an art class, or learning a new skill like playing an instrument or learning calligraphy, taking up photography, or start a blog. If your child is 16, then it might be a good time to teach them how to drive.
Part time work
For some teens, working full-time over the summer or getting a part-time job can be a great learning experience but can also help them to develop a new circle of friends. A job can be very freeing and give them a chance to be whomever they want to be away from school and their usual circle. Not to mention a bit of extra spending money over the summer. For, you know, ice-cream.
Too much time on their hands
Too much down time can be a bad idea for everyone. Teenagers who sit around all day – especially if no adults are around – have more opportunity to get into a little bit of trouble. Instead, parents and teens should work out an agreement for a reasonable wake-up time, number of hours of screen time, and types of activities. If you must give them options to choose from, that’s okay, but also give them an opportunity to supply their own ideas for what they want to do.
Your teenager won’t want to have an activity or outing planned for every single day of the holidays. They want to have time off, relax, and do nothing. You may not want them laying around doing nothing, but that is exactly what they want to do – and it also helps them to recharge and get some brain space. If they are staying home by themselves, leave them a list of chores to get done during the day, and suggest that they cook dinner for the family as they have been home all day and everyone else has been out. If you must, leave them a recipe and all the ingredients so all they have to do is follow the instructions (and they have no “I didn’t know how” excuse to fall back on).
Friendship and travel
Don’t forget about the days they want to spend with just their friends. If you have a teenager, they are getting to the point where they don’t always want/need you around all the time. If you don’t want your teenager going out to see their friends, tell them they can invite them over, or they can go to someone’s house. It also might be time, if you haven’t already, to get them a travel card for public transport. This will allow them to get around on their own and have a bit more independence. Just make sure they have your city’s public transport app on their phone, so they can always find the right bus and timetable.
Try a text
If you must know where your teenager is during the day, instead of nagging them all the time about what they’re doing, just ask them to text you when they go out or when they go do something away from home. This will make you feel better because you know where they are, but it will also make them feel like you trust them enough to make good decisions.
Boredom can create brilliance
A little boredom is okay too. You don’t need to protect your kids from boredom – some wonderful, creative things can happen when a teenager is bored, so let them be! Who knows what great things might come from it?
Finally, summer is supposed to be fun! So don’t forget to let them have some.