The clock is ticking, and summer will arrive before we know it. For many parents, that means having their kids home for almost three months! Bored younger kids can present challenges of their own during the summer, but teenagers are an entirely different story. Teens tend to go into some weird hot weather hibernation during the summer months, and rousing them from their “dens” is not always easy. I have a 14-year-old sweet boy, but he tends to hibernate during the summer! His room is his best friend, and his bed is even more!
A teenager who has an opportunity to sleep in on a daily basis will usually fall into a sad state of inertia. The more you let them slumber and laze about, the more they become. It’s unreasonable to expect them to rise with the sun, but allowing your teen to sleep past noon every day may not be the best idea. Even worse, some teens stay up late “because they can” and end up throwing off their circadian rhythm completely. If you can keep your teen on a reasonable schedule, it would be for the best.
Parenting Teens During the Summer
So what to do with your bored and listless teenaged child? Here are a few ideas:
- Volunteer: For younger teens who aren’t old enough to get a job, there are always plenty of opportunities to volunteer. What’s your child interested in? Animals? Call the zoo or a horse farm to see if they could use some help. If they prefer to work with children, maybe the local YMCA could use a few teens to wrangle younger kids during daily activities. Encouraging your teen to volunteer will usually be successful if you find them an opportunity within their areas of interest. My teen volunteers at his local swimming club.
- Get a job! Older teens who are sixteen and above are usually eligible for employment at many establishments. Take a day to drive them around to businesses close to home that has vacancies. If your teen has a driver’s licence, they can look around themselves, but getting a first job can be intimidating, and it might be helpful to have you along to ask important questions of prospective employers. Once your teen earns their first paycheck, they’ll be glad they got a job! Need ideas? Check out these great summer jobs for teens!
- Help out around the house. Even if your teen ends up volunteering and working during the summer months, they can still help out around the house. Not only is this arrangement beneficial for you in that you’re getting some much-needed help, but also, your teen’s learning life skills they’ll soon need as they approach adulthood. My teen helps with mowing the lawn and babysitting his sister. Don’t get me wrong: I am not overworking my son. I am implicating him in my daily routine.
- Send them to camp! Camps usually only last a week or two, but you can send your teen to multiple camps during the summer if you wish. Camp is a wonderful experience for many teens who end up trying activities they normally wouldn’t and meeting new people from other places. Lifelong friends and warm, wonderful memories are usually a result of a great summer camp. Some teens may giggle when they hear about camp. But try to find speciality camps such as robotics, swimming: Something they would love to do.
- Take up a new sport: Summer’s a great time to get your teen involved in a sport if he or she isn’t already. They can try out something that’s intrigued them for some time to see if they want to commit when fall rolls around and school and club seasons start. If they’ve already been playing a particular sport for years, you could sign them up for one-on-one training with a reputable coach.
No need for teens to lay around and waste their entire summer doing nothing whatsoever. With a little planning, and maybe a threat or two, you can help turn your teenager into a productive member of society regardless of what season it is.