Got Teens? Tips to Keep ALL Your Kids Busy This Summer
While teens look forward to summer all year long as a great time to relax and catch up on sleep, after a week or so, at least for most teens, it can become a time of boredom and frustration. Watching TV all day, playing video games, and staring at an iPod or other device might seem like a good summer plan for your teen, but a couple of weeks of this can end up driving everyone in the family crazy. Even though teens are older, they still need to keep their minds and bodies active to remain healthy and happy. Here are some great tips to help you get them off those pesky screens.
Invest in a Gym Membership
Getting your teen a gym membership over the summer break can end up saving their sanity (and possibly yours). The truth of the matter is that over the summer, many teens will need a little motivation to stay active. Many gyms offer equipment orientations, a variety of classes, and even teen-specific activities that can keep your teen engaged. Even better, he or she will be encouraged to pick up some really great habits that may last a lifetime. If your teen doesn’t drive yet, turn the gym into a family outing.
Encourage a Part-Time Job
Encouraging your teens to find a little part time job over the summer is a great way to alleviate at-home boredom and can also help keep their minds sharp and be fun and social as well. Babysitting, yard work, and even bagging groceries at the local supermarket can teach responsibility while also enabling your teen to make a little spending money. But most of all, this is a guaranteed way to regularly get them out of the house (and off the couch).
Hit the Library
Summer vacations give kids a nice break from the tedium of the school year, but this doesn’t mean that they should give up using their brains altogether. Weekly or biweekly visits to the library provide a great way to keep kids busy over the summer. If your teen needs some motivation in this department, consider trading reading time for screen time. And don’t worry if your child chooses subject matter that isn’t necessarily challenging. The important thing is that they are reading and therefore their brains are active.
Plan Family Outings
Planning a weekly family outing can mean the difference between happy summer memories and crabby teenagers in your home. Taking everyone to pizza or to a ball game is a great way to maintain close family ties. You might also plan to go to a movie together or go hiking as a family. If you have a bit more time (say an overnight or weekend), plan a road trip or go camping. One strategy to get your teens into it is to have them do some of the planning as well.
Contrary to popular teenage opinion, lazing on the couch and being on screens all day does not a memorable summer make. Summer is a fun time but for teenagers it should also continue to be a time of both emotional and physical growth, as well as mental stimulation. In the end, your teen will thank you.