Uncategorized Category in Blog

Tips for Teen Summer Parenting*

bored teens

Summer is halfway done and teens everywhere are sleeping past noon and complaining of boredom. For families whose children don’t go to summer camp and where parents work full time, life is thrown off course and the parent-child relationship can become strained. September seems years away. So what’s the parent of a stay-at-home teen to do?

1. Don’t turn off the alarm clock, just reset it.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to allow a couple extra hours of sleep, letting them sleep as long as they want can cause unneeded stress for both of you.

2. Keep the Routine
Staying in a routine provides a measure of stability, while giving them what their bodies need to stay healthy. Have your child wake up at the same time everyday and start the day with a good breakfast.

3. Make a daily task list, but don’t overdo it.
Make a simple and short list of things to do each day, chores, volunteer work or otherwise. Exercise, do some summer reading, finish a home project, sort through and give away clothes that no longer fit, edit their belongings in general, shop for back to school. Even one project a day can keep your child engaged. Be realistic about the tasks and the time they have to complete them.

More importantly, find tasks that tap into their interests. For example, my daughter loves to sew. Helping me hem or repair some clothes is more fun than cleaning!

4. Find ways to reward, but keep it affordable.
Rewarding teens for a job well-done shows appreciation and gives them a little spending money, too. There also are ways to reward our teens without overspending. How about letting them invite a friend over to spend the night?

5. Limit screen and social media time
Keeping tweens and teens engaged and off social media is a challenge anytime of year but particularly in the summer. Get them outside if possible and limit social media time to one hour interspersed through out the day and make TV and movie watching a family activity.

6. Keep the Curfew and the House Guidelines
Whatever behavior and rules happen during the school year should remain in place, with some summer flexibility. But don’t stray to far afield as it’s hard to revert back.

7. It’s okay to keep the fun going all night long, but only once in awhile.
It’s important to keep a reasonable summer sleep schedule, but it’s also okay to let your teen the rules every now and then. Pitch a tent on the back lawn, watch movie on your roof top terrace. Allowing for some late-night adventures shows your fun side. That’s one thing our teens need to see more often.

8. Look for volunteer opportunities, but keep it realistic.
Teens are passionate about their beliefs and views. Include them in the choice-making for some volunteer work. It will be a character building experience and give them a sense of purpose. Volunteer at a summer camp, tutor reading or math, offer to do beach or park clean up in your town, visit an elderly neighbor and offer service for trash take out or food shopping or just keep them company. Volunteer work does not have to be a summer-long commitment to be purpose-filled.

Summer doesn’t need to be fraught. Teens who learn how to fill their free time with purposeful activities will be better off in the world later on in life.

*source: Kristine Brown crosswalk.com