Summer vacation is here. While your younger kids are thrilled to pieces, your older kids may be a bit low key. They want to hang out with their friends and have a good time. Being a teenager is a difficult age, but there are plenty of activities which can keep them occupied and safe over the summer.
First and foremost, adhere to your teen’s interests. If they like to read, for instance, encourage them to start a summer reading list. Take them to the library or a local bookstore. Allow them to rent or buy extra books on their e-reader. This is going to give them something to do that is thrills them. Some people like to read in order to escape into a fictional world. Others like to read in order to learn something. Tell your teen that they can read anything they like. Encourage them to keep a reading journal. They can note which terms they didn’t understand, write book reviews, or write lists of books they want to read next. They can even write down notes of concepts or characters. This may encourage them to write their own book.
Water parks are also popular with teens. While they don’t often like to be seen with their younger siblings, allow your teen to bring along a couple of friends. Let them go off on their own as long as they check in throughout the day. That way you can remain with their younger siblings. This gives your teen the independence they are seeking. They are nearly grown up, mom and dad. Let them act grown up and don’t be that helicopter parent. Don’t embarrass them around their friends by making them check in every 15 minutes. Loosen the leash and let them enjoy the water slides on their own. They’ll be fine and check in by lunch.
If you have a daughter, chances are they are into beauty. Mom, this your cue. Take a day where it’s just you and your daughter. Go to the spa and get pampered. Get your nails done, both a pedicure and a manicure. Get a massage and let your worries sweat away. Your teen is going to appreciate that you are doing an activity that specially relates to her. She doesn’t mind doing activities with her younger siblings, but it’s important that you make her feel loved and special. Setting apart a day just for your teen daughter is going to speak volumes to your daughter’s self-esteem and confidence.
You may also want to set aside a day just for the family. Have what is known as family challenges. Who can build the best sand castle? Who can win the round of mini golf? Play a game of water balloon baseball, in which someone throws a water balloon to someone that has a bat in hand. Make it a fun challenge that includes each member of your family. Have fun prizes for the winner. For example, the winner may get to pick out a new toy at the store or they get an increase in their allowance. Maybe they can throw a cream pie in the face of one of the losers or not have to do any of their chores for two weeks. Make it fun and everyone is going to have fun as well.
Finally, go to a park. The park may be local or within another city, but make sure it has interests of the entire family. If your teen enjoys walking trails for instance, try to find a park that offers that. It may be fun to pack a picnic basket with a lunch and find a park bench. This gives you the opportunity to take in a bit of nature. Your children may see a bunny hopping past the picnic table or there may be playground equipment to play on afterwards. Spending time outdoors is always fun, but as kids grow up their interests change. Meet your teen halfway and help them find activities to do. Otherwise, they may be super bored or stuck within their electronics. That’s never good for parents or the child. Happy summer!