5 Things in the Summer to Keep Troublesome Teens Busy

Kids look forward to those carefree days of summer, when they can enjoy life at a slower pace. But teens often use the unstructured freedom of summer break to get into all kinds of trouble, including trouble with the law for violent behavior, destruction of property, drug use, or other illegal activities. If you feel like your teen is out of control this summer, you may want to consider a school for troubled teens, where teens are kept busy with fun activities and creative projects.

Hiking, swimming, camping, boating, water skiing and team sports are some of the activities offered at therapeutic boarding schools, such as Liahona Treatment Center. They provide therapy and academic programs, as well as a safe, structured environment where teens get help for their behavioral problems, learn life skills, and have fun.

Summer Fun

If your teen is an average, bored and restless adolescent, encourage him to take advantage of summertime activities – bike, hike, swim, or play sports with friends or in organized teams. Take her, and some of her friends, to the beach or pool - just don’t sit with them. Spend time with your teen doing outdoor activities you both enjoy - shoot some hoops, go golfing, hike in the woods, go to outdoor concerts, festivals, or amusement parks.

Enroll your teen in classes where she can learn skills in art, dance, music, drama, computers, videography, or crafts. Your local library should be able to help you find a list of teen programs being offered in your area by the park system, community groups, or local organizations. Libraries also have summer reading programs for all ages, including teens. If your teen has trouble with reading, the library may provide tutoring, or recommend popular books to get your teen interested in reading. Colleges and universities offer summer workshops for teens in everything from math and science to music and art.

Hobbies and Clubs

You can also encourage your teen to learn a new hobby or join a club. Many schools and community organizations sponsor clubs for math, art, drama, film, science, chess, foreign languages, computers, and many kinds of crafts. Local hobby stores or craft stores offer introductory classes, where teens can try a craft and see how they like it. Some organizations even offer summer camps which focus on specific interests. You can teach your teen a hobby, skill, or craft that you enjoy, and work on a project together.

Help Around the House

Learning household chores prepares teens for adult life and living on their own. Teach him how to do his own laundry and let him be responsible for getting it done. Don’t do it for him, if he doesn’t do it. Make her responsible for weekly yard work or helping with household repairs. Get your teen involved in household projects like painting the house or cleaning out the garage. Let your teen help with the planning and organizing for the job at hand. Maybe you can work on a yard sale together and let her keep some of the profits. Let your teens know that you appreciate their efforts in helping the household run more smoothly. Offer a reward for helping with chores, such as an allowance or a trip to somewhere fun, like an amusement park or water park. Withhold allowance or privileges, if he chooses not to help.

Summer Jobs

When teens have a job, they learn new skills, gain experience, and grow in self-confidence and maturity. Summer jobs also look good on college applications and resumes, showing that this applicant has a sense of responsibility. Even working a few hours a week, gives your teen some structure and accountability during the summer.

Encourage your teen to find a summer job. Teens can get work in the neighborhood babysitting, pet sitting or doing yardwork. Teens as young as 14 can work limited hours for companies. They should apply to places where they like to go, and where the work is in line with their interests. These can be parks, pet stores, garden centers, waterparks, retail stores, a local farm, outdoor market, or the YMCA.

Volunteer Work

If your teen can’t find paid work, consider volunteer opportunities at places such as animal shelters, retirement homes, libraries, churches, or local parks. Older teens may benefit from unpaid internships or job shadowing.

While some teens enjoy their free time during the summer to rest, relax and have some fun, other teens use the unstructured and unmonitored time to get into trouble. To keep your teen from getting bored, get him involved in some activities, whether it’s work, sports, hobbies, classes, social activities or creative projects.

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