Why a Busy Summer Might be the Best Thing for your Teen

teens leaving school for summer School sessions across the country are wrapping up the semester and parents are breathing a sigh of relief before they gear up for summer.

The school year keeps families busy. Your teens might be burned out after a long semester capped by a series of final exams. They probably want to relax (and you do, too). Summer is designed to give your kids a break, but planning a busy summer might be better for your teens.

Why Make Plans for the Summer?

You might be wondering how a crazy-busy summer could help your teens. Helping your teens make plans for their break will help both you and them for these reasons:

1. Help them stay in a routine. The school year has a predictable routine. Teens know what time to wake up, when they should go to bed and what activities they have on certain days. When school ends, everything is up in the air. There are no practices or club meetings to help differentiate the days. Keeping a predictable routine will help them build discipline and be prepared for the next school year.

2. More teens experiment with drugs over the summer. Research released last summer revealed that more teens try drugs and alcohol for the first time during June and July than the rest of the year. Researchers show that about 11,000 teens first try alcohol, 5,000 try smoking a cigarette and 4,500 try marijuana over the summer. The U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration released the report. Busy teens will have less chance of trying drugs or alcohol.

3. Teach them life skills. When teens are on a summer break, you have the chance to focus on important values and life skills. Your teens might be heading off to college soon. Take advantage of the summer months to encourage them to continue pursuing their interests, keep their minds sharp and stay physically active. They can learn practical things that are harder to learn during the school year.

How to Make a Summer Plan of Action

Talk to your teens about how they will fill their summer days. While one teen might have dreams of making money, another might want to spend every minute outside. Help your teens make a plan for staying busy and enjoying their time off.

Get a Job

If your teens are old enough, help them look for a summer job. Lots of local places need part time summer help. Encourage your teens to find something they are interested in. If your teens are too young to work or don’t have reliable transportation for a job, encourage them to find other ways to make money. Some teens might do lawn work, help neighbors with housework or babysit.

Take a Class

Summer school is not a pleasant phrase for most teenagers. You can find some great educational classes or workshops in your area, though. Local schools and community centers host courses in all sorts of categories including science, art, drama, or athletics. Look around for options and let your teen pick one or two.

Go to Camp

Summer camp hasn’t lost its appeal yet. There are day camps and overnight camps for every teenager. Check out the options for sport, art, theater, and science camps.

Help Out

Start talking to your teens about volunteer options. There are opportunities for any interest. Helping your teens plan a summer-long community service project or routine will really encourage them to make volunteering a part of their lives. Check out the opportunities at animal shelters, hospitals, libraries, parks and churches.

Worried Your Teen is Trying Drugs?

If you’re worried that your teenager is trying out drugs, don’t hesitate to contact one of our Kansas City area locations. We can help you think of ways to keep your teens busy and run drug tests.

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