Achieving Success for Teens and Parents

  • Tuesday, July 23, 2013

By Al Foderaro

Plan Positive Summer Activities

For teens summer is a time for fun and relaxation, however, at some point young people start complaining about being bored. If teenagers have too much unsupervised free time, trouble may tap them on the shoulder which could lead to some unfortunate outcomes.

Finding summer activities for a teen can be a challenge. Although it is good to have some down time, some summer activities should be productive. Start the summer planning process by identifying some activities that are consistent with preferences and interests. Doing so will increase the likelihood of a successful plan. Think about ways that will help develop social skills and self confidence as well as other activities that may help improve academic, athletic, artistic, or musical abilities.

Following are some suggested activities and tips for teens that will help plan a more constructive summer:

1.    Go to the community library and select some books to read for pleasure. While there, look for resources to explore future career possibilities. Search for subject-related books that may help you get a head start on a challenging course you will be taking during the next school year.

2.    Seek a part-time job to help develop strong work ethics and further develop your interpersonal and problem-solving skills. Be prepared to complete employment applications, prepare a resume, and practice interviewing to help be better prepared for talking to prospective employers when opportunities arise.
3.    If you are still too young to be considered by employers for a regular paid job but old enough to start taking on a little responsibility consider activities that involve work and even earning a little spending money. Babysitting or being a mother's helper, pet sitting or house watching for others when they are on vacation, or cutting lawns for neighbors are good part-time jobs.

4.    Volunteer a few hours each week. Find opportunities through schools, churches, parks and recreation departments and hospitals. Libraries, arts and cultural organizations, youth development groups, and a variety of nonprofit organizations might also have volunteer opportunities.

5.    Locate a tutor and schedule time each week to work on improving proficiency in subjects where your report card indicates a need for improvement. Being tutored is a good way to help prevent learning loss in subjects that might have been challenging to you in the past.

6.    Consider attending a summer enrichment program conducted by the school, a local church, the library, the YMCA, the Recreation and Parks Department, or other youth organizations within the community.

7.    Plan activities that involve physical exercise like swimming, bike riding, hiking, or playing tennis. Select any enjoyable activity as a good alternative to staying in the house and watching television or playing video games.

It's your decision. You can let the summer days just go by unproductively or you can plan positive activities. If you do, the outcomes will be favorable and you will achieve a great deal of satisfaction and success. Don't wait. Start planning your summer activities today.

Al Foderaro is a retired college administrator and instructor living in Georgetown County who is the Founder/Executive Director of Life Decisions Group, LLC and co-author of “It's Your Decision for Teens, A Commonsense Guide to Making Better Choices” and “Keys to Student Success”. For information email afoderaro@lifedecisionsgroup.com or go to www.lifedecisionsgroup.com.

Opinions that appear on this page in Letters to the Editor or in columns do not necessarily reflect the opinions of this newspaper.

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