Schools across the country are approaching summer break, and it is a time when parents should be aware of what their kids will be doing with all their free time. The summer is when many adolescents get into trouble and start experimenting with drugs or alcohol. It is important for even teenagers to be supervised throughout the day, because teens that are bored and have no adult watching out for them will often take risks and try things they wouldn’t normally do. But since many parents still have to work during the summer, for their child’s safety, they should make arrangements for supervision for their child. Below is a list of resources parents can use to make sure someone is helping keep an eye on their child.
Camp: Summer is the time for an assortment of camps; anything from a day camp at the zoo, to a week-long sports camp, to a specialty camp that teaches music or acting or science. Camps are a good way to keep your adolescent busy.
Community Groups: Check with your local recreation department for a variety of activities going on during the summer. Your child could join a volleyball or kickball league, take swimming lessons, or join the YMCA or Boys or Girls Club.
Church Groups: Many churches have youth activities throughout the summer or offer vacation bible school for a week. Other churches have begun to open facilities for teens during the summer for recreation, tutoring, or bible study. These places are often looking for kids to make use of their programs, and it is a good way for your teen to stay active with positive influences.
Schools: Sometimes schools offer educational opportunities during the summer. This is a great way to for adolescents to not only stay out of trouble, but also to keep their minds sharp during the long summer months.
Get a Job: If your child is old enough to have a job, encourage them to get one. They don’t have to work long hours every day, because even a part-time job will help teens use their time constructively. Many places hire even young teens for the summer. The pay is not the important thing here; it’s keeping kids out of trouble. Even a lawn mowing job or cleaning cages at a local animal shelter will help your teen feel a sense of accomplishment and responsibility.
Ask for Help: If there doesn’t seem to be any option for your child to remain supervised during the summer, ask for help. Think of relatives, like grandparents or great aunts or uncles that are retired and might appreciate some company. Or a neighbor that stays home might be willing to stop in and check on your teen occasionally. You could also form a “share care” group with other parents so that each family takes a day during the week to supervise the group and then can work the rest of the week.