School will be out for the holidays and there will be a lot of idle time for teens. Do you know have plans for them? At this time of the year, as well as at spring break, I hear from many parents that are struggling with their good teens making not so good choices. By the time they call Parents’ Universal Resource Experts, it has usually escalated to a decision many parents don’t want to make. Should they consider a residential therapy school?
Before it reaches the point of having to make a call for help, let’s look at some options you can encourage your teens to do to keep constructively busy during their holiday time-off. Hanging out is not always a bad thing, however it can be when it leads to negative activity and behavior.
Having this time-out can is also an opportunity to do things as a family. Spending more time together helps open up the lines of communication.
1. Let’s see what movies are playing. The kids love to hang at theaters, but try to find movies you all can see and make it a family event! Right now there are many movies playing that the entire family can enjoy such as Blind Side, Nine, Meet the Morgan’s, Invictus (for teens and parents) and of course the upcoming blockbuster – Avartar. Remember, students can get discount tickets at most theaters. The most important part of this activity is you are doing it together!
2. Volunteering at a local Nursing Home, Humane Society, Soup Kitchen etc. This is a fantastic way to help your teens feel needed and give back. Take the initiative and visit these places and get your teen excited about giving back.
3. Reach out to neighbors that may need your help. Encourage your teens to meet the neighbors, wash cars, mow the lawn (we are in Florida), shovel snow (for those Northerners), walk their dogs or even just spend some time with them. Maybe they need help wrapping gifts. It is a perfect time to reach out and give from your heart.
4. Do you know how many teens actually love culinary arts? Yes, encourage your teen to find new recipes and learn to cook dinner for the family. This can also be a family affair. Take the challenge with new recipes. Who knows, you may have the next Top Chef in your home!
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