Me in a Tree

Archive for July, 2014


letting go of reins

For teenagers, summer is a time to take a break from the fast-paced life, to hang out with friends, go to the beach, or find other activities. However, the summer is also a breeding ground for bored teenagers. Here are a few tips to keep your teen from getting bored.

  1. Schedule activities. In a calendar, pencil in your family vacation, summer camp, or any day camps that your teenager will attend. If there are major gaps of free time, find some fun activities to fill them.
  2. Get a job. Gaining work experience is so important, especially or a teenager. Whether working retail at the local mall or scooping ice cream or babysitting, a summer job will not only teach your teen responsibility and work ethic, but it will also be a fun way to spend the summer.
  3. Volunteer. Engage your teenager in activities that are meaningful. There are many opportunities to volunteer in your area: serving meals in a soup kitchen, organizing a charity fundraiser, reading to children.
  4. Join a sports team. Summer is a great time to get outside and get active. There are many sports clubs and teams that provide teens with an outlet to get active and having fun. You can tailor the activity to what your teenager enjoys: baseball, soccer, basketball, dance, etc.
  5. Leave some free time. Teenagers can’t be on a schedule all the time. Allow time for them to do activities that they want to do, like reading, drawing or listening to music.

Me in a Tree

With the coming of summer, you can say good-bye to all the school-related responsibilities like parent-teacher conferences, school projects, or homework. And, you can say hello to an entirely new set of responsibilities like summer sports, camps, and “free time” management.

When kids are out of school, they have more free time; however, try to retain as much structure as possible because kids thrive when they are aware of expectations and events. Of course, the key is to include enough structured time and free time to achieve the elusive balance.

A great way to think about adding in some structured balance is to think of a sandwich. The morning is like the bottom bun, a sturdy, structured routine to start the day. Get as many tasks and chores as you can done in the morning, so that you free up the middle of the day to play with friends, read a book, or spend free time however you like.

The middle of the day is like the filling. You can do what you like. Change it up from day to day. Go to the museum, park, zoo, or your local pool. Let your kids choose the activity for the day.


And you top off your day with another set of routines, like the top bun. Family dinners are great routine. They allow for better connection between the family members, but studies have shown that meals tend to be more balanced and healthy, among other benefits.