Q: I have two young teenagers. We were so excited to be out of school for the summer. They are great kids, but half way through the summer break- we are driving each other crazy! They are too old for camps, but too young for jobs. I need to think of something to keep them busy that is well suited for their ages. Any suggestions?
A: Students need a break to recharge and renew- especially teens. They need “down time” to “just be”. And for young teens this down time can be tricky. Many businesses won’t even consider hiring anyone under 16. And most camps are geared for elementary school aged children. This can mean lots of hanging out time for young teens, but too much unstructured time can be an invitation for a less than ideal break.
Finding a balance is key– structured time and unstructured time.
It sounds like your teens have the unstructured time all figured out (most teens do). They just need the balance…
In addition to conquering the not so very popular summer assignments, summer is a great time for a teen to explore some volunteer options. Many organizations need the additional help during the summer months and usually welcome young teens! (Some require that an adult tag along.)
Your teens could volunteer at a couple of different organizations. If they find an organization isn’t a good match for them, then the volunteering ends with the summer. But perhaps they will find an organization with which they connect enough to want to continue during the school year. Many high schools require students to perform community service hours- your teens would have a head start!
Summer break should be fun and recharging! Finding a balance helps to make it all possible.