Suggestions to Get Your Teen Off the Couch This Summer
Perhaps it’s 1:00 p.m. and your teen is just now rolling out of bed, or maybe you can’t recall the last time you saw him or her move from their spot in front of the television. Summer is a time of relaxation, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a little bit productive, too. Teens can take advantage of opportunities such as college classes, volunteering, and job shadowing, and still enjoy downtime to make for a worthwhile summer. Here’s some tips from The Giggling Pig to help keep your teen busy this summer.
Explore Collegiate Learning
If your teen has expressed their desire to further their education after high school, you might consider suggesting a summer college class. College admissions want to see that your student participated in clubs and activities during high school as well as during their time away. The lazy days of summer don’t require your teen to stop learning and developing, and taking a college course is a good opportunity to learn a new skill or explore an interest in a particular subject or career area. For example, if your teen is interested in business, they might consider taking an introductory course in business, marketing, or accounting to determine if they would be interested in that major or career path. While your teen explores a new area, they can earn college credit too.
While volunteering provides the benefit of college application and resume boosts, it can also make your teen feel good. Summer vacation can enable your teen to spend time on community service projects that they may not have had time to commit to during the school year. To find volunteer opportunities, reach out to community members, service groups, and your teen’s counselors. Ask your teen what they are interested in and find a group or organization that would be a good fit. For example, if they are interested in health care they could volunteer at a local hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office. If their interest is in politics, consider reaching out to your local councilman, government, or community center. Help your teen find a cause or organization that they can be passionate about.
Try Job Shadowing
If your teen is interested in a particular career area, help them to cultivate that interest further through job shadowing.. Job shadowing provides the opportunity for your teen to spend time “in the shadow” of a person as they perform their job duties, and see first-hand what it is like to spend a day in the life of the worker they shadow. The experience can help your teen to decide if they can truly see themselves in this type of role and environment, performing the tasks that would be required of them.
During the job shadowing process, the day will typically be structured. A good start would be a tour of the workplace, a discussion about job responsibilities, and anything the professional can physically demonstrate. Your teen may also have the opportunity to perform hands-on tasks. For example, a student shadowing an architect may get to meet other employees in the office and learn about their responsibilities, as well as look at the design software and learn how to create a 3-dimensional building model. To find someone for your teen to shadow, ask your teen’s school if they have a job shadowing program. If not, reach out to individuals or companies and inquire about people who would be willing to serve as a job shadow host.
Become an Entrepreneur
There’s no better way to learn about business than encouraging your teen to get their hands dirty by starting their own. A home-based business without a large financial commitment can be perfect for learning the ropes. And if their business doesn’t require a huge time commitment, they can keep it up during the school year.
When it comes time to bill clients, an invoice generator online can be a useful free tool. They can create a great-looking, professional invoice quickly and easily. Once finished, they can download it to print for use in their day-to-day operations.
Don’t Forget Downtime
Like everyone, teens need some downtime. The school year is often extremely busy and is a balancing act of homework, tests, sports, extracurricular activities, friends, and family. Summer can be a time for your teen to be productive, but there shouldn’t be pressure to do so. Let your teen explore interests that they may not have had time for during the school year such as journaling or mixing music, and use unscheduled time to try new things. If, for example, they’re interested in art, they might enjoy advanced art classes from The Giggling Pig.
Use the summer months to encourage your teen to explore new interests and hone new skills through classes, volunteering, or job shadowing. Encourage positive downtime through regular communication to ensure your teen has a healthy and rewarding summer.