What should you do with your during the summer?

Your teen might want to just sleep and party the summer months away, but the long vacation is an opportunity to do a lot more than that. For many teens, the summer is the time to gain or hone a special skill or interest. He might attend music workshops; she might go to a skills camp for her favorite sport; there may be training courses for first aid or fashion design at your local community college. Teens can practice responsible leadership as counselors at summer camps or day camps, or they can be a mentor or "big brother/sister" to a needy younger child. There may be internship or volunteer opportunities where your teen can get hands-on experience in a possible career field, whether helping out in the vet's clinic or a lawyers office, assisting the elderly or shadowing the editor of the local paper.

Summer vacation is also time to earn money and gain skills with summer jobs. Not all jobs are examples of what your teen wants to do with the rest of her life (making or delivering pizzas, waiting tables, cleaning windows or selling shoes) but most will help teach her the importance of punctuality, people skills, team work and good communication, as well as increasing her self confidence as she gains her own income.

Hopefully, you'll have some time over the summer to do something together with your teen. The most important factor here is to take your teen's input into account; there's nothing worse than trying to get a teen to tag along with you on an outing that doesn't interest him at all. If you're considering an evening at home, a weekend with the extended family or an overseas vacation, start by talking it over with your teen and by giving him some responsibility in the planning and execution of the event. Let her choose the movie; let him plan the dinner or party with the family; let her research your vacation destination and suggest place to go.




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