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With summer quickly approaching, the last thing any parent needs is a teenager sitting at home “bored”. As a single mom, I know this all too well. The fact of the matter is, I have to work to pay the bills. It’s great when our kids finally reach the age where they can stay home without paid childcare but how to keep your teenager busy? You don’t need them pestering you all day and you want to be sure to keep them out of trouble at the same time.

There are a variety of different things a teen can do to stay busy. Most of these tips work anytime of year, they are just particularly helpful when school is out!

1. Volunteer work.

Work with your teen to look for volunteer opportunities she can get involved with over the summer. Is there a local cause or organization that your teen and a group of friends can get together and volunteer for? Can you work with other parents to setup a carpool for drop-off and pickup at the volunteer activity?

The great thing about volunteer work is that it teaches your teen the importance of giving back to the community. Volunteer work can also help teach basic skills that will be beneficial in a work environment going forward as well.

teen intern

2. Internships

Depending on your teens age, encourage them to attend internships in their desired field of work. Internships are a great opportunity for your teen to build their resume as well as get first hand experience of what a job in their chosen field might be like. This real world experience will be extremely valuable when your child is wanting to compete for jobs with thousands of other recent graduates.

Having trouble finding good places for your teen to intern? Try looking in the internships.com directory.

3. Paid Jobs

Once your child reaches the legal working age in your state, a part-time or full-time position with a local company is a great way for them to earn extra cash and stay busy for the summer. Not all jobs are necessarily glamorous but they are a great way to earn fun money for hanging out with friends!

4. Assisting with Home Chores.

As teens grow, they need to be responsible not only at school but even at home. Encouraging them to participate in household chores such as cleaning rooms, washing dishes after a meal and keeping the house tidy will be important. As they grow to be young adults, they will also learn to take care of their houses in a responsible manner.

5. Family Outings

Creating a good relationship with your teen is essential. You can engage your teen and get to know what he or she loves best; this means the hobbies they have interest at heart and create a family fun day with them.

Encourage them to participate in their favorite hobbies be it playing soccer, watching a movie or any other fun activity. By doing this, there will be bonding at the same time, the teen will be able to share out their challenges, and once you understand them, you will be in a better state to address them and get solutions.

teenager gardening

6. Gardening

Do you have a home garden? Whether you live in a house with a big yard or a condo with only a balcony or patio, consider working with your teen on setting up a garden. You can start small with a herb garden or go bigger and create an edible garden.

If your teen finds the outdoors enjoyable, the daily task of caring for the seedlings and watching them grow will help them occupy some of their time. It also provides opportunities for researching when to plant seeds, how long until they should be harvested, what fertilizers / nutrients are best. It really can be a lot of fun.

7. Attend Seminars / Classes

Seminars impact every person with knowledge which does not have to be an academic knowledge, for instance, lifesaving skills such as giving first aid, or even creative writing. They will keep enjoying such seminars and look forward to the same once they close the school.

Your local community college or even high school may be a great resource to find a number of classes available on weekends or while school is out on break. These can be a great way for your teen to experiment with a variety of different subjects and figure out what really sparks their interest. Best of all, look and see if there are any events you and your teen can do together.

Finally, when thinking of the ways to keep your teenager busy, remember you are not doing this to force them into career life but mostly to keep their minds engaged and encourage productive free-time.  As a parent, there are many opportunities you can help your teenager explore that will help keep them busy and build new relationships and skills at the same time.

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