Summer is upon us and kids are looking forward to summer vacation. Before you hear the summertime teenage cry of “I’m bored”, prepare yourself with a response. Planned activities by reputable organizations have the benefits of providing a safe environment for learning and making friends, while also diverting teenagers from potentially harmful activity. If teenagers don’t find a positive and supportive environment to take risks and try new things, they might resort to trying new things in a negative environment. According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), first time use of marijuana amongst youth was highest during the summer months of June and July. The same applies to alcohol consumption and crime rates when kids are not engaged positive activities.
If you haven’t thought of summer activities to alleviate your teen’s self described boredom, it’s not too late. El Paso and the surrounding areas offer plenty of fun and affordable options to keep teenagers busy this summer. A little forethought and planning now can save you time and frustration later in the summer. See the El Paso Times website for updates on summer programs for kids.
An effective way to start planning is to put together a schedule and organize your teen’s time. With a weekly or monthly calendar on hand, block out any summer vacations or other commitments that have already been solidified. To fill the remainder of your teen’s summer, here are some suggestions:
Youth Programs/Camps: there are several places in the community that offer low or no-cost programs to kids of all ages. Youth programs and camps are great opportunities for your teen to make new friends and try new things. They are safe places for teens to go and are usually supervised by a caring adult who can teach them new skills and introduce them to new hobbies.
Volunteer: this is a great way for a teen to explore different career fields and learn new skills. If transportation poses a challenge, many work places are flexible and may let teens volunteer at their parent’s work place. Otherwise, there are several organizations and agencies that accept teens as volunteers. This could also lead them to a great first job!
A part-time job: the responsibility of a job might be daunting for some teens (and their parents), but starting off simple is the key. Talk with friends and neighbors about small jobs your teen could do for them. Camp counselors, babysitting, dog walking, or yard work are some options that would give teens some responsibility but also flexibility with their time. A part time job also gives teens a sense of pride and accomplishment when they receive their paychecks!
Entrepreneur: venture to the library and check out the book Better Than a Lemonade Stand by Daryl Bernstein. Instead of working for someone else, encourage your teenager to discover their entrepreneurial spirit by helping them start a small business of their own.
For more information, contact Bianca Aguilar, Associate Program Officer at 915-544-7636 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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February 15, 2018
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