With just over a week to go until the bell rings for the end of term, a new study from National Citizen Service (NCS) has revealed parents could find it even harder to keep kids occupied this summer - particularly when they reach those difficult teenage years. According to the research teenagers will run out of activities just 18 days into the break this year, meaning they will end up spending countless hours on Netflix, napping on the sofa or playing gaming consoles.
Most teens know how difficult this will be for their parents and are crying out for more opportunities and experiences to help them gain independence, develop in confidence and have the best summer of their lives. Here's our advice on how parents can help teenagers make the most of their six week break:
Take the online, offline: With teens expected to spend 95 hours on social media this summer, we know it's becoming increasingly difficult to drag them away from their screens. Whilst some time online is fine, it's important for teens to get out into the big wide world and meet people outside of their friendship groups.
Independence is key: Summer is the perfect opportunity for young people to learn and to stand on their own two feet. Why not provide them with some challenges this summer, where they don't have to depend on you. Start simple and give them some money and a shopping list get them to do the shopping for the week?!
Encourage them to put down the school books! Six in ten teachers agree that students don't need to study excessively during the summer holidays. With so many pressures during school terms it's important for young people to reset and give themselves a rest - Help them get out of the classroom and into the fresh air and give them the break they deserve.
Present new opportunities: Don't feel like you have to force your teenager on a family holiday - once they reach the age of 15/16 there are plenty of alternative options available such as NCS, a two-three week youth programme where young people stay away from home with other people their own age. We are sometimes guilty of spoon feeding young people with opportunities, it's time to let them take control of their own planning, take a step back and ask yourself how I can help my teen help themselves.
Help them learn more about the world (without working): You don't have to force teens to take up work experience placements this summer (unless of course paid work is mandatory due to financial circumstances), there are other ways to equip them for the future. According to new research, two thirds of teachers believe that, if used effectively, school holidays are an opportunity to learn more about the world around them. With the retirement age steadily increasing, why not give your teen the summer of their lives. Perhaps work can wait a few more years..?
For further information about NCS, visit www.ncsyes.co.uk.
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