Two Teens And Their Mama: What Can Your Teen Do This Summer?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

What Can Your Teen Do This Summer?

When I was in high school, everybody had a summer job, and we would meet to go to a movie in the evening or the beach on our day off.  However, finding a job these days is hard for teenagers. The labor market hasn't fully recovered, so many of the traditional teen jobs are being filled by adults.  Now that summer is here, I don't want my kids hanging around the house texting, tweeting, and eating everything in the pantry because they're bored.  What else can they do?
volunteering
1. Volunteer.  There is a need in almost every community for volunteers, and I want my kids to give back in some way.  Most teens have to log community service hours for various clubs and graduation requirements, and summer is a perfect opportunity to get hours in.  Plus, volunteering looks great when applying to colleges or on scholarship applications.  Food banks, churches, nursing homes and hospitals are good places to look for volunteer work. DoSomething.org is a cool resource that helps teens find opportunities to "make the world suck less".  Yep, that's their motto!
exercising
2. Stay (or get) fit.  Many kids are involved in year round sports, but if your teen is "off" for the summer, encourage them to start a training group with some of their friends.  They could set a general goal, or work towards something more specific, like a charity run. Textplus.com has a list of the six best fitness apps for teens, including Fooducate, which offers suggestions for making healthier food choices.  Maybe this will discourage the "bag of chips a day" goal my son seems to have set for himself.

3. Keep learning.  Just because it's summer doesn't mean their brain has to turn to mush in front of the Xbox.  Maybe your teen could start a journal....or a blog!   If your kids want to get a leg up on classes for next year (calculus, anyone?), the Khan Academy is a great resource. Salman Kahn is an amazing young man who has created over 4800 free video lessons on a wide range of academic subjects.  Or create a family book club, and choose something everyone can enjoy reading and discussing.  


dog walking

4. Become an entrepreneur.  The job market may be slim for teens, but with some effort they can create a job of their own.  Kids can talk to neighbors about mowing their lawn, walking their dog, or keeping an eye on their house when they're on vacation.  This is a great opportunity for teens to work on marketing themselves, another valuable skill when filling out college and scholarship applications.  Plus, they might earn some gas money!  Entrepreneur.com has other unique teen business ideas.

5. Find someone to job shadow.  This will probably be an unpaid position, but shadowing a professional is a great way to learn about a specific career.  My younger son will be "shadowing" one day a week at a local veterinarian clinic this summer.  The recently graduated doctor is excited to teach him about the business, and it will be a valuable opportunity for T to see if this is what he really wants to do.


summer fun

6. Don't forget to have fun.  Teens are still kids.  There is a lot of pressure on them these days, and summer should be a chance to slow down and recharge.  Soon they will be off to college and careers, and those lazy days of summer will be a distant memory. Don't forget to work in some fun, whether it's going with friends to the lake or hanging at the pool checking out the hotties.  

At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what they do, as long as they get off the couch and stop driving me crazy!

Linking up with Motivational Monday

30 comments:

  1. So many valuable resources here Lana! We have visited the Khan academy, and it is amazing.
    I had never heard of Dosomething.org or Fooducate, but am going to check them both out now! Maybe I can get some ideas of filling, healthy snacks to stock the pantry with, as my kids are both so active it is hard to provide enough nutritious calories ... oh, to have that problem myself!
    Thanks for this!

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    1. Thanks Susan. DoSomething.org is a really cool group! Keeping the teenagers fed is an ongoing battle :)

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  2. Excellent! It's my grandkids I'm worried about getting off the couch this summer!

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    1. Hope some of these ideas help, Diane!

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  3. Our teens tend to not do much in the summer because the school year is so packed. It's nice to have a little downtime. I love the volunteering recommendation. Not only is it the right thing to do, it's also GREAT for those college applications!

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    1. We try to allow lots of downtime too, to recharge. But there comes a point...:)

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  4. Great tips! I'm going to check out Dosomething.org. Thanks!

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    1. Thank you! Hope you're having a great birthday.

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  6. Great post! I use Khan Academy for two of my siblings who are ages 9 and 11 throughout the school year so I will be sure to use it this summer too. I would love it if you joined and contribute your awesome posts at my link party at City of Creative Dreams, starts on Fridays :D Hope to see you there at City of Creative Dreams Link Party.

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    1. Thank you so much! I will head over and check it out.

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  7. Love your list! My teen won't be 16 until the end of the summer, so job opportunities are slim. But she works so hard all school year that I am okay with her just chilling out. She works out and has 4 books to read for 11th grade, so that will keep her off the electronics 24/7. Found you through #LOBS - nice to meet you, Lana!

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    1. Nice to meet you too - thanks for stopping by!

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  8. Great list! Around here, most places don't hire until the kids are 18. My teens are very active and volunteer a lot during the school year, so I let them relax more in the summer. When they get bored, they have to tutor or play with the younger kids -- otherwise, they would be texting 24/7 when they're at home! Good times! :)

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    1. I know, how can they text so much without dying of boredom? I don't get it.

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  9. Great ideas! We were just trying to brainstorm ideas for how my 15 year old brother-in-law can spend his summer. His siblings are all grown and married and both of his parents work--and his idea of the ideal summer is playing 8 hours of video games alone in the house every day--the sad thing is I guess that at least where they live you can't get official jobs unless you're 16 or older, because I think summer jobs for teens are a great idea, especially with college costing so much these days. There's still room for entrepreneurship and volunteering like you said!

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  10. These are great ideas! My youngest teenager is trying to think of stuff to do, as his older brother is working full time and his sister got a part time job. But I am going to share this with all of my kids!

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    1. Thanks Michelle. I think the DoSomething.org website is the best resource of all.

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  11. Love this list, Lana! You and I think a lot alike. I recently posted a list of things to do for kids, not really with an age in mind since mine are grown. I was just thinking about how much things have changed and what kind of things would I do now with the kids if they were little. This is a great list.

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  12. You've given some great ideas here! Debbie @ ilovemylemonadelife.com

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    1. Thanks Debbie. Now if I can just get my 16 year old to try some of them out!

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  13. This is a great post! I love your ideas beyond seeking a traditional job (which might be hard to come by right now). I always babysat during the summers and found it to be very rewarding and lucrative! Many of my friends weren't babysitters and would have loved ideas like yours. Thanks for sharing! (Saw your link on the SITS Sharefest.)

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    1. I did a lot of babysitting in my day. I actually started when I was 11, and I can't imagine hiring an 11 year old to watch my kids!

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  14. These are some great ideas. Thanks so much for sharing them.
    Blessings,
    Laura

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    1. Thank you taking the time to comment!

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  15. Great ideas, Lana! I agree, they can do anything as long they get up off the couch and be productive! :) Thanks for linking up to Motivational Monday!

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    1. Thanks Marie. Just getting them up is half the battle!

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