Amy Kelly is the CEO of Parent eSource, the global resource, community, and social media trending firm she founded in 2010 to transform the communication between parents and their children. Parent eSource has achieved stunning results by helping countless parents better understand the changing world their teens live in and providing innovative resources to help parents connect with their connected teens Amy has established her revolutionary perspective, resources and technology and is a sought after expert in sharing her insight and parental connection advice.
When you’re off to your job during the day any other time of the year, you don’t worry as much about your teenager because you know they’re safely at school. But when summer hits and they’re out on the prowl for the dog days of summer, you may find yourself scrambling to find some way to keep them safe and out of trouble while you’re working during the day. It is a known fact that drug and alcohol use is more prevalent in teenagers during the summer months when they are unattended and free to roam while their parents are working the day away to pay the bills. So how do you keep your teenager out of trouble and on the straight-and-narrow during the hot summer days?
Summer employment. During the summer months when the days are long, your teenager will have the opportunity to pull some extra hours at their place of employment. See if they can have their schedule work in sync with yours, so that you know they are working while you’re doing the same. That allows both you and your children to have the evenings free for family-fun activities and get-togethers to enjoy some time together as a family. Many local companies are always looking for summer hires, so get your teen excited about earning some money and meeting new friends during the day!
Encourage volunteer and community work. What better way to teach your child the importance of what they have than by having them volunteer at a local homeless shelter during the day. Not only will it teach them to appreciate what they have, but it will help them build up some volunteer hours that could be helpful on their future college applications and job resumes.
Sign up for summer camps. Many local YMCA’s and community centers offer a variety of summer camps and programs that your child can attend during the day. Many of these programs are centered around business hours, which make it a great opportunity for working parents to have somewhere for their children to go when they’re not home to keep tabs on them.
Summer sports. Along with summer camps, many community centers offer summer sports for kids of all ages. Consider signing up your teenager for a sport they may be interested in. Having them involved in a sport helps them build friendships, learn healthy exercise habits, and encourages them to get outdoors and enjoy the sunshine instead of hunkering down by the TV playing video games all day.
Family summer passes. Do you have any local places that allow you to purchase a family season pass? Perhaps the pool down the street has a flat fee for summer-long admission. Consider investing in a pass to the pool, zoo, or other nearby activities that your teens can walk to and enjoy during the day with their friends.
In addition to signing them up for activities and encouraging them to pull more hours at their job, it is important that you keep tabs on your teenagers, even when you’re gone. Spontaneously check in at the house during your lunch break, or call them during the day at random times to find out where they are and what they’re up to. Make sure all alcohol and medications are locked up in your home while you are gone, as this is the perfect time for teenagers to access what they know they’re not supposed to–especially since the rise of prescription drug abuse is staggeringly high in teenagers. If you’re close with your neighbors, have them keep an eye out for what is going on at your house while you’re gone, and give them a phone number to contact you if they notice anything suspicious.
It is so important that kids have a good time during the summer, as they’ve earned it from their long, hard days in class. But it is also important that they are safe and stay out of trouble, regardless of whether or not you are home during the day. Getting your kids involved in the community, set up with a part-time job, or enrolled in a camp or summer sport should keep the boredom away and help put you at ease knowing they are safe and busy all summer long!
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