Your teenagers look forward to summer all school year long – the days are longer and warmer and they get to sleep in and re-charge. Although summer is a good time to relax, it also brings more tempting opportunities for your teen – be prepared for summer and have a plan that will support your teen.
- 24-hour-plan – All plans your teen makes during the summer should be run by you 24 hours in advance. This gives you time to find out all of the important details: who will be there, where they’re going, what they’re doing, and when they’ll be home. This will help avoid the last-minute phone call to you at work while you’re distracted and haphazardly agreeing to plans you aren’t 100 percent sure about.
- Summer job – If your teen is working a summer job and will be around older co-workers, have some boundaries in place. It’s great they’re making new friends, but if these friends are of legal drinking age set a curfew of when they need to be home. For example, they can’t hang out with these friends past 9 PM. This will help avoid your teen being influenced and most likely around alcohol.
- Structure – It’s ok for your teen to lie around and be lazy, that’s what summer is for – but make sure they have something constructive to do for at least half of the day, even if that’s every other day. If your teen doesn’t have a job for the summer, find a local ministry or organization and suggest they volunteer a few days a week. This will look great on their resume for college or future jobs, while also keeping them busy and avoiding “dangerous boredom.”
Focus on what they CAN do rather than creating “rules” or saying “you’re not allowed”. Your teen can have friends of the opposite sex over when you’re home, they can hang out with their work friends any time before 9 PM and they have 24 hours in advance to run any plans they want to make by you. At the end of the day, as a parent, all you want is your teenager to have a fun and safe summer.