There’s nothing quite like the excitement of the end of the school year. For parents, it can mean fewer mornings rushing around and fewer afternoons ferrying kids to an assortment of activities. For students, it means a long summer of fun stretching ahead of them before the fall school year starts. What does that fun look like? If you and your tween don’t take the time to work on a plan for fun, you could just find him sitting around the house doing nothing but watching TV and playing video games. If your tween struggles to make friends during the school year, he may find it even more of a challenge to maintain friends and make new friends during the summer months.
How can you help your teen have fun this summer, make great new friends, and find the confidence he has been missing? We’ve got a few fun tips that may be able to help.
Check with your area libraries
Many libraries offer summer programs for kids of all ages. Your tween may enjoy taking part in the programs or may prefer to volunteer to work with the younger children. This is not likely to appeal to all tweens, but if yours is more on the studious side and enjoys spending time around books, you may find that your area library has volunteer opportunities.
This could just be an excellent chance for your tween to meet up with some like-minded people his own age—what a great way to meet and make new friends!
Animal shelter volunteer opportunities
If your tween is great with pets, it might be that your area animal shelters offer the opportunity for him to spend time volunteering. Whether he’s spending time brushing kittens or talking puppies for walks, you’ll find that this is an excellent way for an introverted youngster to find a level of confidence he’s been lacking. Your local shelter may have volunteer programs for kids of all ages to take part in.
Summer camps, whether day camps or sleepaway camps, offer children of all ages the chance to explore new activities, enjoy favorite things, meet new people, and find some of their missing confidence as they learn and grow. While summer camps can be pretty costly, many options can be budget friendlier. There are also low to no-cost programs, including technology camps, tennis camps, and more.
If you know what kind of things will keep your tween’s interest, and he’ll enjoy the camp experience, consider signing him up for one or two this summer. He may just be surprised at how much he enjoys the experience and how much he enjoys spending time with others his age who share his interests. If your family is a part of a church, they may have youth programs that your tween, and other children, are interested in.
Sleepaway camps give children of all ages a chance to bond and forge strong friendships. If your teen has an interest in one, you may be able to find one that’s not too far away from home.
Take a class
It may feel like no kid wants to keep taking classes during the summer months. But your tween may be interested in learning something new or expanding on a hobby—a pottery class, another type of art class, or maybe taekwondo.
Taekwondo can offer your tween so much more than he may expect. Indeed, he’ll learn all of the traditions and the moves. But he will be paired in classes with others his age, and he will find that his confidence grows as he learns more and passes each belt level.
Archery is another fun class that many youngsters enjoy taking. They may even take an interest in competing against others in their age range.
Getting together with school friends
Introverted children, tweens, and teens may not want to reach out to school friends during the summer. It may fall on you to reach out to their parents to find out if there is any interest in getting together with their teen. Pool parties can be great fun.
It may not occur to your tween that they can spend time with school friends during the summer months. Encouraging more time together could just help to strengthen their friendships.
Schedule your time off during the summer
It’s a great idea to schedule your time off from work during the summer months. You may not be able to spend the entire summer break with your family, but the time you spend together will be quality family time. You may also be unable to take your family on big elaborate trips out of the country or even to one of the major theme parks.
While these are lovely adventures to go on, you don’t need to go big to have big fun. A camping trip, a road trip, or even a staycation camping in your backyard can be great fun. These are also good opportunities to have your tween invite their friends to join them.
Bikes are a must for kids of all ages. Getting a bike for each of your kids will encourage them to get out of the house and meet up with other kids in the neighborhood. If you get bikes for everyone in the family, you’ll be able to go on family rides. You can get bikes for a steal using online garage sale groups.
Movies, movie nights, and more
Does your tween love movies? Look into summer passes from some of the major movie theatre companies. They allow kids to watch as many movies as they’d like during the summer. As many major blockbusters tend to be released during these months, this could be a good opportunity for your tween. They may also be able to meet up with friends or perhaps meet new friends who are also enjoying a summer of movies.
Getting a job
There aren’t very many jobs available for tweens. Laws can vary between counties and states when it comes to underage labor. If your tween is responsible, they may be able to babysit younger children in your home – with your supervision, of course.
They may also be able to pet sit or house sit for friends and family. This doesn’t give them much of a chance to meet new friends, but it can help their sense of confidence soar when they feel trusted and appreciated.
Rely on older siblings and family members
Does your tween have older siblings or cousins who are more outgoing and adventure-minded? Perhaps an older sister is a lifeguard? Your tween could accompany her to work and spend his day at the pool swimming and meeting new friends his own age.
It can be an excellent opportunity for your introverted tween, who may also have social anxiety, to spend time with family members who can introduce them to new people and experiences.
If your child is struggling with his confidence and self-esteem, it is crucial to pair him with the right type of treatment solutions. It could be that he’s fighting with social anxiety and perhaps depression that isn’t always very recognizable.
HelpYourTeenNow can pair parents with the resources to help tweens and teens gain confidence, work through mental health concerns, and discover the path to feeling good about themselves.