The Importance of Constructive Activities in the Summer
Summer is upon us and that means no school for teens. While these months are important downtime for children, do not think for a moment that they want to just sit back and relax like we, as adults, dream of doing. Teens can quickly become bored. Instead, they are looking for adventure and excitement. If teenagers can’t find a positive way to take risks and live adventurously with your support, then they may find it in a negative way without your support. With less structure and adult supervision, the summer is ripe with opportunities for teens to fall into a bad crowd, experiment with drugs or alcohol, or get into other forms of mischief.
According to several studies, children who are not supervised are more likely to commit crimes, be victims of crimes, do drugs, or hang out with gang members. This creates a problem for working parents. For example, during the school year, juvenile crime spikes between 3 and 6 p.m. when children get home from school, but parents are still on the job. During the summer, youth start committing crimes or taking part in risky behaviors around noon during the summer and continue later into the evening, most likely because they are allowed to stay out later. Bored, lonely teens are also the perfect target for gangs. This means teens need constructive activities to occupy a broader range of time in summer than during the school year.
A report from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy suggests that more American teens try cigarettes, marijuana and alcohol for the first time in summer than at any other time of year. For example, there is a 40 percent increase in first-time youth marijuana use during June and July as compared to the rest of the year.
Fortunately, there are many ways that you can provide positive activities for your teen during the summer. Check out these past blogs to give your teenager (and you) an enjoyable and safe school break: