Although your teenager may prefer to spend the first half of each summer day sleeping in late and the second half watching television or surfing the web, he may be surprised to discover that there are hip and entertaining things to do over the summer break. Whether your child chooses a different activity every day or you have to bribe him with computer time to get off the couch for the afternoon, staying active promotes a healthy lifestyle. Planning activities with friends can also help sweeten the deal.
Playing sports is a natural outlet for many teenagers. While organized school sports are taking a break for the summer, plenty of other athletic endeavors are available for your teen to try. This may be a perfect time to take a stab at mountain biking, disc golf or beach volleyball. City recreation teams offer summer sessions in soccer, baseball and swimming for a more traditional experience. Even a jog around the neighborhood after dinner or a pick-up game of ultimate is an easy way to build endurance and train off-season.
Without the pressure of homework and projects, summer is an ideal time to take a non-academic class, such as painting, cooking or wood working. More physical classes may include karate, yoga or kick boxing. If you are fortunate enough to have an international vacation planned, take a crash course in the official language of your destination. For a teenager that would rather spend the summer reading in the library, join a book club to meet new people and learn to share ideas in a different forum.
How about an old-fashioned game night with your teenager? Your family can schedule one night each week to play board games together, eat take-out food and maybe even laugh a little. For a more social event, help your teen plan a video game tournament or all-night card game at your house with a group of friends -- you provide pizza, tubs of nachos and subtle supervision.
Help your teen see your hometown through new eyes and hit the town like a tourist. Ride your bikes on the local trails, visit museums and take the time to read the historical markers posted around town. How about pretending you are in a city in Europe, sketching an old church downtown or photographing interesting architecture? Attend a community theater production or try a new restaurant that you have been curious about for a while to experience your city in a new way.
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