Help your teen learn new skills, stay fit and try new things with a new recreational activity. Whether your teen is spending far too many hours in front of the television or he's itching to find an activity to occupy his time, you can encourage him to explore his interests to grow as an individual.
Help your teen learn about community awareness and social responsibility by enrolling in a short- or long-term volunteer program. She can sign up for a clean-up project to beautify a local park or volunteer with a charity building organization to help construct homes for families in need. If your teen is an animal enthusiast, have her inquire with local veterinarians or animal shelters about potential volunteer opportunities, or have a gal with the gift of gab visit with residents at a long-term care facility where she might just develop a new appreciation for the elderly and gain a little wisdom, too. Volunteering doesn't only benefit others; your teen's self-esteem will benefit when she sees the difference she can make, and the activity also provides her with rich volunteer experience to add to a work or college application.
Types of activities that have goals and objectives will allow your teen to see his progress and strive to meet the next benchmark he sets for herself. By taking swimming lessons, your teen can perfect his skill and technique to obtain lifeguard certification for a summer job at the beach or year-round employment as a swimming instructor at your local recreation center. Learning a new musical instrument, such as the piano, guitar or even the drums -- if you can handle the noise as he learns the new skill -- can also provide your teen with future opportunities. He can offer to tutor young children once he has become a proficient musician or pursue further training at the college or university level.
Keep your creative teen occupied with some crafty new activities that she can use to express herself without there being a right or wrong. Some crafts, such as woodworking and sewing, can help to provide her with a new skill she can use in the future. If your teenager is always getting innovative in the kitchen, try signing her up for a cooking class so she can learn more about techniques and recipes. You can encourage your artistic teen to explore her talent with a painting, drawing or sculpting class or pick her up the supplies she'll need to learn a little on her own at home. You can even encourage your young fashionista to use her imagination and transform ordinary apparel, such as T-shirts, jeans and ballet flats, into upcycled glam items for her wardrobe.
Individual or Team Sports
Encouraging your teen to join a local sports team will help him to burn off some energy, stay healthy and meet peers outside of his normal network of friends. Common sports that have recreation and competitive leagues include rugby, baseball, lacrosse and football, but you can look for a league for a less common sport, such as handball, paintball, netball and tennis polo if your teen prefers. For a teen who isn't a competitive kind of guy, help him organize a game at home or a local field with friends and family members just for fun. If he isn't a fan of team sports, help him find a sport he can enjoy on his own, such as golfing or cycling.
- What Do You Stand For? For Teens: A Guide to Building Character; Barbara A. Lewis
- Reaching Your Goals: The Ultimate Teen Guide; Anne Courtright, et al.
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