All year long, your teen is attached to some electronic device. Whether it’s a cell phone, computer, iPad, or another portable device, wouldn’t it be nice if they could tune out of all that social buzz for a while and tune into summer?
Of course, as with anything else involving teens, if you insist or coerce you will not get very far. However, if you encourage and inspire, you may have a little more luck.
Related: How to Better Understand Your Teen
Explore the Options
With any child, and most especially with teens, it is never a good idea to be too forceful. Negotiating, compromising, talking calmly, and offering choices are all excellent ways to agree on something that works for both parent and teen.
As far as social media and electronics go, encourage your teen to explore on his or her own the things they wish to pursue over the summer. Give your teen the opportunity to try something new and see where that leads them. Allow your kids to be the ones who are inspired by their choices as opposed to you offering suggestions and making arrangements without their say in the matter.
Set Some Rules
While it’s important to give teens some freedom of choice, they still need a set of guidelines and a few rules. Limit the amount of time on television and computer, plus the amount of data allowed on their cell phones.
Once they see that they are limited, they may wish to seek out other options on their own.
Get Your Teen Involved in Real Life
There is never a shortage of work to be done around the home for pay, job opportunities, internships, or even volunteer work in the community. Encourage your teen to start their own volunteer project over the summer to add to their college resume.
Colleges love to see initiative over academics alone. The more a student gives back, the more appealing and well-rounded they will appear to future and potential colleges.
No matter how old your child is, he or she is never too old to make reading a habit. Suggest that your teen go to the library and seek out just one book to read over the summer, maybe while lying on the beach or for the quiet days when no one is around. This activity encourages them to tune out social media business and tune in to reading.
Be a good role model as well. Let your child see you reading the news in the morning and reading a book at night, or anytime in between. Children will almost always model what they see, and if while growing up, reading is what they see, chances are they will gain a lifetime love of reading.
Offer Your Teen a Lesson
Have your teen take lessons in swimming, golf, volleyball, or any outdoor activity that promotes nature and being outdoors rather than being plugged in. Because let’s face it, you cannot be on social media while you are swimming laps!
So, there you have it – some great ways to encourage your teen to unplug over summer.