With the end of the hectic school year, summer holidays are a chance for you and your family to take a break from the school routine and slow things down. Here are our top tips for things to try with your teen over these summer holidays.
Rest and recharge
After a busy year at school, your teen will probably be ready for a bit of rest and relaxation when the holidays arrive! Encourage your teen to take some time to unwind – they’ll probably need to catch up on some sleep after a big school year, so let them sleep in over the holidays or have some down-time just lounging around the house if they like. Try to encourage your teen to keep up with some physical activity over the holidays too though – exercise is great for physical and mental health and it can also be relaxing!
Just because school is out, doesn’t mean your teen has to stop learning! There are still plenty of things they can do during the holidays that are fun and educational. Encourage your teen to read a few books or watch a couple of documentaries. Or if they enjoy hands-on learning, you could encourage them to start a project and make something! The summer holidays are a great opportunity to try out new hobbies and follow their interests too.
Time with family and friends
The holidays are a great time for your teen to spend some quality time with their friends and family. Encourage your teen to spend time with their friends over the break – maybe they’d all enjoy a day at the beach together, or a trip to the movies. Try to set aside some time over the summer break to spend some quality time with your teen too – you could organise to do something special together, like going on a bushwalk or to a café for lunch. This special time together will give you a chance to connect and with your teen – and can boost their confidence and self-esteem.
Family traditions in the holiday period can be really special – and research has shown that children who participate in family traditions experience better academic outcomes, are happier and have better emotional wellbeing. So whatever your family traditions for the holiday period are, keep doing them! You can also start up your own family tradition – it could be anything from ‘Summer Ice-Cream Sundae Sundays’ to ‘Boxing Day – BBQ Day’, or whatever your family would enjoy doing together!
Reflecting and looking forward
You can encourage your teen to use the holidays to reflect on the past school year. Did they achieve what they wanted to? What are they most proud of? What do they think they would like to achieve in the next year? Try to encourage your teen to write down some personal and academic goals for the year ahead. Talk to your teen about how they would like you to support them to meet their goals. Identifying their goals, and knowing you are there to support them, can help motivate your teen when school goes back.
If your teen is old enough, you might like to encourage them get a summer job. This will help them to develop important skills for their future careers and will allow them to start to develop their CV. Or you could encourage your teen to take some time during the holidays to do some volunteering – it can improve your teen’s confidence, give them the opportunity to learn new skills, and make a positive contribution to the community.You could even spend time volunteering together as a family – it’s a great way to spend quality time together and help strengthen your family connection.