Teens are always on the go in the fast paced setting the school year. Taking a break over the summer to many teens means slacking off and sleeping in. When a teen goes from this go, go, go pace to nothing, it's okay for a day or two, but then they get bored and parents pay the consequences. A bored teen is an annoying teen or worse, one who finds trouble. The easiest way to stop your teen from getting bored is to schedule out her summer days so that she knows what is going to happen and can pick and choose what she wants to do by learning to make choices.
To start, schedule your entire summer out monthly. Put in your family summer vacation, your teen's camp times and any day trips that have already been set. If you find that there are big gaps of free weeks, help your teen find things to fill them up. Look for a babysitting opportunity, summer employment, volunteer at a nursing home or look for a week long camp for your teen to attend. Breaking up large blocks of time will help your teen not settle into the routine of sleeping in late everyday, getting up and doing nothing special.
Create a weekly schedule. Write this one out in pencil as it is the schedule that will change the most. Write in opportunities to do things as well as things that are planned. If your teen finds they have the time to do the extras, they will know when these things are happening. For instance, a town pool we belonged to would show movies some evenings. It was fun and the teens would bring popcorn and enjoy themselves. We never scheduled ourselves to go, but it was on the calendar so we could if we had the time and inclination.
Make a daily routine with your teen. Plan things that need to be done like a hygiene routine, making her bed and any chores or responsibilities. While these things may seem simple for your teen to remember, having things written down helps keep stress levels low. Be sure to leave some free time, but have a list of suggested activities in case your teen isn't looking for downtime. For instance: reading a magazine, listening to music, writing a letter, summer reading book, swimming, biking, etc. Schedule in television and video game times so that these activities do not take up your teen's free time or encompass her whole day. Create alternate daily routines for camp days, vacation and other special times.
This creative scheduling and time organization will keep your teen from getting bored and give her plenty of free time with some practice at making choices. It will also help her get their responsibilities completed with very little if any stress which is a positive for the whole family.