School’s out, behaviour’s out?!

The last thing you want as a parent is to see your teenager in trouble – keep them away from it with these winter holiday ideas.

Studies have shown that unsupervised teenagers are more likely to engage in risky behaviour during school holidays. As parents, the last thing you want to do is ‘baby’ your teenagers, causing them to rebel, but at the end of the day, it’s your responsibility to keep them out of harm’s way.

Winter school holidays bring about extra precautions mainly due to the weather. There are more restrictions placed on children, as outdoor activities are limited. So watching movies, going to the mall or a friend’s house is as good as it gets, and this is when boredom kicks in. As a working parent, it’s difficult to take time off to supervise your capable teenager, but it’s always a good idea to put some boundaries in place.

Here are a few ideas:

Earn extra money

Teenagers are always looking for extra cash. Whether you give them an adequate allowance or not, there is always something else they need. By suggesting a holiday job, your children will mostly stay out of trouble and earn some extra cash, win-win. This is a rewarding feeling for children and parents, as it teaches responsibility and reliability. Most retail stores or restaurants offer temporary or casual employment for students looking to earn an extra buck during the school holidays, get your kids to work and they will be much closer to getting that video game or new pair of shoes they’ve been eyeing for weeks!

Give back to the community

Most teenagers act like their lives only revolve around themselves and their friends, but trust us, there is bound to be a soft spot for something. Whether it be animals, children or the environment, find out what your child is passionate about and encourage them to give back by volunteering at charities in and around the city. Teenagers will be teenagers, so it is imperative that you offer some sort of incentive, this can be in the form of money or privileges. Teach them the importance of giving back and the difference he/she will have. This type of activity will give teenagers a purpose, and hopefully, keep them out of trouble.

Spend time as a family

Often, teenagers rebel because there is a lack of family presence. When teenagers spend too much time alone, or only with their friends, feelings of isolation can cause unhappiness. Recent studies have shown that children who experience extended sadness are more likely to seek attention by misbehaving. Even if you take time off from work for just a few days during the break, use the time to bond and have fun with your child, on their terms. Forcing them to go curtain shopping with you is not their idea of fun, so try to meet them half way.

If you are worried about your teenager acting out, you can always seek assistance from psychological professionals or educators at the school. It is also important to keep an eye on what happens online. Unfortunately, today’s society comes with a range of issues on social media such as cyberbullying or paedophilia. Try not to impose on your child’s privacy, but do track what happens on their social media pages, as this is where the vast majority of trouble starts amongst teenagers.

Keep your children safe during the holidays by trying these ideas. Contact stores or charities to get your child involved in healthy activities.

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