Thinking of what your child could be doing over the summer? Helpful tips

After a sense of relief following all the summer examinations, the next key issue on the mind of parents of teenagers is about what the children will do over the summer break. The fact that there are so many possible activities to choose from does not necessarily make it easy to decide – in fact, it makes it a little more difficult. The long list of choices is one thing but there are other considerations such as interest, logistics, practicality and cost.  As you deliberate on all these, there are three or so pieces of advice I would like to give you:

  1. don’t think your son or daughter has to do what others are doing;
  2. have a conversation with your child, try to get he or she to think outside the box and to be adventurous in his or her thinking. You need to be adventurous too;
  3. be determined that whatever they do, they will enjoy it and it does not have to be expensive.

Sometimes when you ponder on what these kiddies could be doing and you decide to look at the Internet for inspiration, when you grab your tablet or smart phone or laptop and type in a phrase such as “summer activities for teenagers” into Google –  a zillion search results and adverts will come up. When you click on a link, you end up finding other links – most of them telling you more or less the same thing – some very useful to your circumstances and some not.

A different kind of activity for the summer break

In this blog article, I am looking to put forward some suggestions that are a little different from the norm. Some of the things I am going to suggest may be useful to both children and parents.

There is a long list of summer activities that teenagers and younger children can do – some are outdoor whilst others are indoor. Most of the popular activities tend to be in an organised camp or in groups. However, there are also activities that your child can do alone or with one or two other friends, depending on the age of the child. The idea of spending a couple of weeks or so in a holiday camp of some sort can be quite enjoyable for young people. However, it does not have to be in a summer camp as there are other activities that can be thoroughly enjoyed by teenagers such as: cooking, drama, writing club, tree climbing, cycling, walking, horse riding, swimming, cricket, football and other sports.

Looking back at my own experience there are things I did in the summer – both as a teenager and also as a young adult, which I really enjoyed and which are a lasting memory. The three I would like to share with you are mastering a particular skill or interest, reading and getting to know more of London!

I will elaborate just a little on each of the three things I’ve mentioned above and I hope it perhaps reminds you of some past experience. What I will say first is that I hate to disappoint you as some of the activities that I did and enjoyed as a young person are what some will consider to be ordinary and nothing special. It is really about psychology as it is all in the mind – as long as you do not care too much about what other people will say. Actually if you do, still be proud of what you have done and be very enthusiastic in expressing your joy in doing those things. I can assure you that the way you describe it and the enthusiasm you radiate as you describe your rather unusual activity can be infectious.

Mastering a particular skill or interest

I have taken the opportunity of mastering around three skills over the summer break. The activities that I have spent the summer mastering include: cooking, bowling in cricket and kicking in football.

One summer, I spent time trying to be as good as my brother at baking cakes. I was not successful but I mastered making pancakes instead and it was fun.

I used to watch other boys playing cricket when I was at school but I never did the sport myself. During one summer a few years ago, I armed myself with a few cricket balls and a set of flexi stumps and just bowed at the stumps in the net. Occasionally I have a friend with me and we do a bit of batting as well as bowling. The order was practising football with my son and this worked in two ways. As he was about seven, I put him in the goal and I kicked the ball to him a few times with my left foot. He also made a few shots to me as well as I went in goal.  At the end I was a lot better at kicking the ball with my left foot and he was very good at spot kicks. He went on to be the one who takes most corners and free kicks in his football club and his kicking ability is a lot better than the average for his age.

One activity that I really enjoyed when I was a child was climbing trees.  The organised and relatively safer way to do that these days is called ‘go ape’.  It so happens that my son now enjoys climbing trees very much and my daughter does too a little – as long as the tree is not too tall. This may be particularly useful for parents with children in primary school or who are not too risk averse. Climbing trees is something that can be done as part of walking though the wood where there are suitable trees for a young child to climb. I always do all I can to encourage them to do activities that are instinctive and quite natural – despite the possible risk.  Making this sort of suggestion is probably seen as child cruelty or neglect – as the health and safety aficionado will jump on you very hard!

I will conclude the second part of this article in my next blog by expanding more on the other two activities that I have suggested. Watch this space.

Please see below for links to some of my recent blog articles or related blog to this one.

The last blog – in case you have not read it –