Your teen is on winter break. So what now? They will need those few days to decompress, maybe reflect on the semester, maybe sleep for a couple of days straight. This is completely normal, but now think about the rest of the break.
You may have a teen that’s happy to make their own schedule and stay out of trouble, or you may have a teen in need of guidance and structured activities to stay away from questionable decisions. It often serves both the parents and teens well if there is a set plan ahead of time to avoid confusion and frustration.
Here are our top five ideas to keep your teen busy and engaged this winter break.
Time to Give Back
This is perfect for young adults who are eager to help others and make a difference. Service, often known as volunteering, is a practical way for your teen to put the meaning of the holiday season into action. Volunteering can provide exposure to new environments, people, and therefore, opportunities for personal growth.
Some students may find themselves going to another country on a service trip, and some may find a service opportunity closer to home. You can find service opportunities in animal shelters, food banks, the YMCA, zoos, homeless shelters, the Boys & Girls Club, churches, assisted living facilities – nearly anywhere for every interest. Here are three organizations with plenty of volunteer opportunities: the United Way, the American Red Cross Youth, and Habitat for Humanity.
Try Out A Seasonal Job
The holidays are a busy time, especially for local businesses. A rush of shoppers means there is plenty of seasonal work available during December and January From local boutiques to Christmas tree lots to big department stores, winter break is the perfect opportunity for your teen to get out of the house, experience responsibility, and make some pocket money.
Camps often hold short winter sessions for kids out of school. Search for local camps in your area for those hiring ahead of time. There are often many jobs available for camp counselors, facilities staff, program specialists, and more.
Earn A Certification
Lifeguarding? In the middle of winter? Yes, we’re serious. You can find lifeguarding certification classes offered by The Red Cross. They also offer first aid and CPR certification classes as well. Locations are typically indoor pools at community centers, YMCAs, or other locations protected from the elements.
If your teen is interested in working with younger children in the summer, then having these certifications will give them a leg up on the competition. This possible winter break idea leads perfectly into the next one, coming right up.
Get Ahead of the Summer Game
Yes, we know we are just now planning for the winter season. Summer is even longer, requiring more time and preparation to offset the daunting amount of downtime. January is the prime hiring month for many summer camps, internships, and travel opportunities.
The best jobs get snatched up quickly. Those teens who get online, do research, narrow down their top choices, and apply, have a much better chance of capturing their dream summer job.
Make the Most of Winter Break
We have to acknowledge the fact that simply relaxing and taking it easy are perfectly acceptable ways to spend the entire winter break. In fact, we wager most parents and teens want to do just that. Relax, exchange gifts, eat way too much, and take naps – few would argue with spending winter break like that.
Use the winter break to reconnect with family. It’s not very often you can sit and relax with your teens between school, practices, errands, and the like. There is no shame in enjoying their company and soaking in the holiday spirit.