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Start Talking!
Know! To Bust Summer Boredom
6/7/2017

Moving further into June, for many families, means that kids are sitting around the house complaining of summer boredom. Annoying? Yes. Potentially dangerous? You bet.
 
While there is absolutely nothing wrong with teens experiencing a little boredom, too much time on their hands with “nothing to do” can lead to trouble, like experimenting with alcohol and drugs or engaging in other risky behaviors. On the other hand, there are the teens whose summers are completely scheduled out with non-stop activity and not a chance of stepping out of line; but that can be physically and mentally exhausting.
 
Teens need a healthy mix of both leisure and recreational activities to create balance and well-being for their body and mind. Exercise, along with relaxation, can improve their emotion and mood, self-esteem, social connections, sleep, cognitive functioning and overall quality of life. It is also important to note that when parents and children get active or relax together, the family bond is likely to improve and strengthen.
 
Here are some safe, fun ideas to help teens avoid the pitfalls of summer boredom while maintaining a balance of physical activity and relaxation:

Invite a few friends over for grilled hot dogs and s’mores
Bake some cupcakes and deliver them to homebound seniors or residents at a nursing home
Volunteer at a local animal or homeless shelter
Reach out to an old friend
Gather some friends to play cards or board games
Have a pamper your pet day – This may include a bath, a walk and a special treat for your pet
Host a movie night at your house – rent an outdoor projector, pop some popcorn and invite friends
On a rainy day, head to the movies with your siblings or have a movie marathon at home
Make dinner for your family
Volunteer to babysit for a neighbor or someone else you know who could use your help
Buy a few inexpensive plastic kiddy pools for you and your friends to goof around in
Go out for lunch with one or both of your parents
Set up a tent or self-made “fort” and have a campout in your backyard
Create a neighborhood scavenger hunt for you and your friends
Make homemade ice cream or have an ultimate banana split-making contest
Use a tarp to create a giant slip and slide and invite friends to join
Invite a friend for a run or to workout with you
Get outdoors – take a hike, go fishing or plan a canoe trip with a group of friends
Host a gathering around a TV sporting event
Check out a list of carnivals or fairs coming to town, or head to an amusement park

After reading through these ideas, encourage your teen to make note of things that caught their interest, and to add to the list as they think of more. They should also keep it in a handy spot so that when boredom strikes or they can’t think of anything to do, they can simply pull out their list of summer boredom busters and they’ll have a variety of ideas at their fingertips.
 
Learn how to get the conversation started at StartTalking.Ohio.Gov.


 
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