Summer is here and I have a 15 year old son who will be left home alone. My husband and I both work to make ends meet. Is there any advice you can give on ways to keep my son busy, maybe learn something and stay OUT of trouble?
Answer: Great question. I am asked all the time if there is a place my son could go to stay out of trouble and maybe learn something. We do have PAL’s and Boys and Girls clubs, but they are mostly geared towards a little younger population. That answer is not from me, that answer is from kids I speak to all the time.
Normally a teenager starts working at 16. (Legally) Sadly, with the state of the economy even teenagers who want to work are having a tough time finding work. See if your child is an entrepreneur. Maybe cut lawns, weed gardens, help homeowners clean out their garages as a business. You might find he really likes that.
Take them on trips to nature preserves, baseball game, golf outings, swim classes, etc. By exposing a teenager to different things they might find what they want to do in life. I feel we are missing the boat with teenagers at a very vulnerable time in their lives. Lets be educators at home.
As a footnote, I always say a teenager can find trouble alone on a desert island if they are looking for it. You are definitely on the right track though, guiding your son in the right direction and staying pro-active.
If a teen is experiencing more than four of the following warning signs, they could be at risk and an intervention should be considered before the problem gets worse.
- Has the teen ever been suspended, expelled, been truant, or had their grades drop?
- Is the teen verbally abusive?
- Does the teen struggle with basic family rules and expectations?
- Does the parent have difficulty getting the teen to do basic household chores and homework?
- Has the teen had problems with the law?
- Does the parent have to pick their words carefully when speaking to the teen, so as not to elicit a verbal attack or even rage from them?
- Is the teen in danger of dropping out of high school?
- Does the teen associate with a suspect peer group?
- Has the teen lost interest in former productive activities, sports, hobbies, or childhood friends?
- Has the teen ever displayed any evidence of suicide?
- Does the teen seem depressed / withdrawn?
- Does the teen ever display violent behavior?
- Is the teen sexually promiscuous?
- Has the teen’s appearance or personal hygiene changed?
- Is the teen deceitful and manipulative?
- Has the teen been caught stealing money or personal items from their family?
- Is the teen severely lacking in motivation?
- Does the teen sometimes lie regarding their activities?
- Does the teen display outbursts of temper?
- Does the teen lack self-worth and self-esteem?
- Does the teen defy established rules regardless of the consequences?
- When trying to deal with the teen, do the parents feel powerless?
- Does the teen have a problem with authority?
- Do the parents suspect the teen is experimenting with drugs or alcohol?
Stay pro-active – get the online Reality Check Program Video. watch immediately.