Bored teenagers. They’re the bane of parents the world over. Come school holidays, they moan ‘there’s nothing to do.’ They’re glued to their mobile phone. Or worse still, they go to the mall.
If you want to inspire your child get out of mope mode, follow these tips, and you might just find you become an awesome parent along the way, too.
1. Give them space to think
Does your teenager have the same bedroom décor as when they were a child? Well, the Thomas the Tank Engine wallpaper won’t just discourage them from bringing friends round; it could stifle their ambitions, too.
By making renovating their room a project, you can get them to practice life skills. Set them a budget. Let them pick out the paint or DIY tools they need. And let them go to work. Plus, if your daughter or son needs a little help putting up that first shelf, you get to spend some quality time together, too.
Whether it’s a quick clear out or complete renovation, here are a few ideas to get their Kevin McCloud creative juices flowing.
2. Nudge them to find a role model
Obviously, you’re number one in the eyes of your teenager. Ahem.
But by encouraging them to find – and follow – a role model on social media, they’ll glean advice from the best minds out there.
Is your son a budding writer? Get them to follow their favourite author on Twitter. (The good ones might just respond to their tweets.) Does your daughter have an entrepreneurial spirit? Get her to read and reply to Arianna Huffington’s posts on LinkedIn. She could even set up a profile while she’s there. Good prep for entering the job market!
3. Give them the Grand Tour
Letting your kids flee the nest can be daunting. But school art trips and tours abroad (to places such as Paris, Madrid, and New York) can open their eyes – and prise them off the couch.
They’ll see art from The Masters. Try out their language skills. And gape at amazing architecture. And by immersing them in a new culture, you’ll help them see the world in new light and defeat that 50-yard teenager stare for good.
So, if the thought of next school holidays terrifies you, try these pre-emptive strikes against boredom. They won’t just give your teenager something to do, they’ll encourage him / her to think for themselves.
And by helping them decorate a room, get inspired by someone famous, or see the world, you’ll become the best Mum or Dad in their eyes along the way.