If you are the parent or guardian of a teenager, you know that getting them out of their shell can be a tricky thing to do. Due to the ongoing pandemic, more young people were schooled through distance learning than ever before, leaving many families searching for new and creative ways to keep their adolescents active and engaged, while still inspiring a sense of productivity and self-worth. If you can relate to that challenge, here are a few easy tips to help your teenager overcome the doldrums of being home round-the-clock and garner new interests that could last a lifetime.
Inspiring College Prep
There’s an old adage for parents that it’s never too early to have your teen thinking about college. Well, now may be just the time for that. Due to the demand for online learning, universities have begun offering at-home, virtual tours of their campuses, not only providing tons of interesting information on the school itself, but even booking virtual “walk-thru'” and professional help through guided open house events counselors to spark teens’ interested in their college experience. Particularly if you have a shy adolescent or troubled teen, this virtual alternative might be the best way for them to comfortably explore their future and still see first-hand what many colleges have to offer. Take a look online at a few colleges you think your teen may like and find out when the next event is scheduled.
The Great Outdoors
One of the most common addictive pastimes for today’s teens is playing video games, but what about using this time to inspire a newfound love of the great outdoors? Plan a hiking or camping trip with your teen and experience all that nature has to offer together. It wouldn’t cost much to camp in your own backyard, but renting hiking and camping equipment can be as simple as renting classic arcade games and arcade game rentals, and can inspire a lifetime of enjoyment as a new hobby. If your teen is apprehensive about the wilderness, you can compromise and download numerous apps to teach hiking and observing the stars in the night sky, making for a fun learning experience. If they’re still not sold on it, maybe promise to look into arcade game rentals when you get back, since renting classic arcade games like Pac-Man and Donkey Kong is surprisingly easy these days. A short term game rental in return for a week in the fresh air may be a pretty good compromise.
Additionally, it’s no coincidence that medical professionals suggest at least one hour of physical exercise for adolescents during their teenage years. Hiking is only one outlet. If your teen is an animal lover or aspires to a veterinary career, have them volunteer at an animal shelter to walk dogs or help train service animals. This is a great way for career experience, exercise, and the added bonus of emotional support with a potential service animal, which can go a long way to help a troubled teenager find their way into healthy adulthood.
A Creative Bedroom Makeover
If enjoying nature or initiating research into college doesn’t sound too appealing to your young adult, there are still other healthy ways to keep an adolescent feeling creative and inspired. In fact, one key way to allow them to stay at home and do some chores can become a fun experience. Suggest a creative bedroom makeover to your teen. Their cabin fever could be growingly agitated by the familiarity of the walls around them, and flexing a little artistic muscle in redoing their bedroom solves two problems at once. You can head online with them for fun ideas in young adult interior design and allow their imagination to run free, painting the walls of their bedroom, gutting their closets for older appeal rip for donation, and giving the bedroom an all-new, more mature look decor and look that reflects who they are as a young adult.
Believe it or not, this suggestion isn’t all that different than hiking and camping, as your teen may discover their hidden talents for interior design and the arts.