Ah, summer break 😎…

… a time that should feel like a sunny stretch of leisure and relaxation. ☀️🏖️

Yet for parents of teens, it’s a niggling worry or anxiety. 

And as they get older the risks feel higher.

When the structured days of school take a pause, your teen alternates between acute boredom at home or boundless energy in unpredictable places with unpredictable people doing who knows what. 😬

You want:

  • To create memories and experiences
  • them to find a summer job (learn skills and earn money)
  • them to contribute around the house

They want:

  • More time with friends
  • Less responsibilities (no learning, you give them money)
  • endless screen time and marathon gaming sessions

Cue the exhausting game of cat and mouse needing more monitoring than your mind can handle… until now.

Grab your favorite iced drink and dive into my strategies to create a summer you both remember for all the right reasons.

1. Daydreaming and decompression: Teenagers need significant downtime for mental and physical growth, which looks like sleeping until noon, playing video games for hours, or on their phones. This is a necessary window of development that doesn’t mean they’re lazy, irresponsible, or incapable of adulting (seriously, they’re adolescenting for a few more years 😉).

2. Scheduling chores: Have a conversation with your teen about contributing to household chores or projects, with clear outcomes (NOT perfection) and timelines, allowing for other commitments like work or activities. Listen to their ideas/concerns and negotiate if possible for greater buy in. This creates opportunities for self advocacy, learning skills, building confidence, and possibly earning money. Post the schedule or calendar in a highly visible place (i.e. the fridge)!

3. Mentoring toward mastery: Struggle and failure are necessary for learning and mastering new skills. Your teen needs simple instructions and guidance with room to try things their own way and ask questions if they need. Acknowledge their efforts and offer encouragement to complete the task rather than pointing out what they missed. Micromanaging and criticism due to their inexperience lowers confidence and motivation to try again.

4. Encouraging employment: If your teen is ready for a part-time or full-time job during the summer, support them to find opportunities of interest. This develops a sense of ownership and responsibility with the reward of earning their own income. It’s normal for your teen to feel anxious so start small and offer encouragement without doing the leg work for them. If they’re not ready, negotiate larger household projects or offering services in your neighbourhood to ease in and build confidence.

5. Fostering Autonomy: Implement a flexible yet structured daily/weekly routine that includes specific chores, outdoor activities, and downtime (post it in a highly visible place!). Supporting your teen to start tasks without your reminders allows them to create their own cues for time management. This learning process requires patience and encouragement without rescuing from natural consequences.

6. Getting them moving: Teens enjoy more sedentary activities like gaming, or watching movies as part of their rest. Promote physical exercise with activities that don’t feel like Gym class i.e., mowing the lawn, walking the dog, playing frisbee or going for a walk together, practising photography on a local hike, joining you at the gym or yoga class, etc. Movement and the outdoors are beneficial for their physical and mental health without feeling forced.

7. Negotiating tech time: Set clear boundaries about technology use by negotiating times when Wi-Fi will be available and for how long. Allow some wiggle room like earning more time based on additional tasks. This supports  time management, prioritisation, and self-regulation, skills that their developing brains won’t master for a few more years.

Creating a balance of structure, safety, and supervision your and your teen can both live with to enjoy this summer is possible.

But if you’re shaking your head, worried about what could go wrong, or afraid of repeating your experience from last year 😬, I’ve got you covered.

The strategies I shared above are based on my proven 3-step framework that’s helped thousands of parents implement structure, build mutual respect, and improve connection, so school breaks are stress free.

Click below to select your time and watch my free training where I’ll walk you through my framework and why it’s guaranteed to transform your relationship with your teen.

See you soon,