“Summer time and the living is easy” and “there ain’t no cure for the summer time blues” are musical words that typify the summer season of our lives, especially for teenagers.
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They either find their lives jam-packed with summer activities like summer school, football practice, band camp, a summer job or they find themselves bored and endlessly complaining there’s nothing to do.
June and July are the most popular months for teens to try smoking pot for the first time, according to research by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
There’s a 40 percent first-time use, not only smoking pot, but there’s a spike in the number of underage drinkers and cigarette smokers.
There’s also a high rate of teen pregnancies during the summer months, as well.
The very nature of summer leaves most teens these days without supervision.
Keep in mind, I said without supervision, I didn’t say without friends.
Ah, the friends — even if you tell your teen they are not allowed to have company in the house while you’re at work, they still find themselves in the company of their friends.
Impossible, you say? Consider this.
In this day and age, most teens have cellphones or friends who have cellphones.
The telecommunications world has given our teens the opportunity to talk to their friends, 24 hours a day, and to text message them, as well.
If you think your teen is home alone, think again.
In many instances, the Internet has become our teen’s best friend.
Instant messaging, chat rooms and Facebook has increased the teen-to-teen communication process, and it has also exposed our teens to unwanted negative influences, as well.
Many teens fill their time with nonstop video game playing. I am not talking about an hour per day, but in many instances, it is the entire day, especially during the summer months.
Summer isn’t the time for easing up on parent expectations and teen accountability.
If we are managing our teen’s lives with consistency, be it spring, summer, winter or fall, we will hold our teens accountable for household chores and responsibilities, curfews, family and moral values.
Even teenagers enjoy summer camps, and it’s not too late sign up for a teen summer camp.
Summer is great time for a teen to start a hobby.
Volunteering is a great way to keep teens busy and volunteering provides them with work experience.
Babysitting, lawn care and dog walking are perfect jobs for teens.
Santa Clarita’s newest free teen center, the Action Family Zone is a center for teens and families in Santa Clarita that is focused on personal development and relationships, with the motto “It takes a village” as its foundation.
There are a variety of activities including a music and art studio, pool tables, video games and a computer center.
Teens are supervised and must be clean and sober to participate in Action Family Zone Activities.
For more information about the Action Family Zone call (661) 467-2714.
Cary Quashen is a high-risk teen counselor and certified addiction specialist. He is the founder and president of Action Parent & Teen Support Group Programs, Action Family Counseling and the Action Zone Teen Center in the Santa Clarita Valley. Quashen may be reached by calling (661) 297-8691.
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Source: Santa Clarita News