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8 creative ways to keep teens out of trouble during school holidays

Teenagers being home for the holidays can mean more chances of them falling into bad company, find some helpful tips to keep your teens out of trouble.

High school students during term break [Photo: Joseph Kanyi]

Parenting is something everyone wants to get right, especially when it comes to teens.

As more young adults find themselves being mum or dad to a teenager, it can be confusing to find the best parenting style and often what will work for one teen may be disastrous with another.

Given that many teenagers are also high school students, being engaged in their school work is one way that keeps them out of trouble, giving young parents some relief.

However, when the school term ends and teens get a lot more free time, parents need to step in and protect their teens from falling into bad company.

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Here are nine fun parenting hacks that build self-esteem for teens and keep them on the right path.

Teen angst needs an outlet and physical activity is one way to get all that energy out and promote a healthy body and mind.

Other than the life-long benefits of an active lifestyle, teens are already used to a routine P.E. lesson within their school schedule so it will help them maintain healthy body weight while home for the holidays.

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Travelling to fun places and taking part in interesting recreational activities is a teenager's dream. They are naturally curious about the world and want to know what it feels like to do the things that grownups do.

Finding teen-friendly concerts to attend with them or planning a recreational activity like kart racing with a group of their friends are some activities they can enjoy.

You can also allow them to take part in trends like hairstyles, fashion, or TikTok dance challenges so that they don't feel like they are the odd one out in their friend group.

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The Internet has multiplied risks of teens falling into bad company, and most parents want to limit contact with the web until a teenager knows how to navigate it safely. Books can help.

Finding good non-academic books for your teen during the school holiday is a good way to help them develop critical thinking skills and spark their natural creativity.

But the only way to get a teenager to read a book unrelated to their studies is if the book you recommend is current, exciting, has a compelling storyline, and is at their reading level.

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If your teen is not interested in reading books or socialising, then you could try finding them a part-time job to do where they can earn some money. This will help them feel a sense of independence and teach them real-life lessons they need to learn.

Responsible parenting dictates that you ensure the job does not exploit your teen or expose them to people who will mishandle them.

Some precocious teens already have an idea of their own unique talents and abilities. And because university years are not too far for them, parents can help them explore various options ahead of time.

If a teen is interested in how video games work, it is possible to enroll them in a junior coders programme where they will be introduced to the basics of software engineering.

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If a teen is gifted in public speaking, find them a Toastmasters club they can join to polish the skill.

At their age, teens want to try different things and even if they don't do well in all of them, this learning process builds resilience and helps them narrow things down.

Teens who don't get good guidance from the grownups around them are vulnerable. They will have a hard time learning to make good choices and they may end up with a false understanding of how things work in the world.

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Use the stuff you watch on the news to start difficult conversations with your teen, from love & relationships to matters of social justice and even political philosophies. Help your teen understand and participate in the world around them.

Conversations are also a good way to impart family values and family history.

Teens, and especially high school students, are already exercising a level of independence by managing their schoolwork. Getting them involved in making key decisions at home goes a long way in making them feel grown up.

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Listen to their suggestions on projects you can do as a family and pick one that will require everyone's participation. It can be a long-term project like a household pet or a short-term project that ends when they go back to school like planting mushrooms.

If you find that your teen is not interested in any of these recommendations then simply give them some healthy space and don't pressure them to do anything, after all, they are home to get some rest.

They may be trying to process things that happened during the school term or just stuck in the busy world of teenagehood. As long as they are not getting themselves or others in trouble, then don't get too worried.

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