Summer Activities to Help Your Teen Build Character

Summer break for school-aged children can mean a startling break in ordinary routine. With so much free time, teens can often fall into patterns of loneliness or depression. If you are looking for activities to help your teen get through the dog days of summer, you may also be looking for things that build character.

See below for some great activities to involve your troubled teen in this summer that can help them to be confident and more successful in the new school year.

Lifeguarding. Lifeguarding is one of the most sought-after summer jobs for teens. Outdoors all day by the pool, and what could be better? However, there is much more to lifeguarding than sunbathing all day. Lifeguards are taught important first aid, CPR, the importance of vigilance and of personal responsibility. Lives are dependent on the person in that chair, which is a task that shouldn’t be taken lightly. A lifeguarding job can be something that your teen can do summer after summer if they build a reputation for being a great employee.

Construction. For young men, in particular, summer construction jobs can be some of the most rewarding financially. However, along with the benefit of great pay, construction jobs often teach important safety measures, and can also lead to an interest in careers such as architecture or carpentry. Construction hours can also be long, or unusual, depending on the project, which can teach your teen how to balance a schedule along with their free time.

Teen summer camps. Whether participating as an attendee or as a counselor, teen summer camps are one the best ways to build character for troubled teens. The fresh air, the lack of technology and the outdoor living can help to teach your child important survival skills, both physical and mental, that they can take back to school with them. Some teen wilderness camps cater particularly to troubled teens, which can include both individual and group therapy with licensed counselors.

Volunteering at a hospital or “candy striping.” Candy stripers, or health care volunteers, are a vital part of patient care within hospitals. When teens are the ones to volunteer, they can bring a sort of positive energy with them that assists in keeping up the morale of particularly down-trodden patients. Volunteering teaches teens the value of giving their time, and also that not everything in life should come with an equal return. Some rewards cannot be measured monetarily, but the lessons in compassion that are learned can be taken with them their entire lives.

Summer internships. Internships are different from summer jobs as they can be paid or unpaid, but they provide invaluable experience within a certain field of interest for your teen. If they are interested in writing, an internship with the local paper or a local magazine publication can teach them how these jobs work in the real world, and the effort that is made each day.