Keep Your Teens Actively Safe During the Winter Break

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Winter break is upon us and teenagers find themselves more often on their own during school holidays. There are an estimated 13.7 Million single parent households in the United States with approximately 49.8% single moms and 71% single dads working full-time year round, and those with teenagers are often left unsupervised while out of school. Studies show that unsupervised teens are more likely to engage in risky behaviors such as underage drinking, sexual activity and cigarette smoking than other teens. Planning ahead can help keep your teen safe and out of trouble. It is a good idea to set clear rules, go over upcoming parties and agree on appointed check-in times. It is also important to set-up your teen with engaging activities that will keep them entertained and safe while out of school, all you need is a little creativity. Here a couple of ideas to keep your teens busy this winter break:

  • Earn Extra Spending Money. Are there any full-time working parents in your neighborhood who are wondering who will care for their young children while they are out of school? Maybe your teen can earn some extra money by babysitting for them. Other possible jobs include shoveling snow or tutoring.
     
  • Give back to the community. What better time to start teaching your teen about the importance in giving back to the community? The holidays are the perfect time to volunteer at your local soup kitchen or food bank. Organizing and running their own toy or clothing drive is a great way to have your teenager stay occupied while experiencing the joys of giving back.
     
  • Spend Time as a Family. In planning ahead for your teen, is it possible to pencil in some family time as well? The holidays can bulk up an already busy schedule, making it easy to overlook the lack of family bonding. Schedule family activities like game night or movie night and make it a priority. Also plan on visiting family members who rarely get to spend time with your teenagers.