Summer! Ice cream and cook outs. Staying up late and sleeping in. No homework and no alarm clocks. With all of the fun and freedom of the summer season, it will pass in the blink of an eye. How can we make this summer count in the lives of our teens and the story of our family?
1. Talk about it.
Set a goal for something you want to achieve this summer. Would you like to learn a skill? Explore a strength your teen has? Find a new way to serve as a family? Build on a relationship? Go on an adventure? Try something new? Take time to talk about it as a family and brainstorm your ideas for goals you can set as a family. (Bonus Handout: Check out our list of summer activities for inspiration.)
2. Schedule it.
Set realistic goals and mark it on the calendar. For most teens, summer is only 11 or 12 weeks long. That means there are only 12 Saturdays to make the most of! When you add in summer camps, family vacations, and church events, much of the summer is already planned out.
Choose one thing to focus on this summer with your teen or family, then put it on the calendar. Scheduling it gives you the best chance that it will actually happen. If your schedule is tight, you may only have one or two Saturdays this summer to set aside for your goal. If you have more open time, you might be able to spend one day each week or month focused on your goal. If you are a parent, you may still work full time, or if you are a youth leader, you may be seeing your students even less frequently in the summer. Don’t be discouraged if you only have a small amount of time with your teen! Even a small amount of time is powerful if we invest it wisely.
3. Look to the future.
Go ahead and start planning a fall schedule for your family. Make sure your your calendar reflects your priorities. Whether is it serving together, learning together, or spending time together, block out a time every month to continue to grow with your teen.
We only get 5 summers with our teenagers. Let’s invest these days, not just spend them.
Start a Conversation with Your Teen
- What do you think is the most important thing on our schedule this summer?
- Is there something you have always wanted to try, but never gotten the chance?
- If you had $100 to do something new, what would you spend it on?
- What is something that you could spend time doing this summer that you would be proud of?
Need help with coming up with a goal for your family? Check out our list for inspiration!
We also have a blog post on making the most of the summer geared for teens! Share this post with your teen daughter or a teen girl in your life.