It’s important for teens to have structured activities to take part in after school. Whether it’s a sports team, drama club or a volunteer opportunity, extracurricular activities are a great way to fill unstructured time and bring like-minded students together.
Some parents get concerned that these activities may cut into their child’s academics, but this is rarely the case. Instead, after-school sports and clubs can round out your child’s schedule and positively impact their academic success. Most importantly, having things to do outside of school keeps them out of trouble and away from drugs. As you probably know, too much time can lead to boredom, and boredom can lead to negative behavior.
After-School Activity Ideas
What are some of the things your teen can take part in? Encourage these sober after school activities to help your child stay away from drugs and other negative influences.
- Sports: Participation in sports can have a huge impact on your teen’s mental and physical health. Encourage them to join a sports team such as soccer, volleyball or tennis. Even if your child isn’t naturally athletic, they can still reap the benefits of team sports. In fact, kids who play sports tend to have better grades than those not in sports.
- Gym Membership: If your teen isn’t interested in playing on a team, sign them up for a gym membership. After school, they can head to the gym and choose a workout of their choice: swimming, lifting weights or jogging on the treadmill.
- Book Club: If your child enjoys reading, a book club will feel right at home. Not only can you find book clubs through schools, libraries and local park districts, but there are also convenient book clubs online.
- Volunteer Opportunities: Volunteerism isn’t just beneficial for the people being helped; it’s also beneficial for those who help. Assist your teen in finding volunteer opportunities that match their interests. Nonprofit organizations are always in need of volunteers.
- Cooking: Encourage your teen to take on more responsibility in the kitchen. It will help you out, and they’ll enjoy the extra freedom. They may already have a knack for cooking, or you can enjoy this hobby as a family at the end of a long day.
- Journaling: Writing in a journal is a constructive way to express inner feelings. Plus, once feelings are on paper, it’s much easier to acknowledge them and work through them. Suggest journaling in a notebook or online (there are many free journal tools) that will provide your teen with an outlet for handling stress.
Expanding boundaries and testing the limits is a natural part of being a teenager. It’s important to give your teen more freedom and responsibility, but it needs to be within a structured environment. Encouraging your teen to fill their afternoon with healthy activities where they can meet new friends and explore new interests is the first step in helping them create a drug-free lifestyle.
If your teen is struggling with drugs or alcohol, The River Source can help. We have a drug rehab program for adolescent males, ages 13-17. Our program is holistic and treats all aspects of the self – mind, body and spirit.
For More Information About Our Youth Program – Call Us Now!