Wednesday, June 17, 2009

School's Out. Time To Panic!

My teenager started summer vacation this week. I remember the pressure I used to feel when she was in grade school, trying to come up with creative and affordable diversions for her in the summertime. I managed to string together enough cheap day camps, trips to the library for storytime, beach outings and weekly visits to Chuck E. Cheese to help entertain her through the long summer months.

I always thought the pressure of trying to keep your children busy during the summer would fizzle out as they got older. But I think it only gets worse.

When they’re teenagers, it’s a pressure of another kind entirely: You worry that if you don’t have enough activities lined up for them, then they’ll get into trouble on their own.

We’re three days into her vacation, and already she’s spent time with two friends, here at our house. They’ve gone to the gym, hung out by the pool, played a little tennis, watched “Twilight” for the gazillionth time. I like that they’re here and I can keep an eye on them. But I’m sure this venue will grow old real soon.

My Gidget will probably be spending a lot of time at the beach during the day, which is fine, and so typical of being a teenager here in Surf City. But it’s the bonfires at night that I’m concerned about. She’s already been to one where teens were passing around mixed drinks in plastic cups.

We had a nice, long talk about THAT!

Does anyone out there have any good ideas on what to do with teenagers during the summer? Maybe some things that don’t involve too many boys!

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