Summer is coming, what kinds of activities for 15 year old son

Allison - posted on 04/08/2010 ( 20 moms have responded )

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My son is 15, a freshman in high school. He gets good grades (top 5% of his class), does chores as requested and is otherwise your basic moody teenager. Last summer, he spent his days sleeping in, computer gaming and then 4 to 6 afternoons a week he'd attend Karate classes. Every once in a while he'd go to the driving range and hit golf balls but he had no desire to take lessons in golf. This summer he has no plans. We've investigated camps (most in the educational variety--held at college campuses, a couple more sport-themed). He is not interested. He is quitting Karate after 5 years (he refuses to try for his black belt--he's tried and failed twice and doesn't want to go through with it again). He isn't interested in taking golf lessons (although I'm about ready to sign him up anyway). He's really too young to work (isn't he?) and besides, with this economy will he be able to find anything? I'm afraid he's going to spend his summer in his room, glued to his computer monitor, gaming the day away. How can I motivate him to get outside and do something? I can't expect him to spend a lot of time outdoors (it gets over 110 degrees here in the summer), but I think he ought to be involved with something--even if it means meeting his friends at the mall or movie theater. Last summer I tried to get him more interested in golf in hopes that he'd try out for the high school team, but he doesn't want to get involved in anything at school. Any suggestions on what I should ask or require him to do this summer? He has no friends in the neighborhood, but I'm more than willing to drive him to his friend's place or vice versa. I can leave work at any time to shuttle him where he needs to be.

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Lesley - posted on 04/14/2010

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We have the same issue with my 15 year old son. I have developed "mom homework". Yes he just loves me for it. He will have a research project every 2 to 3 weeks. He will have to research something or read a book and do a report for me. In fact I am looking for a good novel for the 2nd project. Any ideas?? Something to enlighten his mind not waste it. That is the whole idea of this experiment.

Joyce - posted on 04/14/2010

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Why are we so busy trying to keep our kids busy when we get them in activities they hate and we make a fuss changing our schedules to get them there and everybody is miserable! He is at the age that he is learning who he is and finding his own interest and not moms, be patient give him some options but let him make the choices and you will find that things won't be such a fight to get him out of the room. He won't wanna stay in his room for 3 long months. Sometimes we all need a break, I feel summer is his . School now is very stressful with all the taks and peer pressure home is where he can relax and just be himself without all the extras. Don't you need a little time to just relax. To bad we don't get 3 month of summer vacation anymore and soon enough he will be busy .

Gloria - posted on 06/22/2012

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Thankful mom,

I was ready to go to a consuelor (58 year old) mom to ask advise about my 15 year old son very smart and he is just happy getting out of school and have a group of friends to play in the computer.I didn't like this but I know now he is not the only one, what a relieved!
Thank you so much to these parents for sharing their ideas. They care a lot about other parents!

Missy - posted on 05/26/2013

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Typical teenager! Teens are so busy growing they are tired a lot! I can still remember how tired I felt as a teen! It's ok to let him chill! This may be his last chance to ever do nothing for a whole summer. I think it's ok and good to give him certain chores that need done daily. On my days off, either my husband or I will do stuff with our kids like go to the stock car races, fishing, hiking, biking, swimming, summer fairs, fireworks, amusement parks, the movies, etc. He enjoys it. He also has friends over or goes to their houses. We usually sit down at the beginning of summer and think of a list of fun things he would like to do over the summer. He could also look for opportunities to pet sit, house sit, mow other people's lawns, babysit, etc for some extra money. Also, some of the YMCA's and churches will hire or have teen volunteers to work with the younger kids so you may want to look into that. I wouldn't worry about the karate or golf. Forcing him to do it isn't going to make him like it any better and if his heart isn't in it he's not really going to improve anyway. Teens natural sleep cycles are much later than adults too. No he doesn't necessarily need to sleep til noon every day but it may help you knowing it's a normal process. Just because he's being lazy in no way means he will turn out to be a lazy, unproductive adult!! :)

Vickie - posted on 04/09/2010

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1st thing is stop worrying.... you can not run his life for him he is just trying to make you worry hold back if he has an intrest it will come through him when he is ready.you sound like u have a fab kid he will hang out with pals when he is good and ready.If he sees you are not pushing him into anything he will ask to do things himself he is just finding out who he is and what he wants from life some kids do the nothing period for a while its all part of the growing into a man thing.

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Olivia - posted on 06/10/2014

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Here are some ideas my 15 year old son did and loved....
- Babysat- he even got some money while doing it and if your son has alot of free time this is perfect
-Volunteer- Hospitals, nursing homes, Shelter meals, etc.- you have to be 16 to get a job but volunteers dont get money just love
-Mission Trip- this sounds scary to send a 15 year old away but my son did not go far we had found a group who went to a poor community and built houses-(looks great on the college resume)
-Keep your kid happy- if he doesnt want to do it dont make him
-He can also take on DIY projects
- good luck!

Jill - posted on 05/25/2013

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This sounds just like my grandson. I filled this out for my daughter. We are looking for someone who has teens to keep him a couple of days a week. ...So posssible he could swim, etc. He is going to his uncles in Colorado for a few weeks this summer but what to do with the rest of the summer.

Kristin - posted on 06/22/2012

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I say dont worry let him be a lazy teen and enjoy his summer vacation. He will go out when he wants to and you cant force him to. My son started working as a dishwasher in a kitchen part time when he was 14 so yes your son could get a job if he wants to. My son got a job because he liked spending money on video and computer games and I just quit buying him that stuff unless it was a birthday or christmas present. He is 16 an still works but summer is going to consist of him being lazy and hanging out with friends and helping me around the house. Just relax as a mom and let him be young.

Madelyn - posted on 04/14/2010

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There is a wonderful organization called Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) which has sports and leadershp camps all over, They range in age from 8-18 and include many sports and levels within sports. My son has been involved since 15 in attending the sports camp and Leadership camps and he looks forward to being a 'huddle leader' this year. Do check fcacamps.org to see if there is something that might entice him. They are usually 1 week long and at colleges so the facilities are nice. He might meet some cool kids from all over the region and be encouraged to grow in his faith.

Lori - posted on 04/14/2010

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Welcome to the fretful fifteens! Too young to drive and too old to want to go to summer camp! Maybe he'd be interested in volunteer work. You'd be surprised how many organizations look for teens to help out. Good luck!

Stacey - posted on 04/14/2010

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Does he have his driving permit? My oldest son is 14 and working on his permit. I think I want him to get his permit and learn how to drive more then he does. Also here where we live, we have stock car/ hobby car races at the fairgrounds on fridays. My boys being 14, 12 and 9, love to watch the races. The oldest 2 gets to hang out with their cousins and friends during the race, then we all meet up at the end. And my oldest two have always been involved in sports, mainly football and basketball. My kids want to get jobs when they are old enough so they can buy their own things. I think it helps teach responsibility at an early age. I know a big thing for teens here is going to the movies, and going to the bigger malls to hang out.

Lisa - posted on 04/14/2010

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My 14 year old son wasn't interested in golf lessons either, but he was happy to go out and play nine holes with his friends once a week. If he's like my son and his friends, the moms have to arrange everything because the boys will never plan anything. They are always happy afterward even though they grumble beforehand. He also volunteered with our recreation dept. to help with youth summer sports which is a great way to get a job with the rec. dept when he's 16, the age they need to be hired in our town. Do you have a local boys and girls club? He could be a volunteer tutor for them or the school guidance center may have a list of opportunities. Good luck.

Amy - posted on 04/14/2010

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This sounds like my son exactly! He is also 15 and I'm worried about summer coming and him having nothing to do! I have been looking for a job for him but he is too young. Not sure what we are going to do.

Louise - posted on 04/13/2010

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I am afraid at 15 your son has a mind of his own and will only do what he wants to do. I found this really hard to come to terms with as I loved the holidays with my teenage boys booking cinema trips and shopping trips but now they don't want to go. My eldest is 18 and spends all day at his girlfriends house or at work, my 15 year old is also around another girls house or hanging around in the park with a group of mates. It is not cool to go shopping with mum or take extra lessons during the holidays. They are mini adults not quite old enough to do what they want to do but to old to do somethings. He will have his own plans I am sure and all you can do is trust that he is keeping out of trouble.

Tracey - posted on 04/12/2010

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I don't think he is too young to work. Personally I came from a family that didn't think I should work until I was out of high school. They thought I should enjoy my teen life before I had to work for the rest of it. But I don't think there is anything wrong with it. Maybe since he is so into computers he could earn money for new computer games or something. Or volunteer somewhere. I do try to have my boys volunteer occassionally even if it is just cleaning out their rooms to give to good will or something. It does a soul good. Since he is good at school maybe he can tutor or teach computer skills. My son is 15 and he wants to get a job at the local amusement park. I don't have much doubt that he will probably get fired but the way I look at it that would probably be good for my son as well. He'll begin to learn what life is really like!

Angie - posted on 04/11/2010

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My son got his first summer job when he was 15. This summer he'll work 40 hours a week but when he was 16 he worked 20 or so. It gave him enough spending money for the school year and it left him with enough time to play soccer on the club team. I think it's very important for my children to have summer jobs. They learn how to take care of money and gives them a lot of self esteem....

Tracy - posted on 04/09/2010

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He's actually not too young to work at some places. Pump It Up or other indoor jump/play areas hire 15 year olds to help run birthday parties. They basically play with the kids and tell them when it's time to move to a different area. They also help set up and clean up the party rooms and write down who gave the birthday child each gift. They serve any food too. Also, what about having him volunteer at a children's hospital or a regular hospital? He can help in the Child Life department by playing with kids, reading to them, wheeling them around, taking them to outside play time. He can deliver movies to inpatients, refill ice/water for patients, escort families to waiting areas....just lots of duties. Most volunteer programs start at age 14. My son is 15 as well and he is going to Boston on a mission trip with our church youth group, playing 7 on 7 football, helping his grandmother with painting her fence and clearing brush on her farm, and of course he starts regular football in August. What about swimming? Would your son be interested in competing on a city swim team? Or does your rec center have summer basketball leagues or art classes he could take? Has he done a driver's ed class? Hope these ideas help!!!

Krista - posted on 04/09/2010

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sounds a little like my son, computer computer computer. what i do is a try to balance it so he gets his computer for half they day and i arrange a activity for us to do together, i dont ask him i tell him we are going to go for example ice skating in 1 hour, yeh he whinges all the way there but once the day is over man has he had a good time and glad i forced him out of the room.

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