4 ways your teens can make the most out of winter break

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By Erin Eagan

You can just see it. Your kids are off for winter break, and for two weeks their eyes are fixed on a mobile device, tablet or gaming system.

Granted, winter is a tough time for anyone to get motivated, let alone teenagers on a break from school. But maybe this year you have them try something different, even if it’s just for an hour or two a day. There are numerous ways to get your teen up off the couch and doing something beneficial. Encourage them to make the most of this winter break! 

1. Volunteer work
The holidays are a wonderful time to volunteer at food pantries, soup kitchens, homeless shelters or community centers. There are so many options out there, with something suited for everyone. Not only will they be helping others, but they will be bettering themselves in the process. There’s no better way to get them to appreciate all they have than to have them spend time with those who go without.

2. Learn about themselves
Those short weeks during winter break can be a great opportunity for them to explore their interests. Encourage them to find something that sparks a passion whether it’s music, writing, drawing or even building something. It may seem small but it’s an important step for them to take on the path to figuring out interests for their future.

3. Practice adult responsibilities
As much as you may want them to be, they’re not going to be in your care for much longer. Soon they’ll out on their own trying to tackle adulthood. Why not give them an early start on doing things they’ll eventually need to do on their own, like cooking or laundry? Better now under your watchful eye where they can learn from mistakes and ask questions.

4. Spend time with family
High school life can be busy and stressful, and just like adults, teenagers deserve a little time off. This winter, take time off together as a family to relax and recharge by playing games, watching movies or driving around to see the Christmas lights — just enjoying each other’s company.

A healthy balance of work and play will help make this winter break one that’s both productive and enjoyable.