The last term count down until the final bell of the school year rings has begun. Hip Hip Hoorah you hear your preteen yell! What will your preteen be doing this summer? Have you booked them in a series of camps, is there a family vacation planned or is it totally free time for them to plan themselves.
Summer can be a challenging time for preteens.
They are on the cusp of not wanting to go to camp anymore, some more than others; and yet still a bit young to be left to entertain themselves every day. As the summer begins everyone is excited to be relaxed with not a care in the world, no homework, no extra activities and no responsibilities just open time. However, in a few weeks all that open time becomes consuming and unfulfilling resulting in a grumpy, bored child. In the story Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott, the four sisters have been working so hard at school and their jobs the girls decide they should spend their summer vacation doing nothing but playing.
“You may try your experiment for a week and see how you like it. I think by Saturday night you will find that all play and no work is as bad as all work and no play,” their Mother said.
― Louisa May Alcott, Little Women
There is no better enjoyment then that of achievement.
Just because school has concluded does not mean that the learning needs to finish. In fact, this is a great time to set up opportunities for different learning. Goal setting is an important part of life in school and out of school. You can help set your child on the right path by having them create their own summer achievement adventure.
Here’s an idea that will help your child learn responsibility as well as make summer a positive experience. Renae Quinton, author of Crystal Clear- Creating a predictable future through goal setting recommends, setting up a weekly system where your preteen sets goals about their interests. This includes things they wanted to try during the school year but did not have the time. It could be learning music, baking or perhaps drawing. Whatever interests your preteen, this is their summer plan. The other area of focus for setting goals should be on your preteen’s community. How can your preteen help out in the community maybe that means helping mom with the laundry or dishes, maybe that means helping out at the animal shelter, junior football practice, church or the community pre-school. Setting goals to help others provides motivation for your preteen and instills a sense of community and volunteerism in a growing youth.
Lastly, even though your child is not in school they can still set a few goals such as reading a book or setting up a cupcake stand at the local farmers market. They can use their art talent to create the poster, math skills to figure out pricing and inventory management. Having your preteen take responsibility for their summer fun will ensure everyone feels inspired and motivated. And maybe, you might find your preteen grows in ways you never expected.
About the Author: Renae Quinton is a multi‐talented entrepreneur, since the 1998 opening of Electric Villages Inc., a marketing and technology agency in Toronto, Canada, representing many fortune 500 companies. In 2012, Renae Quinton made her debut presenting goal setting at the seminar Financially Free seminars in Barbados.
Since then, she has been creating the children’s goal setting program – Crystal Clear. This goal program has is being used in a number of classroom settings in the Caribbean and US. The first version of this book was published in November 2014. Crystal Clear is designed to teach teens how to create goals while making it fun and rewarding. Crystal clear will be holding workshops in six communities in North America in July and August. Join our newsletter list at www.facebook.com/cyrstalclearfuture to find out where.
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