Summer is a time for relaxation and fun, but for parents of teenagers, it can also bring unique challenges. From increased screen time to the dangers of online bullying, it’s important to strike a balance between giving them more freedom and having boundaries meant to keep them safe – especially online. Here are some tips to help your teen have a healthy summer.


Monitor Social Media Use

Teens often spend more time on social media during the summer. While it’s a way for them to stay connected with friends, it can also expose them to negative experiences. Here’s how you can help:

  • Set Boundaries: Establish clear rules about screen time and stick to them. Encourage your teen to take regular breaks from their devices.
  • Be Involved: Know which platforms your teen is using and who they’re interacting with. Follow or friend them on these platforms if they’re comfortable with it.
  • Discuss Digital Footprint: Remind your teen that what they post online stays there forever. Encourage them to think before they post and to respect others online.
  • Stay in the Know: Utilizing the power of technology to keep your kids safe online has never been easier. Here’s a list of the the top parental control programs from PC Mag,


Address Online Bullying

Unfortunately, online bullying often increases during the summer months when tweens and teens spend more time online. Here’s how you can address it:

  • Open Communication: Make sure your teen feels comfortable talking to you about their online experiences. Let them know they can come to you if they’re being bullied.
  • Educate: Teach your teen about online bullying and its effects. Encourage them to be kind online and to stand up against bullying if they see it happening.
  • Report and Block: If your teen is being bullied, report the behavior to the platform and block the bully. Document any instances of bullying to have a record if the issue escalates.


Balance Media Use and Outdoor Time

Too much screen time can lead to negative health effects. Encourage a healthy balance with these tips:

  • Create a Schedule: Help your teen create a daily schedule that includes time for physical activities, hobbies, and relaxation. Encourage them to stick to this routine.
  • Tech-Free Zones: Designate certain areas of the house, like the dining room, as tech-free zones. This promotes face-to-face interactions and reduces screen time.
  • Lead by Example: Model the behavior you want to see. If you’re constantly on your phone or computer, your teen is likely to do the same. Show them that you also value and prioritize offline activities.


Encourage Healthy Family Activities 

The best way to encourage healthy habits and keep kids off their phones is to spend quality time together as a family. This not only helps strengthen your relationships but also boosts everyone’s physical health.Here are a few ideas:

  • Outdoor Adventures: Plan regular family outings such as hiking, biking, or beach days. These activities not only provide exercise but also allow for meaningful conversations and bonding. Here’s a few ways you make sure your kids are invested and excited about the trip:
      • Pre-Trip Planning Sessions:
      • Get your kids excited by asking them to share their ideas and preferences for the trip. Use their input to shape the activities and destinations.
      •  DIY Adventure Prep:
      • Involve your kids in preparing snacks or meals for the outing. Simple tasks like making trail mix or sandwiches can make them feel more engaged and part of the adventure.
      • Adventure Journals: Give each child a journal to document their experiences. They can draw pictures and write about their favorite moments, making it a fun activity during and after the trip.
  • Gardening: Start a family garden. Gardening is a great way to teach responsibility and patience, plus it’s rewarding to eat the fruits (and vegetables) of their labor. Get your kids involved right from the start by including them in the planning and letting them pick what to plant.
  • Cooking Together: Use the extra time during summer to cook healthy meals together. It’s a fun way to teach your teen about nutrition and develop lifelong healthy eating habits. Give them a night each week to create the menu, shop, and cook for the whole family if they’re old enough.


By promoting healthy family activities, monitoring social media use, addressing online bullying, and balancing screen time with outdoor activities, you can help your teen have a healthy and enjoyable summer. Remember, the goal is to support and guide your teen while giving them the freedom to grow and enjoy their summer break.