21 Jul TEENS – Summer Fun without Screens
Summer: School’s Out/Now What
Summer is a time to relax and enjoy without the stress of school. The weather is hot, the pools are open, friends are in abundance, and the excitement is in the air. By the end of July, the summer excitement begins to fizzle out and the pool, beach, and usual activities are becoming redundant (read: BORING) to teens.
They Only Want to Be on their Phones/Tablets/Games
As the end of summer freedom approaches, it gets more and more difficult to keep the teens entertained without their electronics. However, too much screen time can lead to sleep, mood, and cognitive problems. Going overboard on screen time can interfere with the brain’s reward system making electronics addictive. Electronics and video games can release dopamine in the brain, which is the feel good chemical.
Too much stimulation can cause the reward system to become less sensitive and need more to get the same effect; like a drug. So what’s a parent to do?
Here is a list of 21 screen-free activities.
- Challenge your kids to complete 3 activities each day before using their electronics.
- Bake cookies, cakes, pies, etc
- Walk to your local library and check out a book!
- Go bowling
- Make a collage of your favorite pictures, quotes, etc.
- Organize your room
- Check out one of your local parks and trails for hiking
- Ride you bike
- Go Rollerblading or ice skating at your local rink
- Design a scavenger hunt for a future party with your friends
- Visit a museum
- Make a piñata
- Learn to play an instrument – check out garage sales to find one!
- Make an obstacle course
- Carve a watermelon
- Play some board games – complete a game of Monopoly.
- Make a time capsule, bury it for 5 years.
- Make your own candy
- Take pictures in your local park or city.
- Go fishing
- Make a kite and fly it
Make your own list of activities. If you need some resources, check out these sites:
Lisa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who earned her master’s degree from The Ohio State University. She grew up in Libertyville and is thrilled to return to her hometown after 15 years of clinical experience in a variety of settings, including home-based case management, schools, outpatient mental health, and hospitals.
Lisa has provided treatment in clinical settings for children, teens, adults, and families who struggle with depression, anxiety, mood disorders, trauma, stress, gender identity issues, self-esteem issues, impulsivity, defiance, and attention deficits. Lisa has worked in the schools implementing programs and services to individual students and groups to enhance coping skills and academic performance and has worked in crisis teams assessing for suicidality as well as crisis management. She uses CBT, DBT, Solution-focused therapy, play therapy (for younger clients) and EMDR to help her clients and their families reach their goals. Lisa is also trained to work with and assess adolescents for substance use, if this is a concern. She provides a non-judgmental, client-centered environment assisting clients to reach their personal goals of therapy. She believes in utilizing a team effort to help families become empowered and work through stressful times.