Tired of your teen sitting at the computer screen all day? While there is no problem with getting some tech time in, your teen should also be exploring things often. My teens and I naturally explore something just about every day. Together, we have become experts on the natural areas we have access to. Enhancing exploration skills in teens helps contribute to problem-solving skills needed throughout life. It also keeps the mind active and can be soothing to the soul. Even if your teen isn't open to the idea at first, you'll likely see her grow into it sooner than you think.
Make the outdoors a part of every day. Spending lots of time outside helps foster imagination skills, which often leads to exploring. Make sure your teen goes outdoors often, preferably every day. Mock treasure hunts and geocaching can make it interesting and help hone important exploration skills. They don't necessarily need to be on a quest every time. Even playing sports, reading a book, or painting a picture outside will help. My teens love to be outside more than in and that's probably mostly due to the fact that being outside is natural in our family.
Take nature walks and hikes often. You may think your teen will not agree to this activity. But teens naturally need to exert energy and explore. This allows for both. They may groan at first, but many teens will likely get more into this once they try it. For motivation, try giving them a camera to snap photos along the way. You can also set specific goals to accomplish. For instance, you can ask your teen to spot specific plants or animals, overcome certain obstacles, or walk a specific distance. When distance is a factor, be sure to increase difficulty. When we first started walking the trails, a mile or so was the goal. Now it is not unusual for my teens and I to walk several times that distance when we take to the trails.
Send them to camp. Many camps, be they daytime or extended stay, offer adventurous activities. Do your research and find one that offers many chances to explore. Camps that are located among nature scenes are the best option for this. For instance, a camp located in the mountains is probably going to be more adventurous on a daily basis than one located in the middle of the city. But don't let them fool you. Make sure that their activities and itinerary line up with what your teen is looking for in terms of exploration.
Visit archaeological sites. We currently live in a state where dinosaurs used to roam freely. Because of this, there are places not far from our house that have live archaeological dig sites. Some of them allow kids to participate in the excavation. If you don't have a dig site near you, you can create mock ones in your backyard. While the real deal is better, teens will enjoy and learn exploration via the mock site as well. If you are creating a mock site, you can change the subject often. For instance, some themes may be Native American artifacts, Egyptian tombs, or '"lost cities."
Go on mountain adventures. Panning for gold is just one of the many exciting adventures that can happen in the mountains. The winding trails can be exciting as well. Skiing, camping, hiking, water rafting, and biking are all activities suitable for adventures in the mountains with teens. The mountains hold many adventures and mysteries just waiting for you and your teen to discover.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
Career preparation begins early and it should start in the home. One of the most common jobs for tweens is babysitting. Chances are your tween either has siblings or knows someone in or outside the family with smaller children. Tweens are, of course, too young to babysit without supervision. But they are at the perfect age to learn some of the basics. Preparing tweens for babysitting is a simple and necessary part of growing up. Doing so teaches them both career and life skills.
by Lyn Lomasi, Staff Writer
In order for tweens to be ready to start their first job as teens, they need practice. But without actually being able to work, how can they get that practice? As a parent, there are a variety of ways I help to cultivate career skills in my tweens. From household responsibilities, to volunteering, playing games, and more, get proactive in developing your tween's career skills today. They may not be thrilled with some of these ideas at first. But in time they will grow to love them and thank you in the future.
Get tweens involved in activities and clubs.
This is a simple way to teach your tween the teamwork it takes to succeed in their future career. It also can teach organizational and leadership skills. Recreational sports, dance, drama, band, choir, science, and other educational clubs and activities are available in most areas. Check with your child's school or homeschool group first. If the programs don't exist there, private organizations and churches often offer many activities.
Volunteer programs can help encourage and enhance career skills.
From helping the elderly, to feeding the homeless, caring for animals, and more, tweens can get involved in many volunteer programs. Call around to various organizations in your area to see who needs help. Remember to ask about age requirements. Not all organizations or opportunities are available to minors. Some also may require that an adult volunteer along with the tween. This can actually be good, as it gives you and your child some rewarding time together. Teaching kids to volunteer not only gives them valuable career experience, but also helps encourage compassion.
Let them take charge of certain things at home.
Responsibility starts at home. Chores and other household tasks teach your child important career skills that can be used throughout life. I like to treat my kids as team members and let them help in certain household decisions. Although this is not a job, it does help kids prepare for making choices in life, which strongly applies to career-related skills. Deciphering choices that lead to certain outcomes is a much-desired trait in the workforce, as is the ability to be part of a collaborative team. Being a 'mommy's helper' and watching over younger siblings and even pets is one way tweens can take charge. Just be sure they know the rules and also have proper supervision.
Family field trips geared toward interest can help cultivate skills.
No matter what your child is interested in doing as a career, there is always a related destination. Even if your child changes career thoughts often, it's still possible. For instance, if your tween wants to be a firefighter, visit the local firehouse. Some cities even have firefighter museums. If your child wants to work with animals, visit local shelters, zoos, and wildlife reserves. The main idea is to enrich your child's life with various activities and destinations that may enhance her career choice. Even if your tween changes her mind about career directions, the field trips will still add to overall experience.
Educational books and other media are useful.
Surround your child with opportunities to read books related to his career and life interests. If books are easy to access, even kids who do not prefer to read will eventually start picking them up. Also offer a variety of educational computer games, movies, and TV shows to show from. While it's not a good idea for a child to watch TV or play on the computer all day long, in moderation, these things can be good. When a child enjoys doing something, it can be easier for the knowledge to sink in, which is always a good thing.
*I originally publised this via Yahoo Contributor Network
Lyn Lomasi is founder and owner of the Brand Shamans network. She is your brand healing, soul healing, marketing & content superhero to the rescue! Running a network of websites, tackling deadlines single-handedly, and coaching fellow writers, brands, & entrepreneurs to be thought leaders is her top priority.
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