The pressure to succeed during the teenage years can lead many teens to develop patterns of substance abuse. Peer pressure can only heighten the feeling of social inadequacy many youths face. Drugs and alcohol can seem like an attractive escape from these pressures. Teens in recovery sometimes find that they have nothing else to fill the hours with. This boredom can quickly lead people back to negative habits that contribute to substance abuse. Parents can help their children find positive ways to spend their time. Cultivating interests and hobbies is a great way of stimulating kids who are struggling to find meaningful, addiction-free activities.
Not only is getting involved with various hobbies a good way to steer teens clear from drugs and alcohol, but many activities can also lead teens to meet new friends. Forming a new group of friends and acquaintances is valuable because your child will experience new, positive forms of peer pressure. All these factors work together to keep kids on the right path towards success, improved health, and lifelong recovery.
Academic and Artistic Outlets at School
Schools are a rich source of extracurricular activities that appeal to teens of every personality. A typical high school is likely to have a variety of programs and clubs, typically centering around two main forms: the arts and activities.
Programs Focused on the Arts
For students looking to explore their creative side, groups focusing on reading, writing, acting, music, and other forms of artistic expression can be an excellent outlet. For instance, yearbook and newspaper clubs are a great way to try your hand at writing, photography, and graphic design. School plays and musicals need people onstage as well as behind the scenes; participants can learn to build and paint sets, run the light board, create sound effects, and design costumes.
Programs Focused on Activities
For students with extra energy, programs focused on physical activities may be a great way to work off stress while filling extra time. Many schools have the usual sports teams like football, basketball, and soccer. These and more are a great way for youths to learn structure and teamwork while forming relationships with peers. Other physical activities like color guard and drill team provide both creativity and exercise.
Activities Outside of School
Schools can be a great resource for students during the academic year, but this still leaves weeks or months of time when teens are left to their own devices. During this time, you can look for activities offered by other organizations.
If the teen is religious, youth groups can have a positive impact as they promote friendship and healthy recreation. Summer camps are another option for teens to find positive influences during the summer. Local teen groups that focus on different interests is another way to make friends while exploring activities. Non-profits are always looking for volunteers and are a great way for youths to give back to their community.
Local youth sports teams are great during the summer for teens interested in physical activity. This not only sets them ahead for the fall season but gives them a chance to bond with other teens not at their school. Local running groups or pick-up sport games are another way for teens to fill their time.
Many public libraries offer summer programming especially for young adults. Book clubs, computer classes, and crafting events are planned and supervised by librarians. Community centers are another way for teens to gain skills or practice hobbies during the summer season. Cake decorating, photography, and creative writing are just the beginning for many.
If you feel that your teen could also benefit from professional counseling, consider Rehab After School. Our outpatient substance abuse treatment is designed to fit in with a teen’s busy schedule. With day and evening appointments and some weekend availability, your teen will be able to receive the needed level of support at a time that works for them.