28 answers

What to Do with a 14 Yr Old over the Summer?

School will be ending soon and I am trying to find something for my 14 yr old daughter to do over the summer. Left to her own devices she will most likely sit in front of the TV, computer, or playstation all summer. I bought the Summer Book and there are some programs in the book but they only last a week or 2 and are quite expensive. She isn't ready to handle a full time summer babysitting job where she is in charge of someone else all day. We went through this same problem last year, but the things she was able to do last year she is too old for this year. I work full time and my commute is about an hour each way (from Spring to 1-10) so these things that start at 9 and end at 1 or 2 in the afternoon present a transportation problem. Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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A friend of mine talks about how her father always had them volunteering over the summertimes to keep them out of trouble. She says, though they complained about it from time to time, overall it was a very positive experience and she learned a lot of valuable skills that she's used over the years since then. It also gave her a lot to put on her resume when the time came for that. So maybe have her help you find a place to volunteer, so she feels part of it.

I have a friend that had her daughter volunteer at one of the hospitals one year from the time she was 14 to the time she was 16. Her daughter made friends with other kids and really enjoyed it and now is going to BSU to get her BSN. Look around, and see if they still accept volunteers. And by the way, it was in Houston and Methodist Hospital and Texas Orthopedic Hospital.

My son always loved the YMCA day camp. They do tons of things with the kids all day. Swimming, archery, boating, lots of things. They keep them busy & most of it is outdoor stuff, weather permitting.

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I suggest having her volunteer her time at any business(es)she might be interested. That would allow her to experience the real life environment without having the responsibility of making a job commitment. It will look good for her on scholorship applications and on a resume after graduation for a future job as well as future contacts/referrals.

1 mom found this helpful

This would be the best time to get with her friends and their parents to see if you guys can set up some type of plans to make her summer go nicely. Also make sure you pick one day out of the week where it's mother and daughter day that way,you both feel that the summer wasn't just about work and no fun. Call the place where she went to last year and see if she can help out there or maybe depending on your job see if there is something she can do there that involves working on the computer. Also it might seem like staying at home is so bad but if you can trust her give her a few days out of the months where she can stay home, just sit down with her and make a schedule where it works for the both of you.

1 mom found this helpful

Check with your local Parks and Recreation Center. Most cities provide a free summer program for children. At the age of 14, she would probably be considered a junior counselor. No pay involved but she would be able to participate in all of the activities while learning the responsibility of supervising younger children and building on her creativity (suggestions to cut the boredom in the younger ones). If she sticks with it, she would be eligible to receive compensation when she gets old enough. You can choose from a location close to either your home or your place of employment.

What about volunteer work at one of your community centers, churches, nursing home or something like that?

Do you attend a church? If so plug in to the events they have planned which usually include summer camp, vacation bible school and sometimes movies/skating etc....if you don't attend a church, then maybe there is one locally that you could ask about and plug her in there....

Usually there are summer camps or summer programs for kids like crafts/martial arts/pottery,cooking etc...in the our kids magazine that you pick up at the grocery store....

If none of this sounds good, do you have a friend w/ younger kid(s) that you could work something out w/ that she could be a helper/assistant around the house to your friend and maybe get paid a little money on the side? she wouldn't have the full responsibility of babysitting, but would be kind of like an apprentice....Or what about parents w/ a child her age that you could work something out with?
hope some of this helps...

V. Maldonado

Check ASU's Continuing Studies department. They usually have classes geared for her age covering various topics. I know one of them teaches babysitting skills. It might help her get a job in the future.

You could also see if there are any volunteer opportunities. I believe the Nature Center uses younger volunteers. Also, check with her school's counseling office to see if they have any opportunities.

What about her volunteering at your local library? I assisted the children's librarian at that age. It not only got me out of the house, I had something to put on my resume.

What are her classmates doing this summer? Maybe you could work out some sort of a deal with another mom in your neighborhood for help with transportation or supervision.

I have a friend that had her daughter volunteer at one of the hospitals one year from the time she was 14 to the time she was 16. Her daughter made friends with other kids and really enjoyed it and now is going to BSU to get her BSN. Look around, and see if they still accept volunteers. And by the way, it was in Houston and Methodist Hospital and Texas Orthopedic Hospital.

T.,

I have a 13 year old daughter and we live up in Killeen and had a very similar problem. I wanted to sign my daughter up for a summer program or let her go to the Boys and Girls Club, but she was having NOTHING of it. Instead she asked the daycare that my 4 year old son if she could volunteer there instead. She worked there every day absolutely free. She loved working with all the different kids and the daycare enjoyed the free labor. I too have started talking about this summer and she has stated that she wants to go back again. So perhaps check around and see if there are any volunteer jobs she would be doing to do. It is never too early to begin building community service and references for college scholarship applications.

Good luck! C.

A friend of mine talks about how her father always had them volunteering over the summertimes to keep them out of trouble. She says, though they complained about it from time to time, overall it was a very positive experience and she learned a lot of valuable skills that she's used over the years since then. It also gave her a lot to put on her resume when the time came for that. So maybe have her help you find a place to volunteer, so she feels part of it.

If your daughter is interested in music, summer is a great time to take up singing, piano, guitar or any instrument. And you can generally find a music teacher who can work with your work schedule. Just another idea (from a music teacher)!

Your daughter may be able to be a volunteer junior counselor at one of the Girl Scouts of America camps. They usually are week to two week camps for most of the summer where they stay day and night. I was a great experience for me growing up in the Central Texas area (15 years ago, though). I think you can google Girl Scouts and get more information if they still run the camps. Good Luck!

Have you thought about the YMCA or local Recreations around your neighborhood?I thought about sending my kids to a Summer Camp but the cost for that is to high for me.Working at the local Library wood be a good job to get started on being in the job field.I would also try going to the Worksource in your area and see if they have any Summer Job Programs for kids.Good Luck

I don't know if it's possible, but my mom got me a job volunteering when I was that age. We live in a much more rural area now and my children have not had that opportunity, but I loved it. Good Luck and God Bless!

I'm not sure of the age limit but my daughter is 10 and for the last three years she has been going to Camp Fire in Longview. The program is from the day school lets out until the day school starts Mon-Fri. It starts at 6:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. But what I like about it is they go swimming once a week and they go to at least one field trip a week as well. (Skateplex, Kids View, Jefferson Riverboat, Train ride, Tyler Brookshires musuem, Tyler Zoo and other places I don't remember all of them). They also provide breakfast, lunch, and a snack. They also offer scholarships if you can't afford the $85.00 a week. Hope this helps.

My step-daughter used to attend the YMCA every summer when she came to stay with us. At your daughter's age, she was a CIT (counselor in training). She got to help watch the younger kids and do more grown up things than a regular camper. Ther one here is open from 6:00/6:30am until 6pm. Plus, since they were helping out, her tuition was not nearly as much as the younger day camp kids. YMCA also offers rates based on parental income for most of their programs. Here in Galveston each "session" was a two week commitment. So, if you knew the family was going on vacation or such, you could not sign them up for a specific 2 week period.
Additionally, the camp here in Galveston offered a Jr. Lifeguard program. They trained to be lifeguards and got to go to a competition in Bellaire toward the end of July. This then led her to earning her full life guard certification and jobs at Moody Garden's Palm Beach and Schlitterbahn while she was in high school.

What about a mommy's helper. There are a lot of mothers out there that would love to have some extra help over the summer with younger children that are no longer in school or just need some extra help around the house. Is she old enough to volenteer alone? I was a camp counsler at her age, maybe that could be an option. I don't really know the area. I do know that I have been looking for a mommy's helper that I could get to know and trust and help teach to be a great babysitter. I bet there are babysitting certification programs that would get her ready too. Good luck.

Do you have a local YMCA? They have a work/camp program she might be old enough for. They also have just a summer camp- they go on field trips and play games and stuff. But if she's old enough for the work camp program (leaders in training/ junior camp councellor or something like that) I highly recommend it. It would give her work experience and something to do. I wish I knew about it when I was a kid!

My Mother took me to an employment agency that specialized in teenage workers and signed me up...they called me when they had odd jobs that I could do. She can do housecleaning in the neighborhood, or light yard work. I had a job pulling weeds from a garden for an elderly lady.

I know you have to be a member, but Girl Scout camp is relatively inexpensive and is usually a two-week program. I had a blast at my camp and remember it today. Call the local girl scout council and see if you can get your daughter set up for that. They have swimming, boating, first aid, lots of fun and useful skill-building activities.

My son always loved the YMCA day camp. They do tons of things with the kids all day. Swimming, archery, boating, lots of things. They keep them busy & most of it is outdoor stuff, weather permitting.

Perhaps you can work something out with another friends parent so she could attend some of these summer programs and spend the afternoon at a friends until you are home. The hours of programs definitely challenge all of us, I have a 15 and 16 yr old and him beginning to drive has been wonderful!! Nerve racking but wonderful! Often in the summer my daughter would spend 2 weeks at a friends and then they be at our home for 2 weeks. They stayed busy and I would often pay for chores I didn't have time to do, like reorganizing or cleaning out kitchen drawers, going through the clothes in their room to purge what they did not wear any more to donate or see if there is a non-profit who needs summer volunteers. I worked for a residential facility for MR patients and we have lots of summer volunteers.

I have no advise for you but my daughter is in 3rd grade and I am worried that there are no after school programs in 5th grade, let alone what to do with her in the summer. Right now she goes to Crenshaw's Athletic camp but it ends at age 10. I am really hoping she will be able to stay on as an unpaid aid, but who knows. Please let me know what you come up with. I live in Dripping Springs and work in Austin so this will come up all to soon. Does she have any friends that have stay-at-home moms. That was another thought of mine. In DS there seem to be a larger number of them and perhaps you can find one that would keep her as well. Good luck.

You might want to check with a local day care center and see if they would let her "work" there for the summer. Usually you don't have to pay them since she is helping them out and it makes her feel like she has a job for the summer.

My mom did this with me when I was that age and it was a fun experience and you know she is in a safe environment and she might even get to go on some of the field trips with the older kids in the summer programs at the daycare.

Good Luck

You might want to look into the local YMCA or Boy and Girl's Club? I know with my teens I give them assignments during the day, even during the summer...they are required to do a lot of reading! There may also be local cummunity classes that she could get involved in. I even knew a man who hired someone to "baby sit" his teen, but she was a serious trouble maker. Does she have a granma or aunt she can go visit for a week or two? I hope sure you'll find just the right thing. You could even have her volunteer at the humane society or something like that.

Well I would thake her out to the mall and go shoping! :) While you are there you can also shop! That's a plus! :) She may also like to go over to a friends house, and you no what that means...... nonstop talking, which also means no electronics. You could also take her to the park and just have girl talk and maybe play (like a swing or something) if she's not to old for that stuff that is. :) I hope this helps!

Can a 14 yr old work? If so, a part time job at a veternarian's office might be fun and she can make a little money as well. My vet's office has some teens who come in after to school to help walk the dogs, play with the animals, feed them, etc. Ask her if this is something that might interest her.

Hi T.,

Is there some sort of volunteer program at a hospital or a daycare? She would be directed there and would not be left to her own devices.

You might even check out local vet clinics in your area to see if she could volunteer there.

I am not sure about age restrictions, but it would be a great experience for her if someone would accept her into a program like this.

Best Wishes

Hi!

Have you looked into local Recreation Centers or Church Groups? Most of those places hold summer camps or are drop off day care sites. Your daughter may be able to get a job as a Jr. counselor, pay would be minimal of course but it would take up a good chunk of her day. Another suggestion would be to have her assist in Parks & Rec. for Life Guard classes.

Hope that helps!

Jennfier
Mother of 4

Has your daughter ever gone to summer camp? By the time my son was 14, he had been a camper at Camp Good News in Huntsville, Tx for the past 3 or 4 years and at 14 - when he was too old to be a camper - he enrolled in the C.I.T. (Counselor In Training) program at CGN. I paid for 1 week at the camp, but he was there for 2 weeks. It was the next best thing to being a camper, with a bit of service work and giving back thrown in. Being a camper is not a pre-requesite. Camp Good News is great and my son worked there as a Jr.Counselor & Counselor all through high school. you might find a similar CIT program near you. I think the local Y's have CIT programs.
Hope this helps with at least a week or two of her summer.

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