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If you’re heading off on a long road trip this summer, then backseat boredom will hit your teens pretty fast. With an e-reader, they can take all of their favourite books with them without having to worry about heavy bags. Although it might look like yet another gadget, remember that they could just as easily be reading Shakespeare in preparation for their A-levels instead of Twilight again - in theory, at least!
If your child has a hobby or favourite sport they're losing interest in, try persuading them to help out as a teacher or coach for younger children. Not only is it valuable for university applications and future CVs, it's also a great way to re-engage with something they used to love. They could volunteer in a library, help out as a football coach or even work with animals. Most clubs will be more than happy to let them help out, just remember to invest in some new Kickers shoes and boots if they're going to be on their feet for a long time!
National Citizen Service
Organised by the government, this scheme lets teenagers take part in things like horse-riding and dry-slope skiing as well as learning the importance of teamwork. Programmes are usually 3 weeks long and are for 16 and 17 year olds only. They usually include some residential time away from home and around 30 hours of volunteering at community projects: perfect for building independence and confidence.
Let them plan a trip
Hand over some of the responsibility for your holiday to the children to give them a sense of ownership, as well as an idea of the organisation involved! Whether it's a day trip or your choice of hotel, chances are your teen will complain less if they've had an input into the decision making process. Let them help with everything from booking travel to stocking up on holiday essentials. Just keep an eye on the shopping cart to make sure they stick to the budget!