beliberXD asks: I am 14 yrs old. I feel so bored in the summer holiday I do not what to do (except to hang out with my friends). There is nothing fun to do. I always ask my parents to go out to somewhere, but they are busy and they do not allow me to hang out with my friends. Can you tell me what can I do, in this boring holiday summer, that would make me feel happy? Thank you.
Oh beliberXD, this is what makes me the saddest about 14-year-olds. You’re too old to want to sit around playing toys, but too young to take the car out and go exploring. Then it makes it even worse that your parents aren’t allowing you to hang out with your friends! Do they really not want you to see your friends at all, or is it just that they won’t let you hang out as much as you’d like (or as late as you’d like!)?
The way you describe it, I don’t know exactly what I can suggest. So I’m going to make a bunch of suggestions, but each will be based on a question:
- Will they let you ride a bike anywhere? There’s probably a lot you can do that’s fairly near your home. Maybe you can go to a local camp (either as a camper or to help out with younger kids), or join a sports team, or take a class. It’s funny how, since cars have become so ubiquitous (hey aren’t you impressed that a dog can use such a big word to say “they’re all over the place”?!), so many people forget that they can still walk or ride lots of places.
- Can you get a job? Whether it’s paid or volunteer, one of the best experiences a teenager can have is a summer job. You’ll meet all sorts of people you wouldn’t know from school, you’ll learn skills that no teacher can teach, and best of all you will look so cool to other kids and even to your parents (they’ll just have to treat you with more respect then!)!
- Is there something about yourself that you’d absolutely love to improve? Handsome remembers a guy he went to high school with who spent a summer working out and becoming a bodybuilder. From his first day back in school, that guy had changed his identity forever! Maybe you’d like to make yourself super-strong. Or maybe you’d like to become a good tennis player. Or would you like to learn a language, or a musical instrument, or become an expert in something that’s currently your worst subject at school? You could do most of these without even leaving your home (And hey, if you spend your days practicing violin, you just might find that your parents suddenly discover they have the time to drive you far far away each day!).
- Would your parents pay you to do something around the house? Handsome once spent a summer redoing an old room in his parents’ home. He’d never say it was his favorite summer ever, but he did make some good money, and learned how to hang wallpaper (the hard way!).
- If you have to hang out at home the whole time, would your parents let you get a pet? Maybe even… a dog?! If you get a new puppy, you’ll suddenly find that your days are filled! Puppies require lots of attention and training, and nothing in the world has ever been more fun. The three months of summer will fly by if you have one of us around!
So those are my main suggestions, beliberXD. But I also really urge you to sit down and talk with your parents about how important it is for a 14-year-old to spend time with friends. Even if it looks like wasted time to their adult eyes, this is really important for you. And if you need them to write me for some serious talk about it, I’m happy to help out.
But think about doing some sort of job or volunteer work. If you’re doing something like that, they’re WAY more likely to give in and let you hang out with your peeps more.