Help! It’s summer break. My teen’s out of school. And I’m scared.

Help! It’s summer break. My teen’s out of school. And I’m scared.

Help! It's summer break. My teen's out of school. And I'm scared!

HeikeIr / Pixabay

My daughter is just finishing up her finals this week, school is almost over. Soon the long slow days of summer begin. And frankly I’m terrified.

When she was little, summer was all sunshine and promises. I couldn’t wait for summer to start. Every year right before school ended, we’d make a list of some of the fun activities we’d want to fill our summer vacation with. On our list were running through a sprinkler, having a lemonade stand, swimming or learning to do a cartwheel.

We’d excitedly check each item off our list in bright magic marker. By the middle of the summer, we’d scramble to complete all our adventures before the magic of summer ended and the new school year started.

Now that she’s 13, I’m not so much looking forward to the school year ending. I’m actually completely scared that it’s ending. I’m scared of those long days stretching into weeks that turn into complete months of nothing on the calendar. I’m frightened of a sullen teenager staring blankly at me for hours at a time.

I’ve asked her what she wants to do over the summer. The answer? Well, it’s the answer to almost every question you ask a teenager, “I dunno”. (The only other answer that I do get sometimes is the almost-a-sound grunt, or the complete and total silence coupled with the eye roll.)

(Don’t get me wrong, my daughter is AMAZING! Smart, funny, kind, an amazing student-but she’s still a teen, and parenting them ain’t easy!)

My perfect summer for her would be as follows:

  • Enrichment camp (filmmaking, literature, art?)
  • Road trip to several Western states
  • A family vacation
  • Concerts
  • Movies
  • Art projects


Her perfect summer would be as follows:

  • Being on her computer
  • Me bringing food to her room
  • Being on her computer
  • Me never speaking to her
  • Being on her computer
  • Me leaving her alone
  • Being on her computer


So what in the hell do I do?


Do I force her into activities that actually make her speak to real live present people face to face? Activities that she might have to log off and leave her room for?

Or do I just close the door, let her rollplay on websites and chat online with her virtual frineds until August, when she has to leave her room, speak to living breathing actual humans and start school again.


I don’t want to be a total old fart about this but she’s got chances to do things that I would have killed for as a kid. What were my summers like way back when? I’d wait at home for my Mom to come home from work, scavenge food from the refrigerator and watch reruns, game shows and crappy TV. The highlight was some impromptu late night kick the can with the other bored neighborhood kids.

So what’s the mom of a teen to do?


If there are parents of teens out there that can offer any suggestions, I’d love to hear them.

Does your teen want to stay online and ignore you this summer?

Are you forcing your teen into summertime activities? 


Thanks for reading!



    • says

      She says she doesn’t want to. Ugh!! I might make her do a daytime technology camp. Last year she went to a weeklong camp and met some great friends. Were we like this at 13?? I can’t remember!


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