, Salem, MA


June 7, 2013

Dr. Kate's Parent Rap: No summer plans for tweens and teens? Don’t panic

Many parents ask me for help figuring out what to do about their tweens and younger teens who have no plan for the summer.

Kids in this age group want freedom during their summer break, but they need help finding a balance that includes productive ways to use their unstructured time. Age-wise, they’re stuck in the middle. Typically, they don’t have jobs because they’re too young, but they’re too old for some things that used to work but might not work anymore, like summer programs that cater to younger kids. Working parents want to know: can my child handle being home without adult oversight?

What can these in-between-age children do? Here are some suggestions:

Help your child use the Web to get the word out that he or she can do odd jobs. With your supervision they can post their availability to work within the community. For example, my town has a parents’ Facebook page where many kids post (through their parents) their availability to baby-sit, walk dogs, do yard work, be a mother’s helper, etc.

Get them involved in the community. Service opportunities on the North Shore include the Open Door Food Pantry and Beverly Bootstraps. Boston Cares has statewide volunteer opportunities listed on their website (

If you belong to a local church or synagogue, ask the minister or rabbi if there are volunteer projects that your child can engage in.

Have them get creative with a new program. Software programs come with video and written instructional manuals and can be self-taught by a tech-savvy tween or younger teen.

Encourage them to start an exercise routine. Everybody could use this. If they are hesitant, set them up with a couple of training sessions through the local YMCA or a gym to get them going.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • misselwood_2 Rare, classic cars make an appearance at annual Endicott College show

    The original Concours d'Elegance was a fashion show on wheels. "It did start in 17th century France, where some of the aristocracy wanted to show off the fashions they were wearing," said Patrick Cornellison, chairman of the event. "Mainly women woul

    July 24, 2014 2 Photos

  • twenties_3 Ipswich's Castle Hill braces for 1,000 at Roaring '20s Lawn Party

    The latest dance craze started in the 1930s. The Lindy Hop, which first flourished in the ballrooms of Harlem, is expected to draw hundreds of people to a dance floor at the Crane Estate this Sunday. Organized by Boston Swing Central, a dance club in

    July 24, 2014 4 Photos

  • kallyson North Shore entertainment calendar Good cause YARD SALE TO BENEFIT JIMMY FUND. Saturday, July 26, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., 11 Anna Drive, Danvers. Family yard sale with all proceeds benefiting the Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk. WOOSHIE'S WARRIORS FUNDRAISER FOR MS. Sunday, July 27, 10 a.

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • The reader's eye Name: Erika Torkildsen Hometown: Beverly Description: "I took this at the Salem Common around a park where I noticed a ripped basketball net amid the blue sky. Instead of taking the picture from my original view, I tipped the camera up from under the

    July 24, 2014

  • shakespeare Good cause The Bard comes alive on Misery Island Join Sea Station for its inaugural performance of "The Tempest Trials," a Shakespearean festival on Salem's Misery Island, on Saturday from noon to 4:15 p.m. The festival features actors of all ages participating

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Horoscope Leo (July 23-Aug. 22) -- Your goals and current lifestyle need a little adjustment. Be receptive to new ideas, and make a change if you want to feel better about the direction you are heading in. Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22) -- Your leadership qualities

    July 24, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Girl and cousin both need counseling after assault Dear Abby: My granddaughter "Cindy," age 2, was being watched by her mommy's ex-sister-in-law and her sons. Cindy went to her mommy and said, "Bubby hurt me." Bubby is what she calls her 10-year-old cousin. Her mother called the police. A policeman s

    July 23, 2014

  • Wednesday's Best Bets Best Bets for Wednesday, July 23

    Looking for something to do today? Here are The Salem News' Best Bets:

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Dear Abby: Younger couples weigh in on how they handle money Dear Readers: On April 11, I printed a letter from "Wondering in Washington," a man asking why young men in general today have the attitude that "any money I earn is mine" in a marriage or live-in situation. He said when he married, he and his wife c

    July 22, 2014

  • Dear Abby: Dating scene is frustrating for strong young woman Dear Abby: I am a young woman hoping to find "The One." But I have come to realize that I'm not the normal female. I don't get manicures or go shopping. (I hate shopping!) When I meet a guy, he likes that I'm "me," but if we get serious, then I'm eit

    July 21, 2014

NDN Video
Comments Tracker