As your teenagers are taking their “much deserved” break this summer, don’t forget the importance of structure. Most teenagers will say that summer is time to relax and take a break from working so hard on school all year! However the lack of participation in activities and increase in free time can lead to a slump in completing responsibilities. It is also important to be aware of what boredom can result in. Unfortunately some teens replace boredom with risky behaviors. While this is not true for all teens, the likelihood may by higher for some than others. Risky behaviors are sometimes rewarded by our brain biologically because the feel good neurotransmitters such as dopamine and norepinephrine flood the brain and leading the person to want to complete the exciting activity again. Teens are not exempt from this occurrance. It is important to fill your teens time daily with projects and expectations to help avoid participation in these risky activities as well as the negative consequences that may come following.
Attached is a link to a publication by SAMSHA about rates of teen binge drinking. Check it out!