How to avoid a miserable summer with your unemployed teen

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:44

    With unemployment statistics continuing to rise and the jobless rate may affect more than the adults in the community. This summer, your teenager may encounter the challenge of older, more experienced job seekers competing for positions in a tight economy, and may come up empty. “The thought of our sons or daughters lying on the couch watching TV all summer long is simply not a possibility,” said Laura Gauld, co-author of “The Biggest Job We’ll Ever Have.” “Parents know that kind of behavior can lead to boredom, bad habits, and low self-esteem, and they worry.” “Parents can look at this situation with an eye to short- and long-term goals,” said Malcolm Gauld, president of Hyde Schools, “and stay close to their priorities. We believe in turning obstacles into opportunities, and this is a prime example. Short term, it’s only one summer. But long term, it’s about an attitude toward life and its challenges. So raise your expectations for your kids.” Here are some suggestions, in the event that your teen cannot locate a summer job. Find a mentor: A family friend, business or community leader — to work with voluntarily, learning their business, and helping them in whatever way they can. This opportunity would be scheduled, like any job, and keep your teen engaged. Volunteer: Call and volunteer for filing, clean-ups, aiding shut-ins, helping the elderly with lawn work, etc. Assign a project: Parents can offer their teen an important task to do at home, and pay them something for it. Weekly family meetings: Take charge and schedule a weekly family meeting where everyone is invited to share ideas, thoughts, challenges, stories. Communication remains very important through this time. Jobs: Everyone in the family needs a job, and, as a member of the family, teens are no exception. All members must take on part of the responsibility of creating a clean, welcoming, and organized home.