The Importance of Free Time for Teenagers
During our free time, we get to have fun and rest, without having to deal with obligations. Children usually play, paint or spend time with their families. On the other hand, teenagers start distancing themselves from their families, and prefer their friends’ company. However, if they don’t make good use of their free time, there might be some problems.
Many times, parents become concerned and complain about the friends their children have. They think they might be a bad influence, and try to separate them from their children.
Nonetheless, parents should start intervening with their kids’ choices before they reach adolescence. Remember that our opinions may influence the decisions our children make in the future.
Teenagers and free time: the reason for their choices
Even though teenagers experience many changes and situations due to their age, each of them makes different personal choices. They may lack confidence, because their bodies change; they start fearing rejection and want to fit in. They also try to build their own identities, and that’s when they start making different choices. So, why do some teenagers make healthier choices than others?
Families are the ones in charge of helping children build their identities and adopt essential values. This will definitely help them define their future choices. If you educate your children with love, they’ll have good self-esteem, and they’ll probably make good choices on how to spend their free time.
Teenagers tend to spend time with peers who share their same values, goals and personalities. Therefore, children who practice sports won’t be willing to spend their time with those who spend their time damaging their bodies with different substances. And, confident teens will have less problems facing peer pressure.
Furthermore, responsible teenagers who have a good relationship with their parents won’t feel the need to challenge and disobey them. In short, if you want to prevent your children from mixing with the wrong company, focus on them and not on their friends. Help them build a strong personality, and they’ll choose the right path.
Sometimes, teenagers make bad use of their free time because they don’t have many activities to choose from. And, when they don’t know what to do, they may end up wasting their time or doing wrong things. Thus, it’s important to offer them healthy choices, according to their age.
Practicing sports is one of the best ways to spend their free time. This is because it helps them keep fit, and it promotes healthy relationships. In addition, it contributes to the acquisition of values, such as effort, discipline and teamwork.
However, you can also help your children think of fun activities to perform with their friends. Try to build trust in your relationship, so they come to you for suggestions and opinions. Get involved, offer them a ride to spend some time in contact with nature, or invite some of their friends over.
Finally, remember that it’s also important to establish certain boundaries for your children. Even though they may complain about parental authority, they actually feel supported and guided.
Therefore, pay attention to your children and their friends’ plans. Respect their intimacy, but look after their safety. Furthermore, establish curfews according to their age.
The importance of free time for teenagers
Activities and friends are very important for teenagers. However, it’s not only about keeping them busy, preventing them from getting bored or making new friends. What they do during their free time will help them build their identities.
Our experiences during adolescence have a great impact on our lives. And, this could be good or bad. As a result, teenagers may become stronger or they can also get hurt. For this reason, you should offer them the best opportunities and guidance to help them choose the right path.It might interest you...
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- Nuviala, A. N., Juan, F. R., & Montes, M. E. G. (2003). Tiempo libre, ocio y actividad física en los adolescentes: La influencia de los padres. Retos: nuevas tendencias en educación física, deporte y recreación, (6), 13-20. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/28156684_Tiempo_libre_ocio_y_actividad_fisica_en_los_adolescentes_La_influencia_de_los_padres
- Rodríguez, J. M. M., & Migueláñez, S. O. (2010). Adolescencia, tiempo libre y educación. Un estudio con alumnos de la ESO. Educación xx1, 13(2), 139-162. https://www.redalyc.org/pdf/706/70617175006.pdf