Top 7 Summer Planning Myths For Parents And Teens

As you sit down with your teen to plan summer opportunities, it’s important to keep in mind that some advice you hear floating around is not necessarily true. Here are 7 myths to consider as you’re researching and discussing different options.

  1. School is so stressful that my child just needs to relax this summer. Don’t be afraid to make your teen do something; doing nothing should not be an option.
  2. My student is a great math student so she needs an engineering program. Students may not know what they’re interested in yet; find broad opportunities to let them discover their interests.
  3. Attending an Ivy League summer program will help my child get in to that school. Unless your child is genuinely interested in the program, this type of “gaming the system” to gain a leg up for college admissions is not recommended.   
  4. My teen should do more than just be a cashier or waiter. Summer jobs can have powerful impacts on students by teaching responsibility and enhancing communication skills.
  5. Volunteer work isn’t “enough.” Don’t underestimate the power of good volunteer work to impact both your student and your local community.
  6. Getting over 100 service hours over the summer is critical. It’s not the amount of community service hours that matters - showing impact is more important.
  7. My teen should stick with what he’s already good at. Encouraging students to try new things is a good way for them to learn more about themselves and increase confidence.

Summer planning should be a time of exploring the many different opportunities that exist for teens to dive deeply into a passion, learn new skills, meet new people, make a difference, and gain maturity - all while finding out more about themselves. Remember, engaging summer experiences make for great stories to tell. Hello, killer college essay!