Ways to encourage your teen to spend more time at home by creating a teen-friendly environment that will provide more appeal than a night out.
Any parent can relate to the concerns that arise when their teenager says they’re heading out with friends on a Friday night. Even for those who trust their teens, there’s always an element of uncertainty about circumstances that are out of our control. Here’s a look at the stats. According to the CDC:
- 33% of high schoolers drank some amount of alcohol in the past 30 days.
- 20% of high schoolers rode with a driver who had been drinking alcohol in the past 30 days.
- Almost 50% of high school seniors have abused a drug of some kind.
These are just a few of the unnerving results that research has found about how teenagers are spending their free time, and certainly enough to get the attention of any mom or dad. There is an alternative to the parents’ weekend night “hope-for-the-best” plan.
How about creating a teen-friendly environment in your home that will provide more appeal to a young group of friends than a night out somewhere else. Home theaters and pool tables are just a couple examples of indoor fun that can teens can enjoy.
Then there’s the home hot tub. In addition to keeping the kids close to home, hot tubs offer the benefits of better quality time with friends and provide relief from increasing stress teens can face.
The Journal of Pediatrics found that 58% of kids 10 to 15 listed communication as the main reason they go online. Most of this communication however involves short messages rather than engaged conversations. The majority of these friendships remain in the digital space (only 20% of all teens have actually met an online friend in person). This is not necessarily the makings of any meaningful friendship.
And good friendships are key to adolescents’ mental health, according to a new study published by Murdoch University. Results showed that adolescents were happier and experienced lower levels of sadness, jealousy, and worry in the company of their friends than with their families or being alone. In addition, kids rely on relational experience when they develop more significant relationships later in life.
Aside from these statistics, it’s easy to realize how important relational experience is to teens’ emotional development. The nature of hot tubs helps facilitate just this: in-person quality time among peers in a setting where they can connect without distracting devices. (Even when friends are together watching a movie, it’s hard for them to resist the ping of their phone.)
A Healthy form of stress relief
Between academics, social issues, and physiological changes, today’s teens are faced with more pressure than ever before. A 2013 study by the American Psychological Association showed that teens rated their stress at 5.8 out of 10 during the school year (as opposed to 4.6 during the summer). In comparison, adults reported stress level came out to 5.1 out of 10. Turns out that teen stress may often be overlooked though, which results an estimated 10% of all teens end up suffering from an anxiety disorder.
It’s this type of stress that leads teens to look for any other means of escape, including drugs, alcohol, or surfing the internet (which has its own implicit risks). Hot tubs can offer a much healthier, proven form of relaxation and stress relief for teens: studies have reported that hot tub use promotes the release of dopamine, the hormone responsible for combating stress.
If you provide an entertaining and more engaging home environment for your kids, they will be more willing to spend time around your house. And you can start to gain back some peace of mind as your kids grow more and more independent.