Teenage kids have a lot of energy. When their energy not spent in a healthy, productive way, it will be spent in an unhealthy way. Here’s a suggestion on how to keep some kids out of trouble.
Start a Friday Night Teen Gym Night
If you’re a fitness trainer, a parent or just a person who wants to better the community, get this rolling.
You may have a great fitness center in your town, but it isn’t open during certain nights. Or if it is open, it’s not really a thing to go there on a Friday night.
So, make it a thing.
You can make a whole competition every Friday or every other Friday for the boys to see how much they can lift.
CrossFit is great because every workout is like a competition. With this format, you can have several different competitions based on matching up people with a comparable opponent.
You have a scoreboard, loud music, get someone to bring snacks and let the animals be animals.
Start a Friday Night Teenage Basketball Night
Find a basketball court and take it over on a Friday night.
If it’s a public one that closes at a certain hour, get a permit and get the thing open. Make it a community thing.
These are actually very, very cool events. You have your friends and family there who just want to watch, and you have your players who really just like to play.
And with it all being sanctioned and supported by the adults, you don’t get this big divide of “Oh, it’s Friday night and it’s not cool to be seen with you.”
Start a Friday Night Ping Pong Tournament
Maybe they’re not all about getting sweaty.
Sometimes kids get into trouble just because they haven’t been able to think up a cool way to spend their time. If you’ve got a kid who’s in this situation, get them a ping pong table. Get them three tables.
Then tell them they are free to host a ping pong tournament at the house. Who cares if the kids drag mud in on your carpet. Clean it up or have you kid clean it up.
Don’t underestimate the amount of trouble these brats can get into. Trust me, I know.
There are all sorts of night games that can be played.
- Night football with a glow-in-the-dark football and jerseys.
- Ultimate frisbee with the same.
- Plant two massive stakes in the ground and tie a massive slingshot in between the two and let them try to hit each other with water balloons.
- Or if you don’t want kids hitting each other with water, just have a target contest.
- Night basketball
Think Outside of the Box
Most of these ideas stop dead because people can’t think outside of the box.
They think “Oh, we’ll wake up the neighbors.” or “But, we don’t have permits.”
Just get the neighbor’s agreement to be loud and get the permit for the field. Don’t take no for an answer.
Ask the kids what they think would be cool. Give them options. Do they want to rent a giant trampoline? Do they want to go down to the river, set up a rope and swing out as far as they can?
Oh wait, it’s too dark to go to the river? Bring a generator and some lights! You’re the adult, these are the things you do. I’m sorry if you think adulthood sucks, but these kids must have a productive way to spend that energy.
Your teenagers will get into trouble. It is best if you are around to quickly clean up the mess.
But just because they are teenagers doesn’t mean that your job is over and that you should have no hand in saying what they do. They work better when you give them things to do and enable them, as opposed to handing over a list of things not to do. That list will then become the things that get done.
I have trained many teenagers on Friday nights who wanted to be there instead of doing drugs with their friends.
They had nowhere else to go and parents, in the main, were oblivious.
Every chance I can, I set up productive ways for teens to pass the time. Those that I help are beyond thankful for giving up my Friday night to keep the gym open and make it cool to be there.
Kids just need more options.