When young people feel bored and like there is nothing to do they can be more likely to get into trouble to distract themselves. Providing your teenager with a choice to participate in other fun, drug and alcohol free activities can help to combat this. Below are some alternatives that have been shown to be effective in the research:
- Playing sport and being active helps people to stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
- Giving young people a leadership role and involving them in the planning process makes it more likely they will take part.
- A Friday night activity, such as Midnight basketball, is an example of a program that has found to be work well over time even with little funding.
- Some other examples of activities might be arts, bingo nights, cultural activities, cooking classes, free open-air movie nights and music sessions – to name a few.
Programs that give young people a leadership role and those that are done in a safe and fun environment are most successful.
The research says that it doesn’t really matter what type of activity you choose so long as young people are doing something they enjoy. To make sure of this, it’s really important to involve them when planning the events – ask your teenager what they would like to do and work together to make it happen.