Bored teenagers cost the bank of mum and dad up to £2,500 over the six week school holidays this summer.
As teens start the two week countdown to the summer holidays, research from National Citizen Service (NCS), the country’s flagship youth programme, reveals that whilst school holidays bring excitement for younger children, six in 10 teenagers are struggling to find things to do.
As a result, young people, particularly teenage girls, are still looking to parents to plan and fund activities, costing parents thousands.
The study of 1,000 15-17-year-olds reveals a third of teenagers will have their summer’s planned by their parents, with the average teenager expecting to spend 48 hours of their holidays helping around the house and 100 hours taking part in family activities – more than they will spend on social media (95 hours).
One in 20 teenage girls and one in 10 teenage boys even admit they won’t spend any time at all with friends over the summer break.
However, with both girls and boys expecting boredom to strike by August 10, just over two weeks into the holidays, many expect their parents to become frustrated with them hanging around the house by the end of the break.
As a result, many young people are craving opportunities for independence, with one in five wishing they could escape the annual family holiday, and a third wishing they could go away with friends instead.
Phil Everett of NCS said: “Summer can be a financially troublesome time for parents, and equally a difficult period of time for teenagers to keep themselves occupied for six whole weeks.
“Parents can often be lost for a solution, but fortunately there are still spaces available for NCS, a £50 three week programme that sees teenagers spending time in university style accommodation, meeting new people from their area, taking on fun team activities and all the while learning transferable skills that will hold them in good stead for their future.”
In a separate study of 1,000 parents, 28% admitted that going away without their family for the first time was their most influential rite of passage as a teenager – more so than their first job or first relationship.
A further 20% admit they regret not spending more time away from their family during their teenage years, yet almost half admit they are guilty of overprotecting their own children.
Top 10 rites of passage (1,000 parents)
1. Learning to drive (39%)
2. Leaving home for the first time (29%)
3. Going on holiday without parents (28%)
4. First part time job (27%)
5. Going to university (23%)
6. First relationship (22%)
7. Travelling/gap year (17%)
8. Developing a passion or interest outside school (16%)
9. Joining a youth club (12%)
10. Drinking alcohol for the first time (9%)
Top 10 teen activities (1,000 teenagers)
1. Hanging out with friends (113 hours)
2. Activities with family (100 hours)
3. Chatting on social media (95 hours)
4. Napping (84 hours)
5. Watching films (79 hours)
6. Catching up on box-sets on Netflix (75 hours)
7. Playing gaming consoles (74 hours)
8. Having fun in the local neighbourhood or park (60 hours)
9. Shopping (59 hours)
10. Working part time (58 hours)
11. Playing sports (58 hours)
NCS is a two-three week programme for 16 & 17 year olds, which takes part three times a year during school holidays and costs no more than £50, with bursaries available. On the programme, which takes place across England and Northern Ireland this summer, participants learn skills for work and life whilst taking on new challenges, meeting other young people from different backgrounds and contributing to their local community.
Parents can register interest at www.ncsyes.co.uk.