Bucket List for a Teen

By Rosenya Faith
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It's easy for teens to lose sight of childhood dreams -- peer pressure, schoolwork and the business of becoming an adult can occupy a lot of time. The dreams he once cherished are pushed aside, replaced with tasks such as keeping up with social standards and thinking about career choices. You can help your teen remember his dreams and add a few new ones to his life plans, too, with a bucket list to help ensure his life lives up to his expectations.

Travel

After years of geography in the classroom, there's bound to be a few places your teen would like to visit. If she's a free-spirited gal, a road trip with friends might top the bucket list or an island-hopping vacation to explore Anguilla, St. Croix and all the other islands of the Caribbean. Maybe she'd like to visit the Seven Wonders of the World, or create a list of her own seven wonders, such as the world's most famous shopping malls, the best roller coasters or the most visited monuments or attractions worldwide. If she'd like to accomplish her bucket list before adulthood, take a look at teen-oriented tour groups to see if any of these vacations fit her bucket list toppers.

Learning

Help your teenager explore all her curiosities and take joy and pride in lifelong learning endeavors. You can recommend she learn about another culture or add a new language to her list of pursuits -- or several new languages if she can squeeze in the time. Learning how to say “hello” or “goodbye” in 50 different languages can be a fun little addition to her learning list, too. She can learn at least one martial art, take dance lessons, learn how to swim or become schooled in fashion design or makeup artistry. If your teen always seems to have her head in the clouds, suggest she take a few flying lessons, or encourage her to flaunt traditional gender roles and learn how to soup up a sports car.

Adventure

Whether on land, through the air, in the water or all three -- there are plenty of adventures for a daredevil teen to add to his bucket list. Consider zip-lining through a South American jungle -- or at least through a forest in Utah. Talk about spelunking, scuba diving or white water rafting adventures, or he might want to add rock climbing, paragliding or race car driving to the list. The extreme adventuring teen might not feel like he's given every adventure a try until he's gone skydiving, base jumping or bungee jumping -- though you might want to encourage him to leave these ones out if your heart's not strong enough to watch him take the plunge.

Personal Growth

While there are plenty of fun and adventurous activities to add to your teen's bucket list, her personal growth and accomplishments might be the triumphs to bring the biggest sense of satisfaction to her life. Talk about personal goals, such as forgiving herself and others for mistakes and learning to love her body, personal flaws and all. She might want to become an early riser to appreciate each morning's sunrise, socialize more or be a better friend, or learn to be more comfortable with public speaking. What about a charitable mission? This can include anything from collecting non-perishables for local food banks to traveling to foreign countries on aid missions. Above all, encourage her to add the goal to learn about herself inside and out, and to love that person for her unique and wonderful characteristics.

About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.