Living With Teenagers in Russia

Guidelines for parents with teenagers in Russia...

Russia prides itself on achievements in sport, culture and science, and children are encouraged to start one of these activities from an early age. Most Russian children start attending various ‘circles’ (kruzhok / кружок) at the age of three to learn languages, drawing, knitting, swimming, skating or martial arts.

As part of, or in addition to, a wide range of out-of-school clubs on offer, teenagers are encouraged to play different kinds of sports. In general, there is a tendency to do certain sports in the relevant season, such as skiing, ice hockey or ice skating in the winter and tennis or swimming in the summer. However, indoor ice rinks and tennis courts are also available for out-of-season use.

Public ice rinks are not normally free for teenagers, so ice rinks are sometimes created in people’s yards. Likewise, public swimming pools charge for entry, so in the summer teenagers often swim in special designated areas of rivers or lakes, accompanied by elder friends or parents.

Camping used to be extremely popular in the days of the Soviet Union, but due to the rise in crime in the 1990s, the number of people camping has decreased. However, family or group camping trips is still enjoyed, but it is always best to have at least one adult along.

Other types of entertainment include shopping and recreation centres and malls, cinemas, museums, theatres, event venues, parks and gardens. The level and number of facilities vary from city to city.

For ideas of sports, activities, leisure pursuits and cultural activities to do as a family or for teenagers, see the sections on Sports & Leisure and Entertainment.