Summer is speeding by and school will start again soon. Why not find a few summer activities for teens you can enjoy, too? Raising teenagers doesn’t have to be all moodiness and arguing over independence. Spend some time together and get to know the cool person your kid is becoming. Here are some ideas of activities you can do together.
Have a business trip coming up? Invite your teen. They can hang out in the hotel room while you are working and then you can explore the city together in your free time. Try local restaurants and do something you can’t do in your area. We live in a small town, so my 13-year-old was excited to try public transportation for the first time.
Train for a race or sporting event.
Sign up for a 5K or join a bowling league together. This will give you a common goal to work towards together. Even getting into a routine of walking the dog together after dinner will give you great time together. Teens tend to open up more in conversations in which eye contact isn’t required, which makes walking perfect for bonding. Sue Robinson of New York City goes to the gym with her son. “After he does his cardio routine and I’m done with my regimen, we take about thirty minutes to really wind down with stretches and light yoga together. It keeps us both in tune together.”
Work on a project together.
Gretchen Cordell, a Florida mother of three teens, says her family enjoys working on cars together. Redecorate their bedroom using only items found at a thrift store. Transform the backyard into a vegetable garden. Scour the Internet and You Tube to learn the skills for your project together. Your teenager will love showing off the fruits of your labor to friends when you finish.
Encourage their interests
Jennifer Suesz of Florida shares a love of photography with her daughter. “We go and capture the world.” Even if you don’t have a common interest, your child will feel special if you take the time to learn about what they’re into. Ask about their favorite video game, take them to comic book conference or sign up for a cooking class together.
Go back to basics.
Hunker down for a good old fashioned family game night. Let them invite a friend over to join in the fun, order pizza and take turns picking the tunes. Curl up on the couch with popcorn and a movie. Flip through magazines while sipping hot chocolate. Simple times are often some of the best.
Keep in mind teens need time to themselves and being with friends is most important in their worlds. Continue expressing interest in spending time with them even if they seem reluctant, but make sure to give them some downtime, too.
What are your favorite summer activities for teens and parents to do together?