Stop Struggling To Spend Quality Time With Your Teen With These 4 Activities

 

Photo by Tammy McGary on Flickr.com

 

When your children are little, they are at your heels all day, needing you for every little thing.

How many times do you need to show them how to put the car at the top of the track? Am I right?

But as your kids grow into young men and women, they seem to want your help less and less and getting any face-to-face time together is near impossible – until you try these proven activities that is.

No, we are not talking about the often attempted, and rarely successful, request for family game night or a throwback evening at their favorite ice cream shop when they were five (although ice cream can still do wonders in this house).

Teenagers are really involved in their social lives and how they fit into it, so choosing activities that help them focus on the things they find important in a positive way is key.

Try one of these activities that increase communication and build a healthy teen-parent relationship to get that quality time you both need.

  1. Show interest in their interests

It may seem like torture to spend time playing video games or window shopping at the mall when you have a pile of dishes, laundry, and toys waiting for your attention at home, but stepping into your kid’s world has a profound positive impact.

It doesn’t have to be an all day affair either, but it should be intentional and focused.

Don’t half-listen to your teenage son tell you about his favorite band while you mentally go through your day’s to-do list.

Even if it’s just for ten minutes, sit down, make eye-contact, and ask questions to show you’re engaged in something they care about. It is likely you will get the same respect in return when this is a regular occurrence in the home.

  1. Get up and get moving

It can be difficult for a teen to open up about their life and problems they may be facing when they feel pressured or cornered at the dining room table.

Choose an activity to do in the evenings or once a week that involves moving around, such as throwing a football, going for a walk around the block, or helping them fold their laundry (just be cautious you’re not the only one folding).

An active environment can lead to more natural conversation. Keeping abridged about the challenges your teen is facing is paramount in helping them learn the tools to work through them.

  1. Give together

The family that does charity together stays together.

It is no secret that kids of all ages are naturally ego-centric. But they are able to slowly shift into a state of empathy and perspective through carefully taught life lessons and experiences.

Choosing a charity to work on together with your teenager will help them get a more realistic perspective of the world and be able to think outside of their own issues.

A soup kitchen, charity race, or summer camp program for kids are all great ways to bond with your teenager while giving them experiences that will help shape them into better adults.

If you can find a charity that caters to their specific skill set and interests, even better! Maybe a soccer day-camp or guitar lessons for those who can’t afford it.

  1. Team project

Your teenager may laugh at you when you say let’s do a project together, but they may be amped to get involved if the project is presented with their hobbies in mind.

For example, paint a mural together on one of their walls, build a stand for your teenager’s skate board or guitar, or even build a shed where they can have band practice.

These projects range from simple to expensive and complex, but whichever one is agreed upon will give you both life-long memories and countless opportunities for some heart-to-heart convo.

You may only get a few minutes each day to bond with your teenager one-on-one, but that uninterrupted, sincere time will do more for your child and your relationship with them than you could imagine.

Teenagers need room to establish their identities and role in life, but also need our unconditional love, support, and guidance along the way.

It is undoubtedly easier to shut your teen out when they give you an eyeroll every time you ask how their day was, but they need you more in this phase of life than they care to admit!

Your efforts may not always be appreciated now, but they will be one day – and the benefits will be insurmountable.

 

 

 

 

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