Do you feel like you are losing the bond you once shared with your teenage son or daughter? Around the time that your child reaches the age of 12, 13 or 14, all of a sudden you become the enemy. Trying to get back on the good side of your teenager takes a lot of work and several different approaches can be taken. You need to be a parent but you also want to remain a friend, at least once and a while. So below are ten ways to regain that friendship by enjoying shared activities with your son or daughter. Think about his or her unique hobbies when deciding which ones would work for your situation.
A great way to spend time together is to find an activity that you both enjoy and do it together. Go for a hike or a walk in the evenings together or join a fitness group together. There are plenty of other exercise induced activities that promote closeness and are suitable for teenagers and old farts like yourself including dance classes, swimming, spin classes, Zumba and much more.
There is nothing more embarrassing than being caught hanging out with Mum by a group of the cool kids in school so why not suggest driving to a different city for some quality girl time with your teenage daughter away from the crowds and cliques? Order in room service, paint your nails and spend the day shopping and sightseeing. Or, why not take a three day camping trip with your son? Spending time away from your normal environment will allow him to be more himself and hopefully open up a little more.
See a Sports Game
Build or Fix Something
If you share a passion for mechanics, crafts or anything else handy, then consider passing the passion down to your teenager. You may find that he or she shares your love of fixing old cars, for sewing blankets or for designing nappy cakes.
Your teenager will be out of the house and living on their own in no time. So prepare them for this day by teaching them how to cook a few meals. Work as a team to make some of your family favourites.
Teaching your child how to drive can be an extremely nerve-racking experience. However, it can be made a lot more fun if you choose a time and place when there isn’t anyone around and that you can have a little bit of fun.
Start a Family Book Club
If your son or daughter is an avid reader then why not see if they would be interested in reading the same book and talking about it. You don’t have to make it a formal book club and avoid making it too much like school. Rather, use it as a good starting piece around the dinner table.
Go to a Spa
Treat your daughter to an afternoon of pampering with a trip to the spa. Get your nails done, have a massage or just enjoy the surroundings together.
Download a Movie
Most teenagers would rather die than go to the movies with mum and dad. So why not hire one to watch at home instead? Whether you rent DVD’s from the store or download them through iTunes, choose one that everyone can enjoy and that doesn’t have too many sex scenes, drug scenes or violence (awkward!) and sit down together to enjoy.
Consider exploring a theme park with your teenager. Prove you are cooler than they think by taking on the extra scary rides (just remember to take an anti-nausea pill beforehand).
Jenna Galley lives in Cairns, Queensland with her husband, two small children, Jacob and Jade, and dog Koah. She is a freelance writer and small business owner as well as an avid reader and wine drinker.