The teen years are a time when our child is trying to find their identity, and normally they start pulling away from Mom and Dad. It’s hard as a parent to let them walk away! We want to hold on to our child that we’ve watched grow over the years, and we don’t want to stop being a positive influence on their lives.
Care Bear is 14 now, and while friends definitely take an important role in her life, I try to hang on in a few ways where in sha Allah, I’ll always have a special place in her heart.
Go on a date
Okay, don’t think I’m getting weird, but seriously, go out with your teen once in a while! Care Bear’s favorite restaurant is one we went to together. The food was fabulous, but I have to think part of it is that I took the time to just go out with her and no one else. I picked the restaurant because I thought she would like it and made sure to tell her that I thought she would like it. (Well, and because there was a Groupon.) It wasn’t just about her tagging along to my favorite place.
Get pictures together
Another group coupon deal! Right before Mother’s Day there was a great deal on a mother/daughter photo shoot at Glamour Shots. Care Bear was 12 at the time, and I knew she’d love someone doing makeup and having her picture taken. It was a special activity we got to share, and we have a picture to commemorate it!
Do something exciting!
Sure, dinner is nice. You can talk and enjoy being served, but it isn’t very exciting. Especially if you’re feeling a bit disconnected with your teen, it can even be a bit awkward. Go do something fun! We’ve gone rock climbing together, which was great! Of course, Care Bear totally smoked me when it came to rock climbing, but it was all about having fun and cheering each other on. Hubby and Care Bear have gone kayaking together, too. Since we have little ones, in order to do some of these more mature activities, only one of us can go. It’s not a bad deal though. It saves money, and lends to some special one-on-one time together.
Pottery painting is fun, and relaxing. Again if you’re feeling disconnected, it gives you something to talk about (the colors, what item to pick out, complementing on a job well done, etc.), and it’s quiet enough to give you time to talk. There’s always a sense of accomplishment when you’ve finished something you can take with you, and the item is a special memory for you both! Not big on painting? Go to a class of some sort, like: sushi making, photography, quilting, wood working, glass blowing, etc. Our community education department with the school district has really fun offerings each term.
Some kids are more into this than others. Find an issue they may be interested in, or may spark and interest in and volunteer. Start sowing the seeds of charity in your child when they have the ambition and vigor to do great things, in sha Allah!
So, to give you an easy to scan list, here’s the ideas I already listed, plus some more:
- Go to dinner
- Get pictures together
- Go to a play together
- Go to a stand up comedy show
- Rock climbing
- Kick boxing
- Paint ball
- Bicycle trip in a nature center
- Laser tag
- Go kart racing
- Batting cages
- Afternoon at a waterpark
- Amusement park
- Pottery painting
- Sushi making class
- Photography outing/class
- Quilting/Sewing class
- Wood working workshop
- Glass blowing class
- Volunteer at a soup kitchen
- Pack meals for hungry families overseas
- Volunteer at a nursing home
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter
- Make bag lunches and pass them out to homeless people
- Make care packages for the homeless and pass them out or donate them
- Scan Groupon/Living Social for ideas
This post up is linked up across the web!
Adrienne Bolton (@TheMommyMess) says
All great ideas! We have to be intentional at this age to make time with them!
Shannen Espelien says
Yes, you’re right! Our time with them is ticking down so we must make the most out of it.
These are really good ideas! Fun!