As your adorable, clingy child grows into a teenager excited to exert his independence, you may notice that his desire to be around you is waning. Devise an assortment of activities to change that. As you spend more time with your teen doing activities that you both enjoy, he may discover that he will not only grow into the cool young adult that he wants to become, but also have fun with you in the process.
Instill your teenager with a sense of empathy and a feeling of pride as he helps others by volunteering together. Search for volunteer opportunities in your area where you can assist members in your community. Consider working at a food bank distributing goods to families in need, delivering meals to senior citizens, tracking times at a fun run at a local park or taking care of animals at a local shelter, for instance. As a bonus, if he’s a member of a school organization such as Key Club, these hours spent in service may also count toward his annual quota.
Take a Trip
Organize a mini vacation for just the two of you. Head to a local amusement park, take the new truck for a long drive and go camping in the mountains, visit the beach or check out a historical site filled with local landmarks, for example. While you’re there, vow to silence your electronics and leave social media behind as much as possible. This will enable you to enjoy the sights and spend more time talking to one another.
Learn a Skill
Check out the current catalog from your community center and select a class that you can take together. If you’re both too busy to commit to a weekly course such as watercolor painting, pottery, jewelry making or book club, consider signing up for a one-time learning opportunity. Most offer individual sessions that teach students how to make a themed dinner entree, create a decorative item for the holidays or play a new type of board game, for example. In addition to making memories and learning something new, you’ll both also have the opportunity to make additional friends in the classes you take.
Get in Shape
Reap the health benefits of regular exercise and bond with your teenager by participating in a variety of athletic endeavors. Spend a day swimming at the community center pool, hitting the basketball court for a game of “horse,” taking a bike ride at the beach or hiking along a peaceful nature trail. If you’d prefer to make physical fitness an even bigger priority, sign up to learn a new activity such as karate, hula, tai chi, water aerobics, cycling or tennis. For an even longer commitment, you can also make a pact to train together and get in shape for an upcoming 10k race in your community or a half marathon at a local amusement park.
See a Show
Learn more about one another by taking turns picking out something to watch together. If your teenager doesn’t have much experience going to the theater, for instance, take him to see one of your favorite plays. You might even bridge the gap by opting for a musical that’s based on a television show, movie or book that he’s familiar with. When it’s his turn, agree to sit through a movie that he enjoys, even if it’s in a genre that you’re not fond of, such as horror or teen comedy. After you’ve both had a chance to select a night’s entertainment, spend an evening together viewing a movie marathon during which each of you gets to pick one or two titles to watch.
Improve the bond you share with your teenager with a series of activities that you can participate in with one another. Your teen can learn new skills, gain some life and work experience and discover that you’re truly amusing to hang out with at the same time.