Let’s face it, when your child reaches anywhere the near the teenage years the very last person they want to spend time with is you.
Not only are you outrageously embarrassing (without actually doing very much at all) this coincides with them discovering the joys of social media so really, you’ve no chance.
Teenage years can be tough, so spending a bit of time with them and keeping those lines of communication open is really important.
If your teen is constantly locked in their room, here are a few ideas of how you can lure them out to spend a bit of time with you.
Teenagers love lying around doing nothing. Capitalise on this – think a day of big bowls of popcorn, ice-cream and some cheesy films. It will go down a storm.
Okay I know we all did this when they were little but give them free rein. Get them to find a cake, cookie or amazing dessert they would like to bake and crack on. Not only does the house smell amazing you have something great to eat and share when you’re done.
In my experience kids get competitive the older they get. Drag out Monopoly, Scrabble or Cluedo and you can pretty easily pass an hour or two.
The great thing about your children getting older is that they can watch slightly more sophisticated films which you may also enjoy so it’s more likely this is something you can do together.
Younger teenagers are starting to think about their own identity and where they have come from. Family history is a great way to delve into this. We did this last year. We found a family grave and spent a day clearing it, looked into a great uncle who had died in the war and searched out houses our ancestors had lived in. We created a Facebook page and shared our findings with wider family members.
Getting teens to do sport in a fun way can be tricky. Mine is not keen on running, quite likes biking and loves a swim. Last year we did some open water swimming and we plan to do more this year.
Involve them in decorating their own bedroom, let them pick some colours and new furniture and they might get excited about the whole project. Try not to wince when they choose all black too.
Get interested in what they like
Okay famous last words which led me to spend six hours in a tank museum earlier this year. The theory though is most teens are passionate about something, if you be a bit interested in whatever it is so might me able to grab some time together. We spent a day in The Tank Museum in Dorset the blog is here. But also did lots of other things too.
Music and theatre
One nice thing about your children getting that bit older is they start to develop their own tastes in music. Taking them to their first live gig, theatre performance or festival can be a great way to spend a bit of time with them.
If your teen is anything like mine they eat constantly so a meal out is always welcome. Negotiate, they can choose the restaurant if they agree to stay off their phones for at least part of the meal.
It’s not easy and you’re not going to be able to get them to do all of these but it really is worth trying a few every now and again.
You never know you might get a bit of conversation and they might actually enjoy it.