As a mother of six kids who all burst into the world one right after the other, I have found that the toddler years were less challenging than the teen years. Back then, I could play games with them or read to them or put them down for a nap. Those were simple tasks.
These days, the kids have burst into the teen years and with their unique personalities and different interests, keeping up with them has been difficult at times. There are all kinds of things to compete with like school, part time jobs, boy/girlfriends (yikes!), and technology. I am competitive though and I love, love, love spending time with my kids. So, if you’re a mother like me who wants to get in some quality time with the kids before they leave the nest, here are my #Top10Things to do with your teens that are fun and guaranteed to bring about some mother/child bonding.
1. Play video games with them. If you’re really into it and they are up for the challenge, play the old video games from your childhood with them.
2. Find a great TV series and marathon watch it with them. For me, that means watching Parenthood with two of my kids who are hooked on the series as I am.
3. Cook together. Some of my best memories with my kids are when we’re all in the kitchen putting meals together for the upcoming week. We blast the music and enjoy the time together.
4. Travel. It doesn’t matter where you go, as long as you get out there and explore with them. We’ve taken our teens to Pennsylvania, California, Alabama, and Mexico as well as a host of other places in between.
5. Go for coffee. I remember the first time I took my daughters out for coffee with me. It was fun and I got a glimpse into the kind of women they might be someday.
6. Text them. Sometimes it’s hard for kids to talk to their parents about what’s going on in their lives. Don’t get on to them about putting their phones away, join them. Pick yours up and have a conversation with them. You might be surprised what they’re willing to share with you when they can do it via text.
7. Introduce them to old movies from your youth. I’ve found bonding can be done over a bowl of popcorn and a movie from the ‘90s like very little else can.
8. Learn a phone game to play with them. Words with Friends or Crack Trivia are just a couple of the games I’ve played with my teens. As they branch out into the world and prepare to launch into the world, you’ve got to connect with them on any level you can.
9. Do chores with them. This may not be the most fun thing to do with your teen, but it can be rewarding. Instead of harping on them to do the dishes, sidle up to the sink beside them and help out. You’ll get less resistance from them and more chance to hang out together. Oh, and the dishes will get done more to your standards too.
10. Read a book with them. Not to them or for them, but with them. Pick up a copy of something you both want to read and as you both read it on your own time, talk about it. It doesn’t have to be a formal book club and your conversations will likely happen in snippets via text or Facebook messages, but conversations are conversations, right?
Just because your kids have reached the teenage years doesn’t mean you can’t still spend time with them. Try one of these ideas for quality time with your kid or share your own ideas in the comments. #MomsofTeens #Parenthood