Sometimes spending quality time with your teen sounds like it is a case where the horse has already bolted and you feel it is too late. But this needn’t be the case
Quality time is not just about the amount of time you spend it can also be the meaningful moments as well.
Keep it simple and connect with your teen in ways that make sense for your lifestyle and relationship. Each connection has a lasting impact and provides the support and reassurance that your child needs
Connection with your teenager may come in a variety of small moments scattered throughout the day and week. If you’re not getting big stretches of time together, don’t sweat it. Think small. Increments of just a few, sweet minutes do count, especially when you are undistracted and truly present. Here are some ideas from real teen girls:
- My dad makes my waffle in the morning, and he toasts it just right. Then he hangs out with me for a while before he leaves for work.
- My mum texts me sometimes to wish me good luck on a test.
- My dad and I watch football together.
- My granny makes me hot chocolate in a mug she got for me. She made a rule that no one gets to use that mug but me. My mom reads her book in my room while I do my homework sometimes. It makes me feel less isolated and lonely. Even though we’re both doing different stuff, I like her company.
WHAT ARE SOME SMALL THINGS YOU CAN DO WITH YOUR TEEN
“Well, you know when we’re teens, we’re so busy pushing our parents away that when we want them, it’s hard to ask.”
Teens really want adults to help shape their views about the world. They want adults to spend time with them and to tell them about the world and how it works.
It’s a fact – teens don’t want to end their relationships with their parents as they grow older. They just want them to change as they grow. Spending quality time with their parents is one of teens’ biggest priorities – but they can’t do it alone.
It is really easy as a parent to get caught up in work issues, money issues and everything else that parents and families have to deal with on a daily basis. It is important, however, to remember to spend quality time with your teen and have meaningful conversations.
Be involved in something that your teen is involved in, even if it is just being a fan at their games. This will give you a common topic to talk about.
Also, families that never spend any time together have a harder time communicating with each other. Get creative about scheduling family time.
KEEPING THE LINES OF COMMUNICATION OPEN WITH YOUR TEEN CAN BE ONE OF THE GREATEST CHALLENGES THAT PARENTS HAVE TO FACE
In order to spend that quality time with our teen we have to keep the lines of communication open and the following is some suggestions of questions to give our reluctant teens a nudge in that direction
- What is the most embarrassing thing that I do?
- Where would be an awesome place to go for a family vacation?
- If you had the opportunity to learn something what would it be?
- If you could someday drive any car or truck you want, what would it be?
- What were the most memorable family trips we’ve taken so far?
- Do you ever feel jealous about the family of any of your friends?
- What are the best and worst things about having a smartphone?
- If we could move to a different neighbourhood or part of town, (WHERE) would you want to go?
- What thing about our house/apartment irritates you the most?
- If you were allowed to get a tattoo, what would you get?
- Do you think adults praise kids too much or not enough?
- What’s the one thing adults don’t get about teenagers?
- If you wanted to have kids, what would you want to name them?
- Do you think teens have it easier or tougher compared to my generation?
- Where’s the first place you would want to go after getting your driver’s license?
- How tall would you like to be, if you could choose?
- What do you think has been the hardest thing you have ever done?
- Is it more awkward to address adults as Mr./Ms. or to use their first names?
- Do you wish we had pushed you harder or less hard to keep doing __________?
- Do you think marijuana should be legal for people after a certain age?
- What could I do to help you feel more supported?
- What were some of best holiday or birthday presents you ever received?