It’s developmentally typical for teenagers to become progressively independent. However, as a parent, you still long for time with your children. Just as their bodies are changing and adjusting to all the new developments, the parents must also adapt.
You will need to put some energy into preserving a good relationship, and you may find that you have trouble communicating. Some parents focus on the quantity of time, and they should be attentive to the quality.
Five Ways To Spend More Time With Your Teenager
If you’re wondering how you can make your independent teen spend more time with the family, you are not alone. Many parents have a tough time connecting with their hormonal, growing child. Alas, there are five things that you can do to reconnect with them.
Forget trying to connect the way you did before. All bets are off when they hit the teen years. Your child has morphed into a new person complete with attitudes, strong beliefs, and a pack of friends to entertain them. There’s a lot of competition for their time, so you need something that is going to grab their attention.
1. Step Into Your Teen’s World
One of the main reasons why parents have such a challenging time connecting with their teen is because they still view them as a child. Sure, they will always be your “baby,” but they are growing up.
Balancing their needs along with yours is difficult. See the world through their eyes for a moment. Ask yourself, what would a teenager like to do? Maybe you need to take them to a concert to connect. What do they want to do? You may need to stretch your limits to engage your teen.
However, having some new adventures will create memories and quality time together.
2. Schedule A Family Night
One thing that I have found is that while electronics are all the rage, many teens love to play old-fashioned board games. Nothing says fun like a game of Monopoly. Do they have a favorite game? Hangman, Sorry, or Life can all be fun to play.
Make a night of it with pizza, snacks, and games. You don’t have to spend a bunch of money or do anything fancy to have fun. Sometimes just being together and laughing is enough to soothe your need for more of their time. Games are inexpensive and so fun when done in a group.
3. Set “Black Out” Times For Electronics
Parents must compete for their child’s attention against electronics. Most teenagers have cellular phones, iPads or other tablets, video game systems, and even smart watches. These digital devices certainly take up a great portion of their time.
Some homes have found success in having “blackout” periods. During these times, no electronics are allowed. Brace yourself, but that also means that you will need to put down your electronics too. You must lead by example. You will find it easier to spend time with your child when they don’t have their nose in a video game.
4. Go For A Drive And Ice Cream/Coffee
The best moments are the ones when you can talk to your teen. So many times, they are mute regarding their lives. Why not take a drive and get some ice cream or coffee? You can almost always get a teen to go somewhere with you if you allow them to take the wheel.
Do you remember taking a Sunday drive with your parents? Something is refreshing about traveling and chilling together. Who said you need a rock concert or a twirl around a roller rink to spend quality time with them?
Sometimes just being together is all you need. With such hectic schedules of today’s working parents, a beautiful drive may be in order.
5.Get Them Involved In A Project
While your little one is growing into an adult, they still want to feel important to you too. Why not get them involved in a project? Do you have a room that you need to paint? What about building something to showcase their talents?
Quality time can come from working together.
Working together leaves plenty of opportunities to communicate. It’s hard to find out what’s going on inside their heads, but parents must try to connect. A project can be fun and is a wonderful way to get some of their time.
Encouraging Togetherness Doesn’t Have To Be Difficult
Being a parent certainly has its ups and downs. Don’t try to be cool or fit into their world. Teens are often embarrassed or less than thrilled about parents that try too hard.
They want you to be the loving mom or dad that you have always been. Sometimes, they want to just “hang out” or “chill” with you too.
Rather than taking up skateboarding, why not play a game with them on the computer or Xbox? Consider cooking, drawing or sports too. You just need a spark of creativity to get some time with your teen.