Between busy schedules and fluctuating moods, it can be hard to remember the last time you just hung out and had fun with your teen. But spending some time together doing something you both enjoy is a great way to stay close to your teen without being oppressive. Before you say "My teen would never hang out with me," try reading these tips from other parents of teens. Everyone in this column has found the perfect activity to boost the levels of fun-thereby reducing the levels of stress-in their households.
Let's Get Physical
• "Teens frequently need a challenging physical activity to work off the 'steam' of frustration. Look for something a little unusual that they won't run into in school. How about training together for a bike event in your area, or hiking/backpacking? Or try sailing, line dancing, tai chi, or one of dozens of other activities. If it's new to both of you, there's not much chance that you'll show up your teen, since young people usually catch on faster and are more fit. You can laugh together at your struggles, share a growing skill, and maybe bond a bit!"
~ iVillager Bankfam
Don't Be Afraid to Laugh at Yourself
• "Rent MTV's video 'The Grind'. Do it with your teen. Good exercise and plenty of laughs!"
~ iVillager Mary
Cook Up Some Fun
• "When my fifteen-year-old son wants from-scratch cookies or cake, I suggest we make it together. He learns how to bake and gets to lick the bowl and I enjoy our time together."
~ iVillager Pam