- Family and Parenting»
5 Things to Do With Your Teenager to Get Them Out of Their Bedroom
Being a teenager is a difficult time. Hormones are flying all over the place, they have to deal with school, peer pressure, and sexuality, and it can sometimes feel like they never come out of their bedrooms. Especially with the internet, smartphones, computers, video games, TV, and other distractions, it is easy for a young person to spend the entirety of their spare time alone in their bedroom.
Although this isn't really a bad thing, it can sometimes feel like you never see your child anymore. Here are some simple yet effective activities you can do with your teenager to reconnect with them.
What Age is Your Oldest Child?
1. Eat a Meal Together
It may already be common practice in your household to eat together as a family, but how about making it for just the two of you so you have time to talk one-on-one? You could cook their favourite meal or take them to a nice restaurant. They would appreciate the effort.
Some extra tips:
- Teenagers are sensitive. Be sure to check when a suitable evening for them would be. The last thing you need at your special evening with them is for them to be grumbling that they had to cancel plans with friends.
- Strike up a conversation with them that is interesting for them. Don't start with "How's school?" You probably have some idea what video game, TV show, celebrity, or makeup brand they are into, so do a little research and talk to them about it.
2. Go to the Cinema
When I was sixteen, my mum and I went to the cinema together about once a month to check out the newest chick flick. Even if you're not the same gender as your child, you can still enjoy a film together. It will give you something to talk about afterwards, as well.
See what movies are coming up that your child might like. If you're not sure, ask them! Again, make sure it doesn't clash with any other plans they have.
3. Start a Project
This is an excellent way to get your child talking, get them to spend time with you, and give you both a sense of achievement at the end. My mum taught me to knit when I was about fourteen, something I didn't continue but appreciated nonetheless. Here are some activity ideas you can try with your teen. Of course, an appropriate one will depend on their interests.
- Make a patchwork quilt, sweater, or other knitting item. Knitting is calming, a useful skill, and gives you plenty of time to chat.
- Play a video game together. Yes, parents can play too! Get your teenager to teach you how to play and then either play together or start your own game file.
- Join a local club. Anything from sports to dieting to language learning is a great way to bond with your child and give them a new hobby, too.
- Play a sport. If your son or daughter is into sports, make a point to practice with them once in a while.
4. Watch a Drama or Series
You don't always have to spend money every time you want to spend time with your child. Find out an interesting drama or TV series and ask them to watch the first episode with you. If they like it, you can start a weekly routine where you sit and watch it at a certain time, giving you another thing to talk about. If you have Netflix, you could limit a series to one or two episodes per week.
My brother, my stepdad, and I all used to watch Hell's Kitchen in the mid-2000s and it was nice to spend that time with them every week.
5. Go Shopping Together
By "shopping," I don't necessarily mean going to a department store for clothes and shoes (though if your teenager enjoys that, by all means try it). If you have some spare money and you'd like to give your son or daughter a treat, ask them what they're hoping to get for their next birthday or for Christmas.
They might want a video game, some makeup, stationery, books, sports equipment, or something along those lines. Instead of making a note of this and getting it next time a celebration comes along, take them to the store and browse with them. They'll enjoy it, they'll get a surprise present, and you will know a little more about what he or she enjoys.
A trip like this can turn into an entire day out, so why not round it off with a meal? Bonus points if you can take them somewhere you used to go when they were small, to add some warm and fuzzy nostalgia.
Having a teenager doesn't have to be a rough time where you fall out of touch with your kid. Your child is growing up, maybe figuring out what they're going to do in the future, and probably going through a rough stage of their lives. They will appreciate you making the effort to spend time with them and it can be very beneficial for the mental health of both of you.
With these five fun activities, you can hopefully develop a closer bond with your teen and make the labour of growing up a little easier on them. Remember, spending a lot of time their rooms isn't necessarily a bad thing, but there has to be a balance. Good luck!
© 2018 Poppy