You know that your teen needs your time and attention at least as much as he did when he was younger, if not more. While it’s relatively easy to come up with fun parent and child activities for small children, it can be much more challenging to keep a teenager engaged and entertained. Sometimes, it can seem like all they want to do is hang out with their friends. But teens can enjoy parent/child time too… it’s just a question of finding the right activities. Here are some fun ideas for you and your teen to get your fall started right.
- Have a yard sale. Fall is a great time for a yard sale, and this is an activity that can be win/win for everyone. After the back to school shopping is done, have your teen gather clothes and other items that she’s finished with for the yard sale. Tell her she can keep the proceeds from her own items if she works the sale with you. This way she makes some money, you get rid of some clutter, and you two have a project to tackle together. Everybody wins.
- Show your school spirit. Obviously, if your child is involved in a school sport or activity, you’ll want to attend to support him. But consider going with your teen to a sporting event or meet that he’s not involved in, just to show your school spirit. This can be a fun outing for both of you. Attending the big football game is one option. Or you and your teen can show some love to the less popular sports. Attend a bowling tournament, a swim meet, or a track and field event together. Whatever sport you choose, dress in school colors and be ready to cheer your team on to victory together.
- Go for a drive. Take a scenic ride with your teen. If she’s taking driver’s ed this fall, this is a good time for her to get some practice in. If she’s too young for that just yet, a car ride is still a good time for a heart to heart talk. Look for fall foliage or interesting Halloween decorations together, while talking about anything at all. This is a good time to ask questions about school, friends, and whatever else may be on her mind, or yours.
- Enjoy a blast from his past. Who says that hayrides and pumpkin carving are for little ones only? Let him invite a couple of his friends and make a day out of raking leaves (and jumping in the pile!), making jack-o-lanterns, apple picking and toasting hotdogs on the firepit while sipping apple cider. Serve up some candy corn and caramel apples, and see your child, along with his friends, become little kids again for a short time.
- Go shopping. You may have already spent a small fortune on back to school items, but you may still have to buy a homecoming dress, sports equipment or other items that your teen needs this fall. Make a day of it, stopping for lunch or ice cream, and be sure to chat with your teen about what’s on her mind.
In the teen years, a strong emotional connection with parents is paramount to your child’s security and success, so choose activities with that in mind. Look for experiences that you’ll both find enjoyable or relaxing at any time of the year.