When your children are small, it’s easy to spend time with them. You have so much to teach them and they’re like little sponges soaking up all of your love and attention. Unfortunately, as your children grow up, they become busy and it gets harder to make the time for them. It’s even harder hard to plan a special day with your teenager once they reach that age.
Spending quality time together is important for children, of course, but your teenager needs that time, too. Your schedules may not make it possible to get together very often, but it is definitely worth it for both of you to make the effort.
If your teen is the same sex, it may be easier to plan a special day to spend with them. Let’s face it, if you’re a mom and you have a teen daughter, just mentioning shopping can open the door for your day, especially if you’re buying. Take the time to really talk and listen while you’re walking around the store or mall. You may find that your teenage daughter is willing to share more when she’s relaxed.
Offer to invite some of your teen’s friends over for an afternoon, but with a prerequisite: they have to help you plan and prepare for the afternoon. Maybe your teen’s friends have wanted to watch a particular movie, sporting event, or play a certain computer console game. Allow your teen to invite a set number of friends. Have your teen help prepare the food. Cooking together is a great way to spend quality time with your teen.
Perhaps you have more than one teenager. Set aside one day each month for one or the other parent to take a teen out on a “date” of sorts. Plan to take them to eat at their favorite restaurant, within reason, and do something they enjoy. You may realize that your teen loves to do something you never realized.
Think of others. Quite often families and individuals will volunteer their time during the holidays to serve meals at a soup kitchen. Why not find out if there are volunteer activities you can do all throughout the year. Volunteering will help your teen learn to think of others who may not have as many benefits as they do.
Is your teenager just learning how to drive? Why not take the time to let them practise driving while they drive to lunch? Be sure you’re rested and relaxed before you leave so the planned special day doesn’t turn into a terrible experience.
Your teenager needs to know that they are important to you, probably more than when they were children. Plan a special day with your teenager and you may be able to keep the lines of communication open with them. Remember that they need you now more than ever.