Have you decided on your New Year’s resolution yet? Perhaps you’re resolving to spend more time with your teen so the two of you can form a tighter bond. Bonding with your teens can be a true challenge in parenting. However, you can increase bonding opportunities by joining them in activities they enjoy. By trying some of the following suggestions, you may find it easier to cement your relationship with your teen.
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1. Create a Family Recycling Plan
According to blogger Brandon Gaille, less than 35% of Americans recycle. Plan a discussion with your teen explaining how and why your family should recycle. Help your teen learn how to create a mulch pile and where to put recyclable materials. You can make your teen family’s “Recycling Captain,” but be sure to continue participating in the recycling activities with them.
2. Join a Local Swimming Program
Swimming is a healthy and fun exercise that most people enjoy. Signing up with your teen for swimming or water aerobics classes will give them both exercise and fun. According to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, natural water drowning was responsible for almost 33% of deaths from unintentional drowning. Therefore, by helping your teen reinforce their swimming skills, you might also be instrumental in saving their life.
3. Be Part of a Volunteer Effort Together
Many high schools today require students to complete a specific number of volunteer hours before they are allowed to graduate. Once your teen decides which organization they’re willing to volunteer for, offer to volunteer with them. You may be the one driving your teen to the activity, so stay and be part of the cause. You and your teen can contribute to the greater good, and you’ll now have something positive to discuss.
4. Help Your Teen Start Their Own Business
While a small business, by definition, is one with anywhere between 250 and 1,500 workers, your teenager may have a viable idea for a solo business and prefer to start their own company. Go with your teen to the town or county offices to secure the permit or business license they’ll need. You can serve as an adviser to your teen or become an active part of their business operation as they prefer. They may also need more than your emotional support; they may need funding, which will be up to you.
5. Enjoy an Escape Room
For a night of fun together, take an evening off from your other bonding activities and enjoy going to an escape room. Many escape rooms provide group experiences, so you might need to invite your teen’s friends, Scout troop, or sports team. You’ll have a great time working with your teen to solve clues, assemble puzzles, and find a way out of the room.
6. Turn the Kitchen Into a Bakery
This activity may be most enjoyable during the holiday season, but you can have a Baking Day with your teenager any time of the year. You can teach your teen a special family recipe for cakes or pies or have a marathon cookie bake and then help them decorate their finished desserts. You can enjoy them as a family or give them away. Either way, the activity will help you bond with your teen.
If none of these activities appeal to your teen, ask them which activities they would enjoy. Ask them to list activities, including local tourist attractions they’ve not yet visited. You can begin with something as simple as watching their favorite TV show or listening to their famous music artist and then discuss the experience. Investing your time in bonding with your teen will not only help the two of you bond, but it will also let your teen see sides of you they haven’t yet learned.