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Spending Quality Time with Your Teen

Let’s face it; teens aren’t always the easiest people to deal or communicate with, especially if you’re the parent of one. There’s a lot of change going on in a teen’s life: puberty, hormones, responsibility, getting through high school, getting ready for college, and all sorts of other change that comes with getting older. At some point in time, we were all teens. We know what it’s like to feel like no one understands you, especially your parents. If you remember anything about being a teen, you’ll also remember how important it is to have your parents involved in your life.

Don’t push, and make sure that you take an interest in their interests.

Spend Time Together
No matter how hard it is, no matter how resistant they are, you have to spend time with your teen. It’s as simple as that. Easier said than done, right? The reality of it is you will have to do it on their terms. 

Ways to Spend Time With Your Teen
There are a lot of ways you can spend time with your teen. Ask them what they want to do. If they are a typical teen and give you some sort of vague and cryptic answer, there are always a few ideas you can fall back on. Here are some ideas:

Have family dinners. Turn off the TV. Stow away cell phones and computers, and make sure all brains are present. Let your teen choose the menu. Have them Google a new recipe (maybe something they saw on TV, or tried at a restaurant, or had in a different country). Once dinner has started, let them do the talking. 

Don’t pry, but ask them questions. And most importantly, listen to your teen.

Engage in physical fitness activities. Adolescence is the most formative time of a person’s life. The habits your teen picks up and replicates during these years will most likely remain with them for the rest of their lives. Too often, young people, especially teenage girls, abandon all forms of physical activity. As a parent it is your responsibility to see that your teen is enriched both mentally and physically. You can take family bike rides, go running, play baseball - basically, just move!

Take weekly family trips to the library or bookstore. Your teen may tell you that they read online. But reading online isn’t enough; bond over books. Show them what volumes and volumes of written words actually look like. Spend your weekends talking about ideas. Instill in them a love of reading that will transcend into their future. This can also help develop their critical thinking skills, which become more and more important they get further in their educational career.

Have a question? Let us know.
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