Life is busy! There is not enough time in the day to do everything that we want and need to do. Trying to strengthen your relationship with your teen may be something you want to do but you just don’t feel you have the time for. What if you made a paradigm shift that allowed you to look at every experience with your teen as an opportunity to build trust and strengthen that relationship? This new view would make even the simple things become valuable opportunities. You can use the time you do have in the best way possible. Here are 10 ideas of ways to make time with your teen a valuable opportunity.
- Pick a project or craft to work on together. This will help you to explore their interests with them. The time you spend together working on a common project can strengthen your relationship.
- Play a card, board, computer or video game. I agree with Plato when he says that “you learn more about a person in an hour of play than a year of conversation. “ Play together and let down your guards.
- Go for a walk or run- Science has proven there are benefits of physical exercise for the brain. It elevates your mood and can improve relationships.
- Attend their debate or sporting event to cheer them on- Showing up to support them says a lot to your teen. You can also talk to them afterwards about the details from the competition or event. Compliment them on what they did well.
- Have a picnic dinner at the park. Getting outside and on neutral ground can be a great time to create a new beginning and just have fun together.
- Do an act of service for a neighbor or stranger. When we are thinking of other’s needs before our own, it helps us to feel better about ourselves and can create a bond with those you are doing the service with.
- Read a book they are reading or have already read and talk to them about it. This creates an opportunity to show that you have a common interest or may be a great opportunity to share and respect one another’s opinions, even if they are different.
- Rearrange or redecorate their bedroom. This project may take more time but what a great way to explore their likes and interests and problem solve together on how to complete a project on a budget.
- Try something new together that neither one of you have done before. This will give you the opportunity to support one another in something new and possibly scary. Doing it together will create a bond.
- Invite your teen to make their favorite dessert with you. The time you spend baking together can be a great opportunity to talk and problem solve together. The delicious treat at the end will be a sweet reward but the time you spend together will be a much longer lasting reward.
There are innumerable ideas of things to do or things you are already doing with your teen. Remember that what you do is not as important as the time you are spending together. It is really about using the time you have and making time to create opportunities to build trust and strengthen your relationships with one another.