This week I would like to expand on a post I wrote earlier in the week. When parenting teens/tweens quality family time can be difficult. Our kids don’t necessarily want to spend time with us. Let’s face it: we are not cool (at least to our kids ;)) This week I recognized the importance of focusing on my sons interests in order to engage his attention.
So, how can we make sure that we are available to our kids? What are some things that we can do with them to maintain a bond? Here are some of my ideas and I would love to hear yours as well!
- Eat dinner together. This is so important! Many studies have touted the value of eating as a family. It is a great time for discussion, questions and family time. I am always amused listening to the things that my boys think are discussion worthy. And, be sure to take some pressure off of yourself. What you serve as the meal is less important than the fact that you are all sitting down together to eat and talk.
- Avoid overscheduling. If your child is involved in too many activities there will not be any time left over to spend together as a family. We limit the kids to one extra-curricular activity a semester (not including church related activities). We treat our family time as sacred, it goes on the calendar just like anything else. Making time together a priority sends a strong message to your kids that you value them and want to spend time with them.
- Take advantage of a captive audience. Even without overscheduling we spend a lot of time in the mom taxi. Use this time to engage your kids in conversation. Middle school boys can tend toward monosyllabic answers so I end up asking a lot of open ended questions to solicit some feedback. Play a game in the car. Crank up the worship music and sing together. Enjoy your kids.
- Volunteer together. Serving others together is a great way to bond and spend time with your kids. And, it is something that will hopefully inspire your kids to develop a servants heart for others and take that passion into adulthood.
What are some of the ways that you spend quality time with your teen/tween? Leave your answer in the comments. And, as always, if you have a post that deals with teen/tween issues please link the permalink to that post on our MckLinky below.