Have you found communication with your teenager difficult?
We can easily see that technology has greatly impacted communication within our families.
But guess what??
SPENDING TIME TOGETHER STILL MATTERS!
So here are 10 surprisingly simple activities to build communication between you and your teen.
1. Volunteer Together / Community Service
We all hope our children grow to be givers, not takers and volunteering together is a great way to do that!
Homeless shelters, nursing homes, animal rescue for instance usually have plenty of opportunities for you to serve together.
Google search should yield ample information for you to engage locally.
A solid tip for improving communication could be talking about what you got out of your time serving together.
2. Look at Family Photos
If a picture really is worth a thousand words, just think of the conversations waiting for you.
Most people have lived the past several years of their lives out on social media.
Going through old photos and videos with your teenager can bring back fond memories.
So, snuggle up on the couch and take a walk down memory lane!
3. Cook a Meal
We know great discussion can happen around the dinner table but some of the best conversations happen in the kitchen.
Food has a way of connecting people but cooking together can take it to a whole new level.
This could be a family favorite dish that you teach them how to prepare or something new.
Regardless, let your teenager pick the food and recipe and you prepare it together.
The joy of cooking a meal and seeing others enjoy it is difficult to put into words.
The chance to teach and pass along that joy to your teenager is priceless.
Here’s a list of some fantastic sites to check out to get started:
4. Train and Workout
These days, training and fitness apps are right on your phone!
It has never been easier to be active and promote a healthy lifestyle with your teenager.
Your garage, backyard or open area can become a space for connection.
Regularly scheduled workouts can provide the chance for some of those conversations that you have been needing to have.
5. Play a Card Game
Some of my best childhood memories include a deck of UNO.
Times are simpler when you are a kid.
Finding the same kind of facetime you had then doesn’t come easy now.
Card games can reconnect us to those times and help us slow down long enough to enjoy each other’s company.
6. Go on a Nature Walk
Depending on where you live, this might take some planning.
But if you can find a lake or park you could be headed in the right direction.
Most of these places have beautiful walking trails and terrible cell phone reception, two things that should make conversation easier.
Something as simple as sitting on a bench, feeding ducks, can provide the chance to have really meaningful conversations.
7. Find a Museum
Learning about the past helps you understand the present.
SUPER TIP: Download the Groupon app or check local coupons to save money on admissions!
There are lots of museums so finding one should be no problem.
Local museums are full of neat facts and make it easy to find something to talk about.
If your family has a history in the community discussing your roots can be a cool thing to discover together.
8. Plant a Garden
Many times the path to better communication starts with doing stuff with your hands.
Getting on your hands and knees digging in the dirt is always a good idea!
Planting a garden can be something that keeps on producing quality time together.
Take the time to pick the food you want to grow and start out simple.
There is no need to start a farmer’s market in your backyard!
9. Shop at a Thrift Store
Every time I go to these places I feel like I am on some kind of shopping spree.
This must be how rich people feel when they shop.
It can be fun to discover hidden treasures together at these places.
SUPER TIP: Find something from your teenage years, especially if it gives you the feels.
Explain HOW & WHY that thing takes you back to your teens.
This can remind them that you were a teen once too and help them see you different.
10. Build a Pet House
There isn’t much like the smell of freshly cut wood.
Think of the time you will spend together planning, shopping, and building.
If you want something simple, birdhouse kits and other items can be found at Walmart.
Don’t be intimidated, If building something like this is new to you.
Doing new things together could be the start of something you both enjoy.
It’s Time to Take Action
Hopefully, these 10 activities have inspired you to find ways of interacting with your teenager and improving your communication.
What stuck out most to you?
What are some activities you would recommend?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!