Fun family activities to do with teens
By Allison Tait |
Teenage Activities

Parents of teens will know that 'fun' and 'family activities' are not necessarily words that go together. As teens work towards independence, they're often drawn out of the family unit and towards their friends. Peers reign supreme and parents and siblings get whatever's left over. Often a whole lot of attitude and 'whatever'. 

"Teens do want to spend more time with their friends, because they feel that their friends understand and can relate to them,' says Nathalie Brown, child behaviour consultant from Easy Peasy Kids. "They can talk to their friends about anything - without disapproving comments - and they genuinely feel a real bond with each other."

But it is still possible to have a fun family day out with teenagers. The first step is to consult your teen on what they'd like to do. "You can even have a few options for them to choose from," says Nathalie. "The best family outings are those where the teen has been involved in the planning."

The other step for success is to invite a friend along. "If we're visiting friends who have no teens, they never mind if my teen daughter brings a friend," says Nathalie. "And having someone their own age along on family activities works really well. It's also a great time to get to know your teen's friends."

It's vital that parents remember that family activities are a time to relax and have fun. "It's not the time to go over school grades, messy bedrooms or your teen's moods," says Nathalie. "This is meant to be fun, so relax and have a laugh."

Outdoor activities to try with your teen

  • Fun parks
  • A trip to the city
  • Markets
  • Bowling - ten pin or barefoot
  • Go Karting
  • Laser tag
  • Roller skating
  • Picnics - and ballgames, cricket, etc
  • A day at the beach
  • Camping
  • Attending a footy match or any sport they're into
  • Do some star spotting (the celestial kind, not the celebrity kind)
  • Train for a 'thon' - walkathon, runathon, cycleathon - together
  • Bushwalking 

Indoor activities to try with your teen

  • Indoor rock climbing
  • A trip to the movies
  • Op-shopping
  • Visit to the cosmetics counter for a makeover
  • Make a movie - use your digital camera to create a masterpiece
  • Go out for a great meal
  • Ice skating

Remember that the key to keeping the lines of communication open with your teen is to spend time together - and to be interested in what your teen is interested in. That means allowing them to pick the family activity sometimes - and if that means learning more about World of Warcraft, then so be it.

 

  • This article was written by Allison Tait for Kidspot, Allison is the co-author of Career Mums: a guide to returning to work post-kids (Penguin). 
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