Most teenagers are counting down the days until summer – and then become bored after the first few weeks. Avoid the boredom and the impending electronic device fixation by taking the time to plan fun projects and activities with your teen. Summer days can feel like they stretch on forever, which can be both amazing and exhausting for the parents of teens. However, these are the days to explore your child’s interests and help them grow and learn, all while having fun together and creating priceless memories. Here are some great ways to enjoy the summer with your teenager:
Start a DIY Project
Do-it-yourself projects are a fun way to learn together and connect with your child. Start by deciding what you’ll build or create: a garden, furniture for your teen’s room, a piece of artwork, a small renovation project in your home…the possibilities are endless. Maybe you want to re-do your teen’s bedroom, with a new mattress and bed or even just moving their furniture to change up the space. Create a design with your teen’s input, ask their advice and decide on where to start. Shop for the materials together and pick up some fun personal touches. Your teen will love the sense of accomplishment after completing this do-it-yourself project and you’ll love the time spent together.
Plan Fun with Friends
It’s easy for teens to lose touch with friends and turn to social media and texting to “connect” over the summer. Encourage your teens to see friends by opening up your home for pool parties, summer brunches, outdoor barbecues or backyard bonfires. Your teenager will enjoy making memories with their friends and appreciate that you encourage their friendships, and you’ll get the opportunity to be part of those memories.
Spend a Day – or a Week – at the Beach
Spending time at the beach in the summer with your teen is the perfect way to enjoy swimming, surfing, snorkeling, paddle boarding or just relaxing under the umbrella together. If you can swing it, ask your teen to help plan a family beach vacation. Let them do the research on places to see and where to eat. Talk about your budget and check out different ways to travel to your destination. Keeping your teen involved in the planning will teach them about travel expenses, budgeting, planning and more, all while having fun with the family.
Travel to an Amusement Park
Visiting an amusement park in the summer is the ultimate fun and exhilarating activity. Amusement parks can be fun for all ages, especially if your teen is a daredevil with a love of rides and excitement. Go on rides together, try new treats, play games and take fun pictures. Spending the day at an amusement park is a surefire way to win a parenting award in your teen’s eyes, as well as enjoy priceless memories together.
Get in the Kitchen Together
Find some new recipes you and your teen would like to try, whether it’s a new breakfast burrito or a summer sweet treat. Research the recipes together, shop for ingredients and don’t forget to taste test! Make it a weekly summer tradition to get in the kitchen together and have fun exploring new cuisines and adding them to your family cookbook.
Summertime can be conducive to that less-than-desirable couch potato status. Rather than sitting in front of Netflix or TV show marathons, get outside and try some new activities together with your teen. Ask what they’d like to try, whether it’s surfing, rollerblading, hiking or basketball, and do it together. This will help keep both you and your teen active and give you new ways to connect.
Start a Family Book Club
There are tons of reading lists with books both you and your teenager can enjoy. If your teen has a suggestion, check it out together and find times to read and discuss your thoughts. Book clubs are a great way to learn more about your teen’s views on life through interesting book interpretations.
Find New Ways to Unwind Together
Many teens don’t get enough rest throughout the school year – between staying up late, stressful testing and exams, planning for college, jobs and packed social calendars, getting a good night’s sleep doesn’t rank high on the priority list. Help your teen get their best rest by creating a comfortable and relaxing oasis in their room. They may be ready for a newer, larger bed, a new comfortable and supportive mattress, and more mature room décor. Help your teen choose these new items and once their room is done, hang out in there together. Read, watch movies, plan and dream together with your teen in their new private sanctuary.
These fun ways to connect with your teenager are guaranteed to equal an awesome summer full of great memories and happy times. Enjoy the summer!