Families draw strength from sharing affection and appreciation for each other, spending time together, positive communication, and being there for one another. Sometimes, it can be hard to get teens to include themselves in family activities. They have their own social activities, and typically, they would much rather be with their friends. Eating meals together, sharing joys and defeats, working together, completing projects together, participating in hobbies or sports together, and playing games are all examples of activities that you can get your teen involved in. Some families even schedule one evening a week for special family activities.
Teens are an important part of the family, and they will be more drawn to participate in family activities if their opinions are valued and accepted. A good way to decide on family activities is through family meetings. Family meetings assure teens that they are a contributing member of the family, and that they have a say in family activities. Family meetings can include discussion on family activities, vacations, or purchases.
Both parents and teens can identify family fitness activities they are both interested in like walking, dancing, biking, or swimming. Parents can also become involved in sports that interest their teen. This is a great way for parents and teens to interact and connect with each other.
Special occasions, such as birthdays and anniversaries can also be planned together with your teen. Get your family involved in community events like training together for a charity walk or run. You can also include activities in everyday errands. For instance, if your teen needs to visit the library, bike there together.
Encourage your family to become involved in an exercise routine. They should walk, jog, or go to the gym at least three times a week. Research has shown that people tend to exercise longer and more often when they have a partner. What better partners are there than your family members?
Have your teen become more involved in indoor activities by having them teach the family a game. If there is a favorite game that you play as a family on a regular basis, let your teen set up the game. For instance, if your family likes to play Monopoly on Friday nights, let your teen be the banker. It makes her an important part of the game. You can also put your teen in charge of the rule book during a game.
Parents can encourage their teens, and their entire family, to get involved in creative projects. For example, if your teen wants to change his room, ask him to come up with some decoration ideas. Then, the family can work together to renovate his room. After seeing the success of your teen’s room, your other children will probably want to do the same thing. They can be creative, and they can work together.
You can also get your family involved in a creative class. Have a family discussion about interests in the arts, and decide if your family would enjoy acting, painting, sculpting, or music classes. If you have a creative teen, this will be right up their alley, and they will be more likely to become involved.
Scheduling regular family meal times is a great way to enhance the time you spend as a family. It’s easy to involve your teen in meal times. Just ask that they be home by the same time each evening. Cooking together is fun too and will help teens learn about food and nutrition.
Planning family celebrations or formal dinners can also be a good way to get your teen involved in family activities. Let them choose what kind of food to serve, what kind of cake to prepare, or when to celebrate special occasions. In addition to feeling involved, they may learn new skills and explore new interests this way.
Parents can involved their teens in household chores like vacuuming, dusting, taking out the trash or recycling, washing the car, and raking leaves. When each member of the family participates in completing chores, it keeps one person from having to do all of the work. Each person can be proud of their contribution to the family and that they are supportive of each other. You can also encourage your teen to help with chores by offering them an allowance.
Successful family outings can include going to restaurants, picnics, or going to the beach. You can also go to the museum, zoo, or amusement park. Include your teen in these activities by considering their schedule – make sure that they are available to go. Also, let them be involved in deciding where you go as a family. There could be a new exhibit at the zoo they are interested in, or a new ride at the amusement park. Plan activities in advance, anticipation beforehand and pleasant memories afterward can both contribute to the value of family togetherness.