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How do you spend time with your teens?

(26 Posts)
SquashedToes Fri 17-Mar-17 07:04:42

Well mine are just pre-teen, but I'm wondering what 'activities' you do with your teens?

We've had a muddly year and I've had to work long hours which have slightly taken their toll. DS & DD call me a workaholic, and now I'm in a position to scale back a bit and I'd love to do more with them. I have plenty I can do with DD (when she is in the right mood!), but I struggle to know what to do with DS - he is 12. When he was younger I used to run around with him playing football, cricket but now he is much bigger and stronger. He often asks me to play xbox but I really can't get the hang of the controllers, we don't really like the same kind of movies (but I do try to engage in his choice of films sometimes), he is a terrible looser at games, so avoids family games. So looking for suggestions.

I'm sure before long they won't want me to make time for them, so I'd love to make the most of it whilst I can!

Ifailed Fri 17-Mar-17 07:09:04

I would try and encourage them to take up some kind of organised sport. Yes you could end up as a 'soccer-mom', and spend time ferrying them around, but I found those were the times when you could talk to them, and see them interact with their friends etc.

Bensyster Fri 17-Mar-17 07:31:13

I find mealtimes work best for us. I get them to help prep (at the weekends) and they always help clear up afterwards...it's good chatting time, no pressure - little and often. And we often go for walks together with the dog, often past a pub grin where we play whist, gin rummy, travel Articulate and Sussed....while enjoying crisps and a Coke. It could be said that much of our family bonding revolves around food.

annandale Fri 17-Mar-17 07:34:21

Let me know when you find out...

I do parkrun with ds (13). I do one lap, he does 2 but that's OK as he runs twice as fast as me. Words are usually exchanged during the drive up there and back. It is a labour of love as am definitely not a runner (though did couch to 5k a couple of years ago) but it is worth it.

Otherwise agree with bensyster that meal prep and sometimes meals are good.

TimeforANewTwatName Fri 17-Mar-17 07:36:09

What is a 'soccer mum' i'd only heard it mentioned in American films? I just assumed it was yet another pigeon hole sneery title.

ChairinSage Fri 17-Mar-17 07:40:54

I've got 3 teens so in the same position. Occasionally we'll go for a walk in the woods (not neccesarily all together at the same time). DS likes historic buildings so we have English Heritage membership and do that together if he doesn't have any better offers. There are some great co-operative board games these days so winning or losing isn't an issue. We like Forbidden Island and Camel Up.

DDs will happily watch TV with me sometimes. It works best for us if it's not forced - spontaneous is far easier.

Bloosh Fri 17-Mar-17 07:42:50

We started badminton. My dd is 12 and moans but likes it when we are there. Also walk to a pub where they do nice lunches. Bowling always good.

Think cooking is a fab idea.

Ifailed Fri 17-Mar-17 07:45:19

TimeforANewTwatName I'm using 'soccer-mom' as the title for the parent, usually Mum, who ferries kids to and from sports activities and sits on the sidelines looking at MN on her phone - no intention of being sneery.

SisterMoonshine Fri 17-Mar-17 07:50:15

I'm trying to get fitter so I go swimming with DD at the moment, and bike rides (it's good practice for her).

TimeforANewTwatName Fri 17-Mar-17 07:53:56

No I didn't think you were being sneery, ifailed just i'd only heard it before in films (with a slight sneer) IYKWIM

for my teens:
Mainly they are in their rooms or out.

But we eat together, we chat in the car, we watch certain programs together. Still have film nights, swop books with each other, they tolerate my choice and I tolerate theirs, but they like to ask were i'm up to, and what do I think......

Written down it sounds all very civilised and proper, but it really isn't grin

Bensyster Fri 17-Mar-17 07:58:23

DH and ds go to the barbers together - there's a lot of waiting around and then grab a Costa on the way home.
I think you need to create talking time, shared passions - sometimes we get boxset obsessed - Gilmore girls, Pretty little liars. Dh and ds have a shared love of reading dystopian novels - they read the same one and then have lengthy discussions about it.

funmummy48 Fri 17-Mar-17 08:02:25

Theme parks, swimming, cinema, museums, shopping, visiting historic places, lunch out, cooking together, pizza evening (with or without their friends). Sometimes we're just a bit silly together and take silly photos on Snapchat, etc,. Sometimes they just have a moody afternoon and I amuse myself with a book or a film 😉

Sadik Fri 17-Mar-17 16:20:47

I've got a just-about-to-be 15 y/o. Shared activities work well for us - we go to the same swimming class, and I coach for her sports club (the little ones though - not good enough to coach her group, and not sure that would be a great idea anyway). We did a sewing evening class together in the winter which was really nice and resulted in us both making some more-or-less successful clothes.
Other than that it's mostly sitting down over a cup of tea after school, going for a walk on the beach on a blustery weekend, maybe going kayaking together in the summer. We sometimes go to see a film together, but she tends to go more with ex-H as i don't like superhero movies they have more tastes in common.

BertrandRussell Fri 17-Mar-17 16:24:06

Ds and I watch films- we take turns to choose. We sometimes dog walk together. We both like comedy, so we swap podcast recommendations and things like that.

JustDanceAddict Fri 17-Mar-17 16:34:38

With DD - who is 14.5 - shopping, eating out, watching dvds, playing board games if at home & trying to get her away from Netflix.
With DS rising 13 - much harder as we don't really share interests although he does like board games too and obv dvds - we don't really have the same taste though. Find it hard to know what to do with him as an 'outside' activity but I will take him to a skate park to watch him try to injure himself(!). He likes certain museums too but we haven't been for a while. Last time we had a 'day out' we did a few touristy bits which worked well.

annandale Fri 17-Mar-17 16:47:53

Oh yes I'd completely forgotten that I volunteer for a youth group that ds goes to. How could I forget, it takes up a huge amount of time! It's good and I do enjoy it though hard with a FT job. Worth it though as I think deep down grin very very deep down he does kind of appreciate it grin

BackforGood Fri 17-Mar-17 16:51:57

I agree with the first 2 replies.
Time I spend with my teens is mostly taking and fetching them from things they do with their friends, then asking them about them / showing an interest. Teens don't generally want to do "things" with their Mum (or Dad).
We've always had our main meal together and that's a really good thing to touch base and keep up with whatever is going on, too.
Mine have always loved going out for a lunch though, just 1:1. That is the time to catch them for a chat, but it has to be 1:1.

SafeToCross Fri 17-Mar-17 17:01:43

With dd2 a spot the difference app, or programmes we both like. With dd1 its more kind of verbal tag/singing song lyrics back to each other, or just listening. I have noticed recently she finds eye contact really important, so I am working on fully attending a bit more iyswim, even if they are talking over the tv grin.

Sadik Fri 17-Mar-17 17:44:07

Perhaps it depends on age and the individual Bertrand? DD (yr 10) still seems very happy to do stuff together - I think she quite likes going to adult classes or having some quiet time one-on-one.

I remember being the same at that age, I used to go swimming with my dad always on a sunday morning, and to a sports club we both belonged to (though he trained with the seniors, and me with the teens) - and I still enjoyed going for days out with them. It wasn't til I hit 6th form that I really started doing most of my socialising independently.

Sadik Fri 17-Mar-17 17:45:31

Having said that I think it's pretty normal for dads / teens to go & play football/rugby together, so I guess that's the same sort of thing. Maybe sports are just a funny one because you often end up being 'guided' at a young age towards ones your parents enjoy?

Silverdream Sat 18-Mar-17 08:51:49

A lot of my time with my two was spent taking and picking up from friends houses, dropping into town and the odd hobby.
Shopping, a meal out and cinema were things we did together usually fitted in round their social lives.
We also like going to gigs and share some common likes in groups so we would go to some together or dad took one of them. This slowed down as they just wanted to go with their mates.
Take outs and a film on tv is a usual in our house. But they often slink back to their rooms if film not hitting the spot with them. Listening to music with a cuppa here and there. We just took moments when they were in the mood. We never planned things as that caused the grumps. We just went with the flow.

WhatAPigsEar Sat 18-Mar-17 09:11:21

Thanks so much for starting this thread OP, I've been wondering how to spend more time with the dc too & will use some of these ideas. smile

doublesnap Sat 18-Mar-17 09:12:31

Swimming, board games, playing catch, diy - making things out of random pieces of wood, walks, making cakes.

Violetcharlotte Sat 18-Mar-17 09:16:08

It is difficult when they start growing away from you, mine are 17 and 15 now, so I seem to spend a lot of time by myself! DS2 plays football on a Sunday so I take him which means we get quite a bit of time together in the car to chat. DS1 is doing performing arts so I help him learn lines. Occasionally I'll drag them down to the beach for a walk with the dog and fish and chips. They moan like hell, but have a great time when they're there! I do miss all the time we spent together when they were little, but have to admit, I love the freedom of having time to do what I want to do as well!

cakedup Sat 18-Mar-17 09:32:04

Don't know how to link on my phone but I started a similar thread which you might find useful!

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