Teens and tweens are so busy these days, with social calendars, homework and extracurricular commitments. And as parents it can be hard to find ways to connect with them as they grow older and become more independent. But it’s so important that we do! Even though our influence is not as constant it was when they were little, they still need our guidance and presence. We just have to be creative about finding those moments to give those things. It may be 20 minutes here and 15 minutes there but these pockets of time add up!
So today we wanted to share some ideas for how to get in that precious quality time with your tween or teen — and it’s all about meeting them where they are! Yes, one-on-one trips are great but you don’t have to go on trips to get quality time together. Here are 10 small ways to find ways to get in quality time with teens.
10 WAYS TO GET IN QUALITY TIME WITH TEENS
1. Be the driver or chaperone.
Be available to take them to friends’ houses, drive to social gatherings, or chaperone a dance. Not only do you get time with your child, but you get to meet and get to know their friends.
2. Bake their favorite treat to draw them into the kitchen.
The kitchen is the heart of the home after all, and making something they love shows them you know them — and gives you built-in time to enjoy whatever you make together. Teens are always hungry and scrumptious smells usually draw them into the kitchen.
3. Stay up late with them.
When they are done studying or get home from a friend’s house (and want to share what happened) is often the time their hearts open up. The struggle is real to stay awake, but you will find many fruitful and deep conversations await!
4. Take them to lunch or dinner for one-on-one time.
Mom/son dates are also a great opportunity to teach manners they need to when they start dating.
5. Do something they enjoy.
For boys, maybe it’s playing a round of golf or a game on the Xbox — we’ve even heard of groups of moms and sons doing an NFL Fantasy Draft together! Take your daughter to a movie or concert, or to get pedicures. Or go on a walk! They often don’t need anything fancy!
6. Serve together.
Find an organization with a mission close to their heart and serve regularly together. They get needed volunteer hours for graduation and you get time with your teen!
7. Find little pockets of time where you can help them.
For example, dry your daughter’s hair while she studies. You might not get to have great conversation (or you may!), but in this little act you are serving her and showing her you love her.
8. Read a book alongside each other or a chapter of the Bible together.
Books provide great conversation. Tip: The Bible app lets you start groups where you can pick a plan and message each other what you are learning. A great way to encourage!
9. Go shopping.
Teens will rarely pass up an opportunity to get something new! Take your daughter shopping for summer clothes, or your boy to get a new pair of sneakers.
10. Learn a new hobby.
School breaks are a great time to take a class together or learn a new hobby you can bond over. Pickleball, anyone?
Another way parents can influence our teens is by giving them content that aligns with their family values. On that note, did you know that our new, online manners course for teen and tween boys launches soon? It shows tween and teen boys what it looks like to be an honorable young man into today’s world.
A Young Man’s Guide to Manners launches February 13 — and it’s another great way to connect with your tween or teen boy. Be sure you’re signed up for our email list to get first access!