There is no denying the natural bond that exists between parents and their children. However, even the strongest relationships may be tested in the adolescent years. You need to remind yourself that part of growing up for your teen is exercising their own independence. We do have some ideas on how you can continue to have a strong relationship with your teen and encourage ongoing bonding. And, if you don’t already know, start by learning what things interest your teen.
Music- This is a great starting point. Find out who their favorite artists are and listen to some of their songs. Remember to have an open mind! Maybe the music is reminiscent of a musical group or artist that you listened to growing up and you could turn your teen on to some new music.
Take a Lesson or Class Together– Find something that interests both of you. Maybe it’s cooking, dance, golf, photography, or learning a musical instrument. Go out and learn something new together. This is a great way for each of you to grow as individuals while bonding over learning a new skill.
Plan Something– Consider taking a day excursion around town, an overnight road trip, or a family vacation. Planning the experience together will allow you to not only bond, but also decide activities that interest everyone. It will be fun to have the excitement building up to the experience and of course the additional bonding on your chosen outing.
Play a Sport– Whether it’s joining a team together or just heading to the park to shoot hoops, play a match of tennis, or Frisbee. A sport is a great way to bond, but also get out and have fun doing something active.
Projects Around the House– It seems like there is always something that needs to be done around the house. Recruit your teen to help. Not only will you be spending time together, but this is also a great way to teach your teen life skills.
Have Your Teen Teach You– Maybe your teen plays the guitar, is good at video games, navigating the web, or drawing. Ask your teen to teach you something new. Not only will you be bonding with your teen, but you will help build their self-confidence while being the “expert” at something.
Do Volunteer Work– Determine a cause or service project that is important to both of you and commit to volunteering together. Make time to do this monthly or weekly, if your schedule permits. Not only will it feel good to help others, you will also get in some quality time together.
Read the Same Book– Find a book that you might both enjoy. As a parent consider a young adult novel. There are so many great ones out there and that genre is more likely to appeal to your teen. Once you have found a novel, create your own book club and decide to read a certain number of chapters each week and then report back to one another. This is a great opportunity to talk about different issues, learn different lessons, and of course, bond!
Whatever activity you choose to engage in with your teen, be happy in knowing that you are doing your best to continue strengthening the relationship and bond with your teen. If for some reason, you are struggling to bond with your teen, the team at Doorways is here to help counsel you and your teen and help your relationship to get back on track.