While your teen might moan and groan every time you suggest a parent-child activity, it is possible to find fun stuff to do together. Teenagers are moving into a more sophisticated stage of social growth, making them more likely to hang out with friends than mom and dad, but taking the time to try family activities in and outside the home might help keep the parent-child bond solid.
The days of simply creating a cutesy craft with your child are gone. Your teenager will enjoy a more adult-like activity over something that your preschooler can't wait to try. Perk up a blah rainy or snowy day with fun-filled in-home activities that you both can enjoy. Have a family movie night, or day, in your living room. Allow your teen to pick a movie and help her make a special snack such as flavored popcorn or rice cereal squares. If you find your teen is particularly technology dependent, unplug the computer and video games and try a family board game night. Try a trivia game that tests her knowledge or pick a favorite card game to play together.
Don't leave all of the learning lessons to your teen's teachers. Taking a trip to a museum is an entertaining, and educational, activity. Avoid choosing the museum yourself. Instead, come up with an idea that both you and your child will enjoy. For example, if your teen is in after-school art club, visit the art museum. Likewise, if your child excels at science, try the science center or museum of natural history. While touring the museum is fun, take your trip a step further and look for special events or lectures that focus on topics that your child finds interesting.
It's common for a parent and teen child's music taste to vary. Although you might not understand why she listens to such loud or silly sounding tunes, going to a live performance is an easy way to bond over a new experience. Instead of tagging along with your teen and her friends to a noisy rock concert or going to an under 21 club with her, try a more intimate venue such as a coffee house's open mike night.
Get your couch potato up and out, trying fun physical activities together. Play to your teen's activity interests and try a sport that she enjoys. For example, if your daughter is on the school soccer team, stage a backyard battle with the entire family. Give your teen the reins and let her take charge of coaching or reffing the game. If your child doesn't play, or shows little interest, in a specific sport try a nightly walk together around the neighborhood or hit the community track together.