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How to keep teenagers interested in family activities

how to keep teenagers interested in family activities
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Are you wondering how to keep teenagers interested in family activities? As kids grow older, they will naturally want to spend more time with their friends and less time with their family, it’s not because they have suddenly developed a dislike for you, more of a natural progression into independence. Many parents find this hard to accept and can’t understand why their child isn’t interested in being part of a family unit anymore, but you should understand this behaviour is normal and there are still ways you can encourage them to spend time with the family without cramping their style!

The start of independence

This independence forming usually starts between 6 and 12 when children start to develop friendships at school and are less reliant of their family for fun and company. By the time they reach their teens this develops further with complete separation by the time they reach late teens. This isn’t to say you will never see them other than at meal or bed times, but just that they are progressing into adulthood and as sad as it may be to hear, they just don’t need you like they used to!

Is it for your benefit?

If you’re resisting these changes because of your own emotional needs, then that really won’t help your relationship in the future. You might feel a little redundant now your child is growing up but if you want them involved with family activities for as long as possible, open your house up to their friends more and don’t shut down their independence.

Have friends over

Let your teen have mates over to play computer games or to chill out watching movies. You will get to know who they are hanging out with and although you can’t choose their friends, getting to know them and how they may influence your child is the second best thing.how to keep teenagers interested in family activities

You could also arrange a family get together and let your kids bring some of their friends too. Barbeques and birthday parties are great relaxing informal events that your teen might feel comfortable inviting their friends along to. If you’re planning trips out, ask them if they want to bring a couple of friends too; theme parks can be great as they really are fun for all the family. You can suggest your teen and their friends go off on their own for a few hours then you meet back up for lunch or for the last hour or so. They will get to have the independence with their friends yet still be part of a family outing.

Holidays

When kids get into their mid to late teens, family holidays can often be a bone of contention. Your teenager might not want to spend a week or two away with you 24 hours a day, yet you might not feel they are old enough to stay home alone. Ask them if they have a friend they want to bring with them, they might want to spend the day round the pool while you’re at the beach and if they’re old enough to be out late at night, you could suggest you all eat your evening meal together leaving them to hit the bars or stay out later with their friend.

Rules and boundaries

Set the ground rules first and let them know what times you expect them back in, rules regarding drinking alcohol and when you should all be together. In short, if you make family activities fun with a little compromise here and there, it will be a more attractive option for your teen to spend more time with you than it would be at home or just hanging round a friends.

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About Rebecca Robinson

About Rebecca Robinson

After spending the last 8 years juggling life as a mum of two, wife and working full time as a Project Manager for a global telecommunications company, Rebecca Robinson made the decision to follow her love of writing and took the plunge; turning her passion into a full time career. Since becoming a full time writer, Rebecca has worked with various media and copy-writing companies and with the ability to make any topic relevant and interesting to the reader, now contributes to The Working Parent on articles ranging from credit cards to teenage relationships. Ever the optimist, Rebecca's dreams for the future include a house in the country filled with children, dogs and horses in the field!

Website: Rebecca Robinson

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