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Teen-friendly Family Activities

As teens work towards independence, they’re often drawn out of the family unit and towards their friends. Peers reign supreme and parents and siblings get whatever’s left over. Often a whole lot of attitude and ‘whatever’.

“Teens do want to spend more time with their friends because they feel that their friends understand and can relate to them,’ says Nathalie Brown, child behaviour consultant from Easy Peasy Kids. “They can talk to their friends about anything – without disapproving comments – and they genuinely feel a real bond with each other.”

But it is still possible to have a fun family day out with teenagers. The first step is to consult your teen on what they’d like to do. “You can even have a few options for them to choose from,” says Nathalie. “The best family outings are those where the teen has been involved in the planning.”

The other step for success is to invite a friend along. “If we’re visiting friends who have no teens, they never mind if my teen daughter brings a friend,” says Nathalie. “And having someone their own age along on family activities works really well. It’s also a great time to get to know your teen’s friends.”

It’s vital that parents remember that family activities are a time to relax and have fun. “It’s not the time to go over school grades, messy bedrooms or your teen’s moods,” says Nathalie. “This is meant to be fun, so relax and have a laugh.”

Outdoor activities to try with your teen

  • Fun parks
  • A trip to the city
  • Markets
  • Bowling – ten pin or lawn bowls
  • Go karting
  • Laser tag
  • Roller skating
  • Picnics – and ballgames, cricket, etc
  • A day at the beach
  • Camping
  • Attending a footy match or any sport they’re into
  • Do some star spotting (the celestial kind, not the celebrity kind)
  • Train for a ‘thon’ – walkathon, runathon, cyclethon – together
  • Bushwalking

Indoor activities to try with your teen

  • Indoor rock climbing
  • A trip to the movies
  • Op-shopping
  • Visit to the cosmetics counter for a makeover
  • Make a movie – use your digital camera to create a masterpiece
  • Go out for a great meal
  • Ice skating

Remember that the key to keeping the lines of communication open with your teen is to spend time together – and to be interested in what your teen is interested in. That means allowing them to pick the family activity sometimes – and if that means learning more about World of Warcraft, then so be it.

This article was written by Allison Tait for Kidspot, Allison is the co-author of Career Mums: a guide to returning to work post-kids.

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  1. SarahBlair 31/12/2017 at 7:07 pm

    I have 2 teenagers at home who are always ‘bored’ so these ideas are really great! Now to find activities that teenagers and 3-5 year olds can all enjoy…

  2. Angelgirl081 30/12/2017 at 10:07 am

    Some great ideas here. I am no where near the tteenager stage with my kids thankfully, but I have two teen sisters so these are some good things to keep in mind when I spend time with them. The things that I do with my kids, are getting a bit too childish for their aunties haha.

  3. kymmage 22/12/2017 at 5:57 pm

    Nice. We aren’t quite there yet, but Miss 10 is starting to push boundaries and have opinions that don’t always gel with me. Spending time together is definitely going to be just as important in future as it is now.

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