Let’s be honest, it’s not always easy. But here are some suggestions for making it not only a bearable time, but a beneficial and bonding time. Summer can be a wonderful time for families to create lasting memories with their teenage kids. Here are some suggestions on how to make the most of the summer together:
Plan your family holiday: Involve your teenage kids in the planning process. Discuss various destinations and activities, and let them have a say in choosing where to go. This helps give them a sense of agency, making them feel more involved and excited about the trip.
Get outside: Take advantage of the decent weather and plan outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, biking, or picnics. We all know there’s initial push-back and reluctance to get started, but kids inevitably end up enjoying their time with you.
Try something new: Encourage your teenage kids to explore their interests and try new things during the summer. It could be learning a musical instrument, trying out a new sport, or engaging in a creative hobby. Support changing interests and provide them with the resources or lessons they need. Not everything has to be a ‘passion’ and finding out that you DON”T like something can be of value too!
Volunteer together: Engage in community service or volunteer work as a family. Find local organisations or initiatives that align with your family’s values and spend time together contributing to a cause you care about. This helps teenagers develop empathy, compassion, and a sense of social responsibility.
Family game nights or movie nights: Dedicate regular evenings for family get-togethers. Play board games, card games, or video games together. Pick a movie or series that everyone in the family can enjoy. This fosters healthy competition, communication, and laughter, creating strong family bonds. And don’t neglect a discussion of themes that come up whilst you’re watching something together.
Explore cultural activities: Yes, they’ll moan, but visit museums, art galleries, or attend cultural events and festivals together. Expose your teenage kids to different forms of art, history, or performances. This can spark their curiosity and broaden their perspective, and they will, one day, thank you for it. Just maybe not this summer.
Cooking: Involve your teenage kids in meal planning, grocery shopping, and cooking. Organise barbecue parties where everyone contributes to the preparations. This not only teaches them valuable life skills but also strengthens family bonds while enjoying your favourite food. Making a pizza from scratch is a great life-skill!
Family book club: Have an avid reader at home? Select a book that appeals to all family members, or bite the bullet and read something your teen is reading and start a family book club. Set aside time to read together and have discussions about the book’s themes, characters, and lessons. This encourages reading and intellectual engagement.
Relaxation and downtime: Having said all this, don’t over plan! While it’s essential to plan some activities, also ensure there is time for relaxation and downtime. Let your teenage kids have the freedom to pursue their individual interests or simply enjoy some quiet time. There’s a lot to be said for letting kids experience boredom without rescuing them straight away. This balance allows for recharging and personal growth.
Remember, the key is to involve your teenage kids in the planning process, listen to their ideas and interests, and create a supportive and enjoyable environment for everyone. Have open communication, be flexible, and cherish the time spent together as a family.
Wishing you a great summer break!