teenagers and fun activities to do with them

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A few months ago my oldest kid got in some trouble (as documented in the 77 family problems thread). One of the things that we are doing to try to recover from that is making Sunday a day that's exclusively a family day. Either my wife or I will spend time with him doing activities, going places, etc. I could really use some suggestions on cool things to do with teenagers.

In retrospect, this is something we should have done as parents a few years ago, when he started dragging his feet and moaning about the activities that we did together as a whole family, including his younger sister. It was a difficult transition because she is so much younger that there is a stark difference in the types of activities she could even do, so we always deferred to stuff that was at her level, which really sucked for him. Then to compensate, we would just let him fly as freely as he wanted when we were not doing family activities, and that backfired on us spectacularly. We botched that, as parents, but we're trying to move on.

So the past month or so I've taken him out to some cool hiking and rock-climbing destinations and we have both had a great time together. But I don't want it to get stale. So what are some cool things that parents can do with their teenagers? It doesn't necessarily have to be day-trip destination stuff like hiking, but should be a satisfying way to spend several hours interacting together.

☮ (peace, man), Monday, 15 April 2019 10:45 (four years ago) link

ime any sort of outdoor/physical type activity goes down well, day trips to towns to see the sights & get rad books/milkshakes/clothes, and games of any kind: escape rooms, arcades, bowling etc.

ogmor, Monday, 15 April 2019 15:10 (four years ago) link

my 15yo has got obsessed with bicycles in the past year and that started off with me taking him out on rides on his old mountain bike, then getting him a half-decent road bike and doing a couple of little bike holidays plus a long trip together late last summer. he's grown a lot recently and now he's ridiculously fit and fast and completely murders me on rides, but it's been a great way of having adventures together. it's really improved my own fitness, and it's also given him something to do by himself in his free time (previously he was hopeless at finding anything to do and would just mooch about the house complaining of being bored)

my 12yo is completely different and mostly just wants to play fortnite and watch youtube. he really doesn't want to be dragged out of the house that much, especially not if his friends are online, but he does like going swimming and seeing films so we do a bit of that. sometimes we'll attempt some tennis in the park and also he actually loves table tennis too so i should probably do more of that with him. i'd love to get him out on his bike more and i do think that'll happen in time but the last thing i want to do is to force it on him. one thing i'm sure he'd be into is if we tried making some films - i haven't got round to doing anything about that yet but i think it would be a fun thing to learn about together. oh he really likes baking with my wife and just sitting around and chatting about stuff

neither of them are particularly interested in music - i had hoped that would be something we'd share but it's just not a big part of their lives. visiting different cities can work but you have to really focus on things they'll find interesting (i'm not good at that whatsoever - the local record shops are always calling me instead)

Br. Des Shadows (NickB), Monday, 15 April 2019 17:03 (four years ago) link

we all talk a lot together but all of us are scholarly types. also we play video games together. it helps that I've never outgrown my adolescent interests and my ados mostly share those same interests; even if we differ in the details, that just gives us more to talk about.

L'assie (Euler), Monday, 15 April 2019 17:32 (four years ago) link

Ophelia only outdoor activity is travel. Sans parents. She's in Italy now. One week camp. For the rest it's kpop. Lol

nathom, Monday, 15 April 2019 18:51 (four years ago) link

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