Most teenagers want the freedom to do what they want, usually with their friends. They may have lots of activities already planned that do not involve you! Expect them to want a lot of independence and don’t be offended if they are reluctant to go out with you– it’s normal teenage behaviour.
Things to do:
Invite one of their friends over.
Play cards or a favourite board game.
Listen to music together. They may surprise you and share a passion for 1960s sounds – but if they are into rap and you object to swearing, it may not be the best idea.
Go and see a film, concert, sports match or exhibition together.
Get them to plan a meal and cook for everyone – or for a treat go for a meal at a restaurant or cafe.
Going to the shops is a favourite for many teens, but if you plan on taking them think before hand how much if any money you are willing to spend.
Lots of teenagers still enjoy some of the activities that appeal to younger children like bowling, bike riding or playing sport, but they may be less keen to do it with you than when they were younger.
Can you switch roles and get them to help you with something they can do better than you – helping you with a new computer, phone or gadget for example?
If you are on a shoestring, there are some activities you can do with teenagers. See here for more details.
If they are out and about with their friends, make sure they are clear about boundaries and expectations about where they are allowed to go and when they will be back home. It can be a good idea to discuss these issues with their friends’ parents.