Quality time has become such a buzzy phrase that it seems to have lost some of the impact of what it could mean to families. As one of the best things that you can do is apparent is to spend time with your teen. The truth is as teenagers become more and more independent quality is more important than quantity. You may want that quantity time especially as you can see your little boy or girl getting more and more mature. At this stage of the game what your teenager wants most is to know you care without feeling overwhelmed.
Teenagers can spot a set up pretty quickly so your challenge as parents is to create opportunities for quality time without being too obvious about it. The easiest way to spend quality time is simply to eat dinner together. Families are so busy and technology can be such an intrusion that even if we eat together we are not always present. Having technology-free mealtimes will give you a chance to talk to your teen in a very natural way. Here are some other ways to create quality time:
- Play games: video or board games are great ways to stay connected
- Learn a new skill: perhaps you can take a class or teach your teen something
- Hobbies: photography, painting, or even cooking are great to share with one another
- Get active: tennis, basketball, or even throw it back to good old-fashioned hopscotch
- Work on a project: service projects, gardening or even washing the car… As long as you do it together
As you spend quality time with your teenager, you are creating connections that will help them avoid behavior problems. These moments may seem small but they help keep communication lines open for the times when they need to talk. In a lot of ways quality time is like changing the oil in your car. If you expect your relationship with your teen to be good you have to put in the effort to service the relationship. For some parents, this may seem foreign or unnatural because they assume the familial relationship is enough. A good parent-child relationship is just like any other it takes work and maintenance. Without this time and effort, the alternative could be a teen who feels lost or alone and who begins seeking your attention in negative ways. Once a teen develops negative behaviors it is really hard to get the terrible teen behavior turned back around again. It is unfortunate when the work of quality time is so simple.
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