If you want to improve your relationship with your teen son, there are a few different strategies that you can use. In this article, we’re going to focus on specific ideas for one-on-one date nights that you can do with your teen.
Creating personal time away from friends and distractions can do wonders for building a relationship with your teen. For more tips on improving your relationship with your teen, check out our other articles at Help Your Teen Now or contact us today.
As your child reaches their teen and tween years, you have to start putting effort into staying connected with them. When kids are little, it’s easy! Having little kids can almost feel too connected at times. When you’ve got little ones around the house, it’s hard to even go to the bathroom in peace. They want a strong relationship with you, and they make it exceedingly clear.
Maintaining a relationship with teens and tweens is different. They still want a strong relationship with their parents, but they also want independence. Teens want to know that you still care about them, but they also desire the freedom to do their own thing and hang out with their friends. Unfortunately, this often means they drift away from you or act like they don’t care about family time anymore.
Why should I set a date night with my kid?
In particular, parents who want to improve their relationship with their teen son can see success by implementing one-on-one date nights where you get to hang out with your kid without distractions. We like to think that kids spend too much time in front of screens nowadays, but adults are just as bad.
It takes concerted effort for adults to turn off the constant to-do list running through our minds and just focus on the present. The same goes for your teen. Everyone’s busy all the time. You feel more connected when you both take the time out of your day to show that you’re focused on an activity together.
Teens get nervous about having deep conversations with their parents. They don’t want to be judged and are not always confident in their decisions. So having a direct dialogue and making eye contact can be intimidating for them. Many teenagers find it easier to have meaningful conversations when they’re doing something. By doing an activity together, you create space for naturally flowing conversation.
3 Fun ideas for parents and teen date night activities
When planning a date night with your teen, look for activities that might be fun for both of you to try. If the activity is mainly silent (like watching a movie), incorporate something else that can also give space for conversation.
Go out to dinner or cook at home
Having a meal together is a great way to bond with your teen son. Maybe you let him choose the restaurant, and you go out to dinner together. That creates time to sit at the table and talk while you’re waiting on your food. It also creates a new shared experience for both of you.
If money is tight, though, don’t feel like you have to go out to eat to bond over a meal. Cooking together at home can help improve your relationship with your teen son. Whether you already enjoy cooking or are both new to it, creating a meal is a very hands-on activity. From planning the dinner and shopping for ingredients to cooking and eating the meal, the whole thing is an experience you can share.
Again, you can go out to see a movie in theaters or you can watch a movie at home. What makes it special is how you choose the film and what you do to go along with it. Simply watching a movie isn’t great for bonding. You’re both going to be pretty quiet while it’s on, and you’ll either enjoy the film or not. There’s not much interaction when you’re watching a movie.
Planning the movie and adding something extra is what makes it unique. If you’re going out to see a movie, try to make an extra stop before or after the show to give yourself more downtime.
If you’re watching the movie at home, try making fancy popcorn or making homemade ice cream while watching the movie. Even picking the film together can become a bonding experience where you learn more about your likes and dislikes.
Go try a new physical activity
Teens spend a lot of time indoors but still enjoy physical activity. Depending on your and your son’s level of athleticism, you could try a range of physical activities together. The important thing is that you’re doing it together and allowing space for conversation. The key to improving your relationship with your teen son is to create memories while allowing room for discussion.
Some potential physical activities could include:
- Riding bikes
- Walking or hiking
- Playing putt-putt
- Indoor rock climbing
- Canoeing or kayaking
- Flying a kite
- Going to a beach
There are a ton of activities that will get you out of the house and keep you active. Something as simple as taking the dog for a walk together can be a bonding experience.
“Date night” activities don’t have to be complicated, nor do they have to take place at night. The best way to improve your relationship with your teen son is to spend time together and talk to each other.
If you’re having problems bonding with your child and need help, reach out to Help Your Teen Now to see how we can help!