A study recently found that parents spend more time with their kids than in the last fifty years, but it is doubtful that most modern parents feel like that is the case for them. Running around doing errands, working, after school activities––it takes up such a huge chunk of the day that any time at all can seem like a luxury.
If you have found yourself struggling to find the time and energy to bond with your teenage daughter, you could be really feeling the pain. But here are seven activities busy moms can squeeze into the week for some quality time with their teens.
1. Movie Night
After a long day, the last thing you want to do is something that takes a lot of energy. That is why settling in to watch a movie, especially at home, can be such a nice way to unwind. When you do it with your kids it is even better!
2. Spa Day
Do you like to get your nails done? A mani/pedi? Facial? You can get one together. It may seem a little cliche, but it can be a fun way to bond and spend time talking, while getting in a little pampering time yourself.
3. Saturday Picnic
Have a Saturday afternoon free? Why not throw together some sandwiches and head to the park. It is such a simple but satisfying way to waste an afternoon, especially when you don’t have many to waste to begin with.
Walking is one of the best exercises you can do. It is also a great time to connect and chat because it doesn’t inhibit the ability to hold a conversation like so much exercise does. Squeeze one in during the morning and evening and be healthy together.
5. Preparing Meals
Everyone has to eat. Making a meal is such a fantastic way to bond and also wonderful for building memories while teaching a skill that everyone should have. Even if it is just once a week, aim to make a meal together.
6. Homework Help
Homework gets so much harder once high school begins. You can help alleviate some of your teen’s stress by assisting them, while showing support for their academic goals. It is also perfect for staying involved, particularly when you don’t feel like you have been doing enough in that regard (as so many of us feel).
One of my children’s teachers once told me that the most powerful and important way to stay involved is to just sit down for dinner each night. I didn’t believe them…until I made it a priority. Just sitting down for dinner is such a perfect bonding tool that fosters conversation and draws the entire family together. Dinner doesn’t work? Breakfast can work, too!
Ultimately, any time you spend with your teenage daughter having an open conversation is valuable. When life is hectic it can be overwhelming, so don’t worry about the activity. Just be there, love them and connect whenever possible. They will remember those times fondly.
Tyler Jacobson is a father of three and avid outdoor enthusiast. He’s learned a thing or two about parenting and has turned from a full time career in digital media to helping fellow parents of teenagers. He pulls from his own life experiences raising spunky, free-spirited children, as well as his work with various organizations that help teens be their best selves. During his free time, Tyler enjoys taking his family into the mountains to connect with a simpler side of life which he finds grounding and rejuvenating.