“Uh, that sounds so boring…”
“I am playing a game online with my friends, so I’m good.”
“Do I really have to go?!”
If you have heard a few of these comments when you planned to do something fun as a family with your teens, you are not alone.
It’s important to connect with your teenagers – physically, mentally, socially… even though you may hear the dreaded, ”that sounds so boring, Mom.”
However, since it’s back-to-school and days are going to start to get shorter, it means more time with your teens being online and inside. Fall time is coming up and what better time is to get outside, and enjoy the fall weather.
One way to encourage your teenagers to do things as a family, is to invite their friends to tag along with your family adventures.
You’re probably thinking “but I want to do things just as a family.” I get it. However, sometimes, the best times are spent making memories, even if that includes their friends. Plus, that may score you a few extra brownie points.
**You don’t always have to invite their friends to come with and you can set those boundaries around your house rules too.
Fun, fall OUTDOOR ideas that may spark some teenage interest:
- Get lost in a corn maze.
- Camp in your backyard.
- Go biking on local trails and enjoy the changing of the leaves.
- Pick apples and pumpkins.
- Visit a haunted graveyard hayride.
- Go and support your local high school sports team and try a team that you normally wouldn’t watch. (Hint – it doesn’t have to be a Varsity Football or a Varsity Soccer game; check out JV or freshman games – they want and need your support too.)
- Check out your local Disc Golf parks and play outdoor frisbee.
PLAN A FALL PARTY
- Create a fall theme (pumpkins, leaves, apples, flannel, fall sweater, football, soccer, etc)
- Decorate the garage as a haunted house.
- Dress up in costumes – best dressed winner gets a prize.
- Glow in the Dark Soccer or Football game.
- Have a bonfire and see who can tell the most frightening story.
- Enjoy a movie outdoors; set up with chairs, blankets and the best snacks!
And as the weather becomes cooler, and outdoor activities may start to become scarce…
Fun, fall INDOOR activities that your teens may enjoy:
- Make a social media reel or a TikTok together. Get creative and ask your teen, what is “trending” right now, if you are unsure.
- Go visit an Escape Room.
- Make a Halloween themed meal, complete with a menu to describe everything.
- Carve Pumpkins – make it a contest on the most/least creative.
- Make apple pie and/or pumpkin bars.
- Go to a local thrift shop, each pick out an interesting flannel/sweater weather outfit for a certain person, and go eat at a restaurant wearing that outfit that was picked out for you. (This one could be for a fun, interesting time; full of laughs for sure)
- Make an old, family favorite comfort food recipe.
- Host a sports game watching TV party.
You can always pick and choose what best fits your family’s interests and what their friends’ personalities are as well.
Being a teenager and being a parent of a teenager; those years can possibly be an easy or difficult time, but no matter what happens during those teenage years, they will go by super fast. Make those memories during the teenage years. They may even seem to not be having fun while doing some family planned activities, but they are there bonding in some way with you and they may secretly be enjoying it.
*Ask your teenager what they would like to do as a family. Many times, they may know what the “in-thing” is and they might be always wanting to go out and give it a try.
QUICK TIP: As most of us also know, social media is here to stay, so let the teens get creative with their phones and let them take pictures and do selfies during these activities – within reason. One way is to invite them to take a picture, a video or a vlog and see who can create the best reel after the activity is complete!
You never know…that video could go viral. *Wink*