How to Spend Quality Time With a Teen

Being a parent or a guardian of a teen can have its ups and downs. But when wanting to spend some time to "hang out" or "chill" with a teen, does not always require trying to be cool. More or less, parents fail at trying to be cool. Here's a short guide on how to spend some quality time with your teen.


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    Find out what they like to do as "fun". Now this does not mean you have to start skateboarding just because it might be one of their top "fun" things to do. There are many other fun things they probably like to do. For example, bike riding, playing games on the computer or XBox. Try to play games you both can do. There are also teens who are not into sports but are into other things like cooking, drawing, or even sewing.
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    Go with them when they do the activities they enjoy. While obviously, your teen won't want you tagging along when they are having fun, you can create some great memories by going with them to see how good they are at something (or at least having fun).
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    Ask them to teach you something new. Asking them to teach you how to do something new like learning how to play with the Wii (if you have one) or even learning a new recipe. Learning something new from someone younger can improve skills and score you cool points with your friends and sometimes even with your teen's friends.
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    Teach them something you learned of value. It's not about how to do accounting or start a business. Try teaching them how to fish, swim, drive a car, play a game that you grew up playing, or even how to fry an egg. It could trigger something that you both can enjoy doing together.
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    Inspire creativity. Sometimes it just takes a spark of creativity to get someone going. If you both cannot find something to do, Invent it! For example, you both might like to play games, but one might like to play soccer and the other football. Put them both together, or make new rules and call it "Fugibal" (Way to play that is no feet with a soccer ball and hands off if with football)
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    Eat a meal together. Nothing brings people together like a nice meal. You don't have to go all out! Sometimes just pizza and something to drink will do. Talk about each other's day. But do not bring in work related problems in. Talk about the weather, some ad you might have seen on the way home, something in the news either one of you saw, how the economy is functioning, or just how you both are feeling at the moment.
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    Create a challenge. Sometimes creating a challenge between both the teen and you can cause you both to have quality time every day. For example, both of you might be slightly over weight (guessing the teen a little more then the adult), one might be able to challenge the other to loose 2 lbs per 1 lb one might loose. In the end who ever wins gets a prize (or just satisfaction they beat the other person).
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    Share stories. Sharing stories give your teen an inside look at how you were raised and sometimes can even change their opinion about you. Also, them sharing a story about something happening to them or a memory that they remembered can also help both of you enjoy your time together.


  • Try to learn their interests before jumping into doing stuff with them
  • Go on local tours if you cannot afford to go far.
  • Take turns in planing activities together.
  • Make sure they have enough enthusiasm to do the activity with you.
  • Keep them interested by surprising them.
  • Play sports to build team-ship.
  • Spend more time outside looking at or for stuff rather than spending time indoors.
  • Keep your hang-out days a secret.


  • Do not pick out boring things to do like shopping. Yes, sometimes it does get a little boring when shopping with a parent. Especially, when the parent does all the shopping themselves.
  • Do not force them. Sometimes teens just cannot handle standing their parents.
  • If you are forcing yourself, the teen can sense it. Teenagers are drama queens and kings. They can sense a good act when they see it.
  • Do not dominate the activity. Play equally. It may seem like you might not be dominating over your child. But parents tend to take over things and just do it for the child. Sometimes it is best to step back and let your child try. If you are having a hard time, then make sure there is 2 of everything.
  • As the teen ages, they will soon start seeing your point of view and it will be easier for them to spend time with you. The mind grows as it ages and becomes as common as all adults by the time it's 25 but in some cases it can be earlier.
  • Do not do extreme things that could injure you or them.
  • Do not embarrass them in front of their friends by telling them about your hang-out days.
  • Do not do things too hard and things that take lots of time. Reason being it's called "Quality" time not "Quantity" time.

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Categories: Creating Life Balance | Family Life