With your teenagers' busy social lives and your own schedule, it might feel as though you don't have the same opportunities to bond anymore. Fortunately, with a little creativity and planning, you can squeeze in some one-on-one time and cross some items off your bucket lists, too.
Show your teenagers just how cool you can be and make some memories together on some wild adventures. You can learn how to rock climb together or head out for an adventure on a two-person globe ride -- a trip down a zigzagging track in a giant, wet ball moving at speeds of up to 30 mph. You can arrange for a tandem paragliding or parasailing adventure or book a zip line canopy tour above forest treetops where participants travel along a suspended cable at speeds up to 40 mph. If you'd rather swim than soar, consider a scuba diving adventure or an underwater shark encounter -- an adventure you and your boys won't forget.
Help your teens learn the value of social responsibility and community involvement as you spend some time together helping others in need. You can sign up to help out at a food drive or pitch in with a community building project. If you can't commit long term, spend an afternoon rummaging the house for items that can be donated to food drives and clothing drives. If you and your sons are the athletic sorts, enroll in a walkathon, bikeathon or marathon together and raise money for a cause that is meaningful to your family.
Learn Something New
You can bond with your teenage sons while learn something new. Consider enrolling in a weekly class such as martial arts, a second language or an introduction to mechanics. Get ready for summer by taking surfing lessons, or stay active during the winter with downhill or cross-country skiing classes. If you like to take the road less traveled, learn something out of the ordinary, such as juggling, playing the harmonica or magic tricks. If your schedules don't coordinate regularly, or you have a tight budget, look into learning opportunities at home. Pick up language CDs from the library or a few instructional videos or books on making model planes, cooking and baking or playing an instrument.
Head out on the open road for a weekend with no distractions from work, friends or other family members. You can plan your stops and find some interesting places to visit such as working farms, amusement parks or even a quiet hiking trail. If you're feeling courageous, go without a map. You'll have plenty of time to talk about school, friends and other facets of your teenagers' lives while you're driving, and you can stop at any attraction that catches your attention. If you can't organize a weekend away, plan visits to local attractions to help your sons indulge in culture, history and good old fun. Make a list of all the places you'd like to visit -- consider it your bucket list of local attractions to visit before his graduation -- and check off each one as you visit.
- Great American Days: Home
- 52 Things Kids Need from a Dad: What Fathers Can Do to Make a Lifelong Difference; Jay Payleitner
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