Bonding Activities With Your Teens

When our kids get older, it becomes harder and harder to connect with them.  But as parents, it’s especially important for us to continue to put in the extra effort it takes to cultivate relationships with our tweens and teens.  Check out my top ten ideas for engaging your teen in activities you’ll both enjoy:

Learn a new skill as a team.  Decide together what you’d like to learn and go for it.  Cooking, photography, music, and art classes are regular offerings in most communities.  Or learn how to kayak, play golf, or tennis.  Really feeling adventurous?  Learn a foreign language together!   

Play a game.  Sure traditional board games are great, but teens are hooked on their electronics and there are lots of fun games that you can enjoy with them.  For instance, play a game of ‘Words With Friends’ on your smart phones.  Start a two player game on a tablet.  Even see what those video games of theirs are all about.  I promise, it will be fun!   

Complete a project.  If you’re like me, then you probably have a lot of projects around your house that need completing!  Whether you wash the cars, paint a room, or work in the yard together, there’s a lot of satisfaction (and bonding) that comes from finishing a project together.  Or pick a DIY Pinterest inspired activity or craft and work with your teen to get it completed.

Share your hobbies.  Think about the things you like to do.  Now share those interests with your kids.  It could be taking them to your painting class, letting them make a scrapbook with you, or bringing them along to set up your fantasy football team. 

Learn about their hobbies too.  Have them play some of their favorite music for you and tell you about why they like it.  Watch a movie they love together.  Then let them tell you about their other interests and see where you can find common ground. 

Have them teach you.  Are you lost when it comes to social media?  When someone asks you to upload or download something do you even know what they are talking about?  Well, guess what?  You teen knows all these things.  Have them give you some tutorials.  You’ll know more and be impressed with how technologically savvy they are! [Read more...]


The Best Of The First 100

With the writing of this post, this little blog of mine has reached an important milestone.  100 posts.  To celebrate, I thought it would be nice to take a trip down memory lane.  What follows are my top ten favorites from the first 100.  If you’ve been here from the beginning you might recognize a few of these as your favorites too.  If you’re new here, you’ll find out a lot about this blog (and me) by checking these out.  Here’s to the next 100!

  1. Do As I Say, Not As I Do
  2. For The Love Of Autism
  3. Temper, Temper
  4. Top Ten Reasons We Pick Disney
  5. No, I Don’t Have Any Wipes
  6. A Visit From Grandma
  7. Sibling Rivals Grown Up
  8. Five Days Without My Smart Phone
  9. Leiby’s Legacy Shouldn’t Be Fear
  10. What Did You Just Say?

How To Give Kids Effective Commands

Do your kids follow your directions? Listen attentively when you ask them to do something?  Obey all the commands you give them?  Mine either!

Sometimes I feel like I’m talking to myself when I give them an instruction.  But there are a lot of strategies we can use to get our children to comply with our requests.  Try implementing a handful of these tips consistently, and you’ll see an improvement in no time:

Look your child in the eye when you’re giving them a direction.  Just like us, our kids sometimes are so engrossed with the computer, a book, a video game, or a television show that they might not listen to us fully when we interrupt them.  Call your child’s name and make sure that you have their attention when you issue your command.  One of the best ways to guarantee that is to make eye contact.  And by the way, this works with husbands too!

Ask your child to repeat the instruction back to you.  If you want to make sure that they heard what you said to them, ask them to repeat it.  If you said, “Take out the trash” and they repeat back to you “Give me some cash” then you’ve not communicated your message too well now have you?  Also, just the act of saying the direction out loud will help them remember it (rather than getting distracted and forgetting along the way).

Break your instructions down into simple one-step actions.  Instead of saying “Clean your room,” try saying “Make your bed” or “Put your toys in your toy box.”  You might end up having to issue more commands by breaking your instructions down in this way, but your child will be more successful in accomplishing the goals you put forth for them. [Read more...]