Raise your hand if you've got a moody 16-year-old teenager that speaks in only throaty grunts and annoying eye rolls. You can't see me but I AM RAISING MY HAND. I have a generally sweet, kind and funny 16-year-old son, but he thinks I'm uncool and that I can't relate to him at all, ever. (I seem to remember the same thing about my mom, Hi Mom!)
I have devised a few different ways to get my kid to talk to me and he doesn't even suspect it. I sequester my kid and for some strange reason those are the times he talks to me the most.
Yesterday we went kayaking at a local lake and he talked and talked and talked some more. We talked about his strained relationship with his dad, his girlfriend troubles and school stuff. I really enjoy listening to his point of view and I'll tell you something, being in the middle of the water with nowhere to go he just opens right up.
There are SO MANY ways I've found to spend time with my sweet kid to get him to open up if he needs to:
- We both have mountain bikes so we drive to the trails and ride for a while. We don't get a lot of talking time while riding but we bond and exercise together and I think that's important.
- I'll fill up our Camelbaks with water and we go hiking for an hour or two. It's perfect because he's all mine for the entire ride there, through the hiking, and then back home.
- I take him grocery shopping with me but instead of going to the closest grocery store we drive a bit further so he's stuck in the car with me longer. I'm sneaky. Ha!
- I just joined a gym and added him to my membership so we can go together. Chances are we'll use different machines but I'm hoping that doing that activity together will form that bond even tighter.
There are so many ways (free or not) to spend a day with your kid. I highly recommend finding whatever works for you and your spawn and stick with it. I will never regret spending the day with my son making memories and hopefully when he's older he'll appreciate our time together.