Winter break is a big part of the holiday season for those who have school-aged children. Although the “time off” that it provides may get filled up with holiday gatherings, family visits, and other activities, it can also bring forth great opportunities to reconnect with your teens.
Here are some ideas for helping you reconnect with your teen during winter break and this holiday season:
- Plan one-one time with each of your children. The bigger your family, the harder this may be to do, but providing each child with at least a little one-on-one time can be hugely beneficial. This can be something super like making a special lunch together, playing a game, or going out for a walk. You will really enjoy the time together!
- Ask open-ended questions. Many teens love to reply with “yeah,” “no,” or “I don’t know.” To help encourage your teen to engage more in conversation, you can start with topics you know that they like. For example, if your teen is a gamer, you might start the conversation by asking, “What game have you been playing lately?” Once you have a dialogue going, your teen might be more likely to engage as the conversation shifts to other topics.
- Go on a car ride. It doesn’t have to be a long ride or even one that leads to a specific destination. Just taking a 15-minute ride around the neighborhood, looking at holiday lights, listening to music, and talking to each other can provide quality time together.
- Try something new. This year may be an excellent opportunity to try a new activity or even start a new tradition. A few ideas are a holiday picnic (outside if the weather is nice or inside if the weather doesn’t cooperate), a family karaoke night, going on a hike and taking fun pictures together, or introducing a new family game.
- Spread some holiday cheer. Showing kindness to others can be a great way to bond and spread holiday cheer. Baking cookies and dropping them off on a neighbor or friend’s porch is one inexpensive way to let people know that you’re thinking of them and that you care.
If your teen does not seem interested in connecting, don’t give up. Making the effort to connect with your teen is likely having a greater impact than you may realize. The time that you invest now will likely become memories that you’ll both treasure later.