is The Stir's Managing Editor because somebody has to be.
Personally, I don't force my kids to hang out with me. The only time they are required to participate is holidays. they must sit at the table with the family and whatever else we have going on but otherwise they are free to decide if they want to participate. And my oldest is only 9. She hates car rides so she opts out of every family outing. At first it upset me because I wanted to do things as a family but it wasn't worth the fight. If we forced her to come she just pouted, cried, whined and threw a fit and ruined the outing for everyone. Now we just leave her at home (with my dad). We've had many fun outings without her. It's her choice to miss out on all the fun.
That goes as long as she behaves while we are gone. A few times earlier this year she lied to my dad and said she had permission to use the computer and have certain snacks and we did not give her permission so the next time we went out she had to come with us. She was ticked. So as long as they behave they are allowed to choose to stay home or not participate in family stuff.
My sister has custody of my 15 year old brother and makes him have "mandatory family time" And its usually just stuff like going for a run together or playing games together. Nothing ridiculous and he really doesn't mind doing it, he likes to spend time with most of the family. I think there is nothing wrong with making teenagers have family time. Yeah they whine about it now, but looking back on it, they will love it. Heck most of them probably enjoy it now, they just have to keep up the act, LOL.
I spend alot of time with my teens at home but to get them to go grocery shopping with me I pay them!!! I need someone to load and unload all heavy stuff.
Not spending time with your teens, not knowing where they are, who they are going out with, (friends), etc...is the worst mistake a parent can make...Spend all the time you can with them....I don't mean be the only friend they have...but be there for them, and know what is going on in their lives...My 16 yr old brings the lap top in and we hang out doing "computer" time together...we watch tv together and talk about whatever...his friends even come and hang out here in my bedroom while I am on the computer and just talk about the day or what is going on in their lives...girls, cars, etc...they play their drums, guitars and ask me to record them while they are playing....
I may not be the coolest mom, but it is nice when they ask me to go and "hang out" too...like today I was asked to go bowling and play pool with my 16 yr old and his best friend.
But I also know when he needs his space for his dates and his "time out" with his friends as well.
Don't make the time with your teen "mandatory", they will resent you. Make your time with them FUN and relaxed. Make it about them and how much you love and care about them.
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