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The teen years can be scary for some parents, but they don’t have to be. Teenagers are such a blessing and the teen years can be so precious. I consider it such a blessing and a gift being able to watch who they are growing into and help to guide them into adulthood and who God created them to be.
Disclaimer: I only have one teen right now, my first and only boy! I am not an expert, these are just some thoughts and ideas that God has placed on my heart! What may work for one child may not work for another. You know your child best!
Why you should date your teenager:
The teenage years can be tough. Hormones are in full swing, there can be pressure from society and peers to fit in, and there is also a lot of stress on teens today. I love being able to homeschool my teen because I can be involved in his education and I see how much work he has to do. Teens have A LOT of school work especially if they are college bound. It can also be hard for them to juggle when they have an outside job and other activities.
Life can just fly by in such a blur, especially if you have multiple children with outside activities. With life being so busy it’s more important than ever to make sure that you are intentional with spending time with your teen. We need to be sensitive to them as they navigate their high school years and their dreams and ideas for future career goals. We need to be there for them, to be their sounding board and confidant. This is where dating your teenager comes in to play!
How to date your teenager:
It can be as simple or elaborate as you make it. I like to keep it simple. I try to pick one night or day a week where I take my son out, just him and I. It is something we both look forward to every week!
Here are some of our favorite “dates”:
Teens love to be treated like adults and it seems very adult like to go out and get a cup of coffee. It’s such a special treat when I take my son out to Starbucks or even through the drive thru of Chick-fil-A when they have free iced coffee. Coffee dates are nice, it’s just a quick and low key way to relax and enjoy time together. This is where I like to sit back, enjoy my coffee and let my son talk while I listen to him.
Go to a favorite restaurant or yogurt shop:
Take them to grab a quick bite to eat at a favorite restaurant. We like to go to Five Guys, Steak and Shake or Chipolte. Sometimes we go grab frozen yogurt or ice cream when we are done. They are inexpensive and fun. We even have fun beforehand looking together for coupons and Groupons for our favorite places.
Take Them to a Bookstore or Library:
My son and I have a lot in common because we both love to read. As a homeschooler I am sure you go to bookstores and libraries a lot, but it’s fun to go when it’s not about school. Take them to a library or bookstore and let them take you to their favorite section in the store. This may mean hanging out around magazines or comic books, but it’s fun to let them share with you what they are into. It also makes for some great opportunities for real, good conversations about being discerning with what we fill our minds with.
Read a Book Series Together, Then Go and See the Movies:
This is something that just happened. There was a book series that my son wanted to read. I had heard that it was a good series, but really knew nothing about it. I enjoy reading so I told him I wanted to read it first. I was hooked! I read the first book, then he read it after me. I would read the next book in the series as he was reading the first, then he would read it and we would discuss it. This works out great if their is anything that may be questionable that you can discuss with your teen. Most of the series that we have read together have movies that come out after the books. This gives us something to look forward to as we always go and see the movies as they come out.
Play Video Games Together:
Be a kid again and play with them! My son loves to play retro video games so this is perfect for us. We can have Super Mario Brothers and Pac Man competitions together.
Have a show that is just a show that the two of you watch:
There are a couple of tv series that we both enjoy watching. We look forward to our shows each week. This is always a fun time to make some snacks and just chill out together.
Take a Drive Together to Run Errands:
If we have a really busy week sometimes we aren’t always able to make our regular scheduled “date”. This is where I will be intentional to make sure I take him somewhere with me by myself. We may go grocery shopping and grab a coffee on the way. Driving is an awesome way to get your teen to talk with you. There are no distractions and they just talk while you listen. We have had some of the deepest, heart to heart discussions while I am driving around town!
Work On A Project Together:
Do you have a specific crafting project you like to do together? This is a great time to have fun and connect while making things. There is a yearly homeschool craft fair that we attend together and we have a blast shopping, and making things together to sell every year.
Go on a Fun Action Date:
Teens love to be active! There are so many fun things that you can take them to do: Indoor Rock Climbing, Laser Tag, Paint Ball, Air Soft, and Hiking are just some ideas.