by Rachel Paxton
The older my daughter gets the more it's sinking in that I don't have much time left to spend with her! She's turning 16 in a couple of months, and I know I won't be seeing her much after she gets her driver's license.
It's hard to find things to do with your teenage daughter. You might be busy, they might have better things to do...I encourage you not to let this time slip away from you. Our interests may be very different from theirs, but there's always things you can do to bridge the gap.
If you have more than one daughter, then make sure they each get their special time alone with you. I have found that these activities are also great for bonding with teens you want to reach out to and build relationships with, like a step-daughter.
I've done all of the following activities with my daughter and/or step-daughter and haven't regretted a moment. Someday I will be able to look back and appreciate the moments we shared, and I hope they will too.
1. Take your dog(s) on a walk together.
2. Cook dinner together, letting her choose the menu and help shop for the ingredients.
3. Pick her up from school and take her out to lunch, even if she misses part of a class.
4. Drive to the closest big city for the night, stay in a hotel, and spend all the next day shopping and sightseeing, taking time to stop for lunch at an outdoor cafe.
5. Read the same book together and talk about it when you're done reading it.
6. Do a scriptural book study together.
7. Get up early on a Saturday morning, go get coffee, and spend the morning going to yard sales or looking through thrift shops or dollar stores.
8. Make cookies together to give to a friend.
9. Make holiday gifts together to give to friends and family. Visit http://www.crafty-moms.com for easy craft ideas.
10. Go with your daughter to the concert of her choice.
11. Buy her the materials to start a high school scrapbook. Work on your scrapbooks while she works on hers.
12. Join a local fitness club and work out together. My daughter and I joined a local women's gym that is very inexpensive ($40/month for both of us). We get up at 5:00 a.m. three days a week to go exercise before she goes to school and I go to work.
13. Go to the local video store and rent a couple of "chick flicks" to enjoy together in the comfort of your home. Kick the men out of the house and lounge around in your pajamas.
Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer, mom, and owner of four home and family web sites. For scrapbooking, card making, gift-giving ideas, and more family memory-making activities, visit http://www.crafty-moms.com.