10 Activities to Try With Your Distant Teenager This Holiday

Having a distant teenager is enough of a challenge on its own. They may ignore you, roll their eyes, leave the house at every single opportunity, and fight any attempts to grow closer. This challenge becomes even tougher and more painful during the holiday season. While everyone is spending time with family and celebrating a season of love, you may find yourself struggling to relate with your teen. Family parties and activities may give you anxiety as it is, and dragging your distant teenager along can only make that worse.

However, you can actually improve your relationship with your distant teenager during the holiday season as it provides a plethora of opportunities for you to spend time with your teenager. Here are 10 ways to improve your relationship with your distant teen during the holidays:

  1. Get Outside – Building snowmen may be too cheesy and juvenile, but a snowball fight could be fun!
    get outside
  2. Holiday Movie Night – Allow your teen to pick the holiday movie, or give them the responsibility of choosing and buying candy for the family movie night.
    holiday movie night
  3. Serve Someone Together – shovel someone’s driveway together, and then reward yourselves with delicious hot chocolate.
    serve someone together
  4. Gift Shopping – Asking your teen for help buying Christmas gifts for family members can open a channel of trust and communication.
    gift shopping
  5. Cook a New Recipe – either for Christmas Eve dinner, or a delicious new cookie recipe to take to friends and family. Let them choose and then try it together!
    cook a new recipe
  6. Talk About Holiday Traditions – ask your teen about holiday traditions. What do they like? What do they not like? Do they have any ideas for new traditions your family could try?
    holiday traditions
  7. Watch Family Home Movies – If you have videotaped or even photographed past Christmases, pull them out and watch them as a family. Reminiscing on fun Christmases past can warm their hearts and help them to open up.
    family home movies
  8. Help Them with Friend Presents – Help them make or purchase gifts for their friends. This will go a long way, since friends are their whole world right now.
    friend gifts
  9. Let Them Make a Holiday Playlist – Teens care a lot about music. Asking them to make a playlist for a family outing or holiday party can show trust, value, and interest in their taste.
    holiday playlist
  10. Allow Them a Plus One – It may grate on your nerves, but allowing them to bring a friend or date to a family party or activity will greatly increase their trust and attitude.
    plus one

If you find you are still experiencing problems with your teen, there is help. There are parenting and relationship courses and resources that will help you connect with your distant teen. Don’t allow the holiday season to increase friction and tension in your relationship.

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