As I started to write this post, I finally googled “fun things to do with your teenager”. The results were hilarious. Somebody actually wrote and published the words “design a scavenger hunt for friends,” “let your kid drive a golf cart”, and one other author thinks kayaking is a great inexpensive activity for you and your teen. What the heck.
If any of y’all have a teen like mine, 90% of the suggestions in these articles will be a waste of breath.
Two-ish months ago I realized that Lucas & I weren’t interacting as much as usual. I’m sure a lot of that is due to his age – this is the time of your life when you’re supposed to push your parents away right? But I also knew that we were still on speaking terms, and we still liked hanging out together. We just needed a little reminder of that, and an intentional time to connect.
And so “LiLu Night Out” was born.
WHAT IS LILU NIGHT OUT?
LiLu Night Out is a dedicated night for Lucas and I to do something together. It is usually outside out the house, and only involves the two of us, but we’ve made exceptions. I try to keep the cost down, and have built out a budget category for this specific expenditure. February for me is “No Spend Month” so I have a few ideas for activities we can try that cost nothing. I do not have a master list, and I make all the suggestions as Lucas hasn’t shown any interest in the planning part.
FUN THINGS TO DO WITH THIS TEENAGER
Not every teenager likes the same activities. Lucas’ idea of a perfect night in include gaming by himself in his room with snacks. He’s not into sports or crafty things. He doesn’t like movies or music. This made it difficult for me to think of some activities we could try together, especially in the winter when mostly everything needs to happen inside. These are the LiLu Night Out activities we’ve done so far:
- Tubing at Edmonton Ski Club (twice)
- Rec Room to play arcade games
- Art Gallery of Alberta
- Southgate Mall for browsing and food court snacks
Lucas alternates weeks between his parents, so I don’t plan more than the week ahead. And I always get his buy-in. If there’s one thing that stays true for kids from toddlers to teens, it’s that if you take them somewhere they don’t want to be it’s just a pain in the ass for you and absolutely not worth it. Once the weather starts warming up, there will be different opportunities. And we will definitely have to do the same things more than once, which is actually a blessing for us socially anxious introverts.
BENEFITS OF BONDING TIME
I delight in hanging out with Lucas. He is at once my smart teenager and my sweet boy who called me Mama and had to hold my hand at all times. I know that I only have a few more years left of his childhood to soak in. He already spends most of his time away from me, and that is challenging on my heart. I am excited for him to find his way in the world and have his own adventures, but I will also squeeze out every last second with him that I can. There are still so many lessons to teach him, and examples to set.