Teenagers love to go out, have fun and spend time with their friends. As a parent, you may feel like you’re barely seeing your children around and grow worried about them, especially during this Covid-19 pandemic.
Any parent would love to spend more time with their children, but what happens if your teen just loves to go out? What can you do to make them want to stay home?
Have forms of entertainment at home
Teenagers are always looking for fun and need to be kept occupied and entertained.
Purchasing streaming services such as Netflix can give you access to unlimited films. Watching films together as a family is a great way to bond as you’re taken through the highs and lows of the movie storyline and it gives you a chance to communicate and discuss the movie as it goes along.
After the movie, you can even talk about your favourite characters, the most memorable scene in the show, plotholes etc. It’s a great conversation starter!
Gaming consoles such as PlayStation allow you to play games together as a family. Some games such as Just Dance require you to get up and moving, which is a healthy way to stay active with your child.
Board/card games are a cheaper alternative. Family-friendly games such as Singaporean Dream can very thrilling and last for about 25 minutes!
You could also ask your teen if they have any instruments that they are interested in learning, so that they can spend time at home learning and practising a new instrument.
Keep the house neat and clean
No one will look forward to coming home to a messy and dirty house. Keep your house organised by putting in collaborative effort to always keep things where they should be.
Stacked shelves or drawers are a great way to compartmentalise things while saving space.
You don’t have to do all the cleaning yourself! Delegate house chores or set a regular ‘Family Cleaning Day’ whereby everyone will clean the house together, so that you can bond at the same time.
Having a neat and clean house allows for a house to be welcoming, and for family members to enjoy a clear headspace when they are home.
Have family meals
In everyone’s busy schedules, maintaining close familial ties means prioritising family time. Make it a point to have meals together as a family so that you can catch up with each other.
Over meals, put your technological devices aside to talk about how their day has been or how they have been feeling. Take the conscious effort to hear your children out and validate their thoughts and feelings.
A tip for heart-to-heart talks is to ask them if they need a solution or just a listening ear for their problem. Give them what they truly need instead of imposing your wants and ideals on them.
Try to have delicious and healthy food because food is the way to anyone’s heart!
Know what’s going on in their lives
It is important that you stay in the know of what your teen is going through and care for them appropriately.
If your teen is having a heavy workload or having their exams, give them more space to study instead of trying to spend more time bonding with them.
If your teen has just finished their exams or is feeling bored, invite them to play some games or watch a movie/show together.
The key to a happy teen is when they have understanding parents that they can let down their guard with when they come home.
Give them privacy
In their growing years, teenagers need more privacy as they begin to start dealing with new personal issues, and sometimes, they don’t feel comfortable with sharing certain things with their parents because they may be afraid that their parents wouldn’t understand.
You may notice that they are texting very frequently, going on long calls and wanting to have exclusive conversations with their close friends.
Don’t take it personally as it is perfectly normal and you don’t need to freak out about it as a parent. Being demanding and expecting your teens to go to you instead of their friends will only be counter-effective.
Render them some space to figure out their lives and experience the life stages of being a teenager.
Give them a fixed amount of pocket money
Sticking to a regular, reasonable amount of pocket money will prevent your teen from going out more than they should be. It teaches them to spend within what they can afford and plan their savings.
For example, they should plan ahead if they want to spend a bigger sum of money in the next month, and save in advance so that they can afford to.
Of course, you should be reasonable with the amount that you give them and allow them to go out every now and then, because it is important that teenagers also have a social life, learn from their experiences and form connections.
As a parent, you need to put in the effort to empathise with how your teen feels and be there for them, so that they would feel comfortable being around you.
The bottom line is to make home a welcoming, fun and warm place such that your teen wouldn’t mind spending time at home.
This would be totally achievable as long as you’re gentle and understanding with them!