Time goes so quick. One moment you have a baby that is reliant on you 100% for 100% of your time; and the next minute that baby is taller than you, stronger than you, and can eat enough food to feed an army. You shape your children by the way that you bring them up, but sometimes life is so busy, and family members have conflicting schedules, and that means that the close bond that you have can fall to the wayside. It is important that time is set aside to foster the bond between both parents – you may be the main caregiver and have that bond, but Dad has to also step up to the mark too.
Here are 4 suggestions for how fathers can spend more time with their teens to help them cultivate their own interests and encourage them to be the best that they can be.
There is nothing like a fishing trip to create the ideal bonding time. The water may be flowing, but with no other distractions, so will the conversation. Teens may eye roll at the suggestion, but once they are in nature and relaxed, they will benefit hugely from having this one-on-one time with Dad. To fully immerse them into the great outdoors, how about a week away fishing? Dad and teen could go to Alaska fishing, that way Dad can fully escape the daily routines and really make a vacation of it for a once in a lifetime experience. Alaska Fishing Lodges are where memories are made.
A weekend camping can work wonders for building team spirit. If Dad and teen survive putting the tent up without too many lingering arguments, the chances are that by the time they light the fire with the wood they have collected, they’ll be the best of buddies. Dad will be in reminiscing mode, and your teen will hear of a side to Dad that was previously not known: yes, he was once young too. Enjoying the great outdoors will show your teen that there is so much more to life than their busy, urban and digital existence.
It is a sad fact that the number of people that can do basic car maintenance has fallen significantly with each generation. You don’t need your teen to be the new Henry Ford, but being able to change a tire and the oil or brakes are life skills that every teen will benefit from. The ultimate car bonding experience would be to restore a vintage car, but even if your teen is only taught by Dad how to clean and valet the car, the point is that they spend time together, and have the chance to work as a team.
Paintballing is a great opportunity for teen and Dad bonding. The competitiveness of youth pitched against wisdom, will get the conversation flowing, whether they are on the same or opposing teams. The rush of physical exertion gets the endorphins going, and both teen and Dad will feel great after an afternoon of running around. This is an opportunity for your teen to excel at something that their father may find a little tougher. As long as the game is played in a sportsman like fashion, and not seen as an opportunity to avenge having to take the trash out every day, both should love it.