9 Meaningful Ways to Spend Time with Your Teenage Daughter
Is it getting hard to sneak in quality time with your daughter these days? Here are some irresistible ways you can spend time with your daughter before she graduates.
If you’ve ever seen “Gilmore Girls”, you know that Lorelei and Rory Gilmore have the ultimate mother-daughter relationship. (And if you haven’t seen it, I insist that the two of you start the series immediately!) Whether they’re posing as students at Harvard, throwing deviled eggs at Rory’s ex-boyfriend’s car, or backpacking through Europe together, there’s no denying these two are tight.
I think every girl who’s ever seen the “Gilmore Girls” has thought, “I want a mom like that!” And I’m pretty sure it’s every mother’s dream that her daughter will grow up to be her best friend, just like Lorelei and Rory. So why not start now?
It can be hard to convince a busy teenager to take some time off to spend with her mom, but she still needs you now more than ever. To make the most of the time the two of you have left before she heads off to college *cue the tears*, here are some meaningful ways to spend time with your teenage daughter while you still have her at home.
1. Go out to eat
I’m sure going out to eat with your family is hardly a new concept. But how often do you go out to eat with your daughter just the two of you? Grabbing a bite is a great, no-pressure way to hear what’s going on in your daughter’s life. Make it a no-phones occasion and make sure she knows you’re listening. You can mix it up by going out for brunch, a fancy dinner, or even just dessert.
Make it memorable: Try something exotic or ridiculously decadent.
2. Get crafty
Crafting has a pretty dorky reputation. But if you ask me, so do all of the best things in life (says the Harry Potter fanatic). Crafting is fun, great for creativity, and also really helpful with stress. And you might even end up with something cute to show off at the end!
If you or your daughter are intimidated by the idea of grabbing some stuff from a craft store and just going for it, there are lots of kits available with instructions and everything you need to DIY all kinds of things. I’ve seen kits for embroidery, weaving wall hangings, and making jewelry.
3. Cooking and baking
Cooking and baking are great because it’s a fun way to spend time with your daughter AND it teaches her a valuable skill she’ll need after she moves out. Some of my favorite memories were baking with my mom on Sundays. (And my skills in the kitchen made me a lot of fans on my dorm floor too!)
Needs some fun and easy ideas for meals to make with your teen? Try tacos, pizza, pancakes, or pastas.
4. Spend time with your daughter in the garden
Gardening is another hobby that maybe doesn’t sound immediately appealing to a teenager. But girls I’ve worked with who tried it were surprised by how much they loved it! There’s something incredibly soothing about spending time outside and watching your plants grow.
Container gardens are an easy way to start if neither of you have tried it before. Flowers, herbs, and succulents are all great choices for beginners. (Plus, who doesn’t love having fresh flowers and herbs on hand?)
Want to help your daughter with her confidence?
5. Exercise together
Exercise is another great way to spend time with your teenage daughter. For one, it models healthy habits. It’s also great for stress (if you know anyone who experiences such things) and is scientifically shown to increase happiness. Who doesn’t want to get on board with some of that? Make your daughter your running buddy, try hitting the gym together before dinner, or sign up for some yoga classes together.
Make it memorable: Try something totally out of the box. Learn to surf. Take fencing lessons. Or do some good by training together for a charity 5K.
6. Volunteer together
This is an amazing way to spend time together around the holidays or any time of year. Find a cause that’s meaningful for both of you and see how you can get involved. Volunteering together make a positive impact on the world. It’s great for the soul, increases happiness, and is bound to create some awesome memories for the two of you. (And as an added bonus, it’s also a nice addition to a college resume.)
7. Take a fun class together
Maybe I’m a dork, (okay, I’m definitely a dork), but I love learning new things. Maybe your daughter is the same? The variety of classes offered is pretty impressive. I’ve seen enrichment classes to learn guitar, sewing, photography, and so many other fun skills. Even if the area you live in doesn’t have a lot of live classes to offer, there are plenty of online classes the two of you can try.
8. Salon or spa day
Self care is actually really important and a great way to relieve stress. So why not do it together? Go get your nails done. Hit the salon together to get some new looks. Or book a day at the spa to get massages or facials.
Make it memorable: Go somewhere splurgy or choose the weirdest service on the menu.
9. Spend time with your daughter by traveling
I saved the best for last! If you ask me, a mother-daughter vacation is a MUST before she goes off to college. Take a girls-only trip to NYC, stay at a resort on the beach, or go crazy and backpack through Europe like the Gilmores. Make sure to take lots of pictures, because it’s bound to be a trip the two of you will never forget!
When I had my daughter, everyone warned me that it goes by fast. And they were not kidding! You’re in the last lap with your daughter *sniff, sniff*, so this is a great time to slow down and take in the scenery.
After your daughter moves out, your relationship will look very different, so this is the perfect time to invest in the friendship to come. Look for some fun ways to spend time with your teenage daughter now and create memories together that you’ll never forget!