Single mothers looking to strengthen their bond with their teenage sons might consider making a bucket list with them. Granted, it's not always easy to carve out a lot of alone time with teens, and they aren't always thrilled to hang out with their moms, but it's important to maintain a connection.
Making a bucket list together could help with that connection. When there is free time, at least you have something to do. Of course, asking a teen boy to sit down and make a bucket list might be a bit challenging. Again, they aren't always thrilled to hang out with their mom. Below are some ideas to help moms out with that very task.
Make It About Them
Teenagers are at an age where they are coming into their own. They are learning new ways of thinking and communicating. Long story short, they become very self-absorbed. Adolescence is a time of rapid change. According to Middle Me Earth, being focused on themselves is part of the development that helps teens separate from the herd and form their own unique identities.
Teenagers are trying to figure out who they are and what they are capable of. Basically, they are constantly evaluating and making sense of the world that revolves around them. Asking for their opinion or framing the bucket list in a way that benefits them, is an easy way to get them involved.
Give Them Choices
Teens are all about their individuality. They like to make their own decisions. It goes against an adolescent's nature to willingly comply with their mom. Teens want to be in control, and even when they aren't, it's sometimes important they feel like they are. Moms can use this to their advantage.
Rather than just asking what they want to do, or telling them what is going on the list, give them fun choices. Being realistic with the choices is a major thing too. Teenage boys are not going to want to do all the things their mom wants to do, even if they seem really fun to her. Giving them a selection keeps it within mom's financial means and things that are not completely outlandish.
According to Penn State research, giving kids choices helps them feel like they have some power and control over what they do, and that is a big step in growing up.
Don't Take Things Too Personally
If it comes down to a teen making a mockery of the bucket list idea, moms might try to not take it personally. The Jekyll-and-Hyde behavior of a teenage boy can be hurtful. Sheryl Gould, certified parent coach and the founder of Moms of Tweens and Teens says, it's important that parents of adolescents know they are not alone, and that many feel the same way. When parents discover that their child's behavior is normal, they are less likely to take things personally and understand this is a necessary developmental phase.
This is a tough stage in life, and teens tend to act out in an attempt to exert their own independence. It's what they should be doing, within reason of course. It makes sense they don't always appreciate what moms try to do to keep the connection alive. However, if mothers continuously take their teens' anger, frustration, and attitude personally and allow that to become the indicator of all things, they will be ruled by it, says, PsychAlive.
Ideas For Bucket List Bonding With A Teenage Boy
These are just examples for moms to get started on their own teen son/mom bucket list. Remember to include teens in the final destinations, give them choices, and be flexible. Remember that bucket list ideas don't always need to be once-in-a-lifetime trips, even having lunch together at a restaurant neither have been to can be part of it.
- Plan a camping trip for two.
- Take surfing lessons or go surfing if you know how.
- Visit all the museums in your area.
- Go hiking.
- Take a spontaneous road trip, blindfold your teen and have him point to a spot on the map.
- If you ever wanted a pet, adopt one and train it together.
- Go to a professional sports game, either home or away.
- Take a horseback riding class, if you know how to do it, go horseback riding together.
- Go skiing or snowboarding, if you don't know how to take a class.
- Ax Throwing or archery classes.
- Binge-watch a series together.
- Go to a concert together.
- Play some video games with your son. See what the hype is all about.
- Go canoeing or rafting.
- Rent a cabin by a lake and stay for a weekend.
- Go skydiving.
Whatever gets decided on, making the most of it and enjoying the time together is really important. It doesn't last forever, having a few special moments together to look back on will be heartwarming memories for the future.