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If you’re a busy work­ing par­ent, no doubt you turn around some­times, look at your blos­som­ing, beau­ti­ful teenage daugh­ter and think to your­self: “she’s grow­ing up so fast!” Don’t you wish you could put your foot on the brake and stop time, so you can enjoy watch­ing her grow and change and become the young adult you know she’s des­tined to be? Well, you can’t actu­al­ly stop the clock, but you can, in a way, slow it down. If you spend more time with her, doing activ­i­ties you both enjoy, your bond will grow, deep­en and strengthen. We’ve got some ideas about things to do with her you will both enjoy. Choose one or two of these activ­i­ties each week, and start spend­ing more time with your won­der­ful daugh­ter before she’s ful­ly grown and out of the nest.

- Go To Yoga Or Another Exercise Class Together

Maybe your days of a full-on, high car­dio kick­box­ing class are behind you, but that doesn’t mean there are no options you can enjoy with her when she’s not doing a high-inten­si­ty work­out at the gym. Con­sid­er a yoga or stretch class togeth­er, or maybe an aquafit class — any activ­i­ty that you can do togeth­er that makes you work up a sweat and puts you both in a good mood. Take her for a lat­te after­wards and spend an hour chat­ting about every­thing from high school to her date last week­end to her thoughts about college. In a casu­al atmos­phere like that, she is far more like­ly to open up than if you sit her down at home and start ask­ing point­ed ques­tions about her plans for the future.

- Take Her Shopping

fun things to do with my teenage daughter l fun things to do with your teenage daughter Every par­ent knows that tak­ing their daugh­ter shop­ping presents an excel­lent oppor­tu­ni­ty for con­ver­sa­tion. Go to a shop­ping cen­tre where there are plen­ty of stores for both of you to browse the racks and try things on. Ask her opin­ion of clothes and jew­ellery. This lets you learn more about how she choos­es her clothes, shoes and every oth­er item in her wardrobe, and that teach­es you a lot about her sen­si­bil­i­ties in gen­er­al. If you’re mak­ing a day of it, take her to lunch mid­way through and seize the chance to chat. These are the moments par­ents wish they could get back lat­er when their daugh­ter is an adult, so don’t for­go the oppor­tu­ni­ty one Sat­ur­day just because you’ve got a busy day. Set those errands aside tem­porar­i­ly, and take advantage!

- Spend A Morning At The Spa

If your daugh­ter loves pam­per­ing, why not book a mani-pedi for both of you and take her to a spa? This is one of those girl activ­i­ties she can’t do with her dad, so make the most of it. Share cof­fee and a sweet treat while your nails are get­ting done, and ask her to choose the colour for yours. You’d be sur­prised how small ges­tures like that can make a teenage girl feel heard, respect­ed, and admired for her tastes. And that’s impor­tant, par­tic­u­lar­ly com­ing from her parent.

- Go To A Gallery Or Museum

Par­ents some­times over­look the pos­si­bil­i­ty of throw­ing a lit­tle edu­ca­tion into a fun out­ing with their chil­dren, as if the two can’t go hand in hand. But an enjoy­able after­noon can indeed be spent view­ing the art of the old Mas­ters or at a nat­ur­al his­to­ry muse­um or a mod­ern art gallery. It gives you the chance to talk to your daugh­ter about some­thing oth­er than per­son­al mat­ters, which means no land mines ahead! Instead of focus­ing on her life and future, ask her opin­ions about the paint­ings she sees – which ones inspire her and which ones leave her cold. Because schools don’t always have art in the cur­ricu­lum, this kind of out­ing gives you the chance to con­tribute to her edu­ca­tion in an impor­tant and mean­ing­ful way.

- Cook A Meal Together

fun things to do with my teenage daughter l fun things to do with your teenage daughter Not every­thing you do with your daugh­ter has to be out­side the home. Con­sid­er cook­ing a fam­i­ly meal togeth­er, some­thing every­one enjoys. Again, this presents the oppor­tu­ni­ty for you to talk with her about her food pref­er­ences, and teach her how to pre­pare some of the dish­es that are favourites in your household. You can also squeeze in a lit­tle infor­ma­tion about nutri­tion and dietary mat­ters and ask how she feels about cur­rent veg­e­tar­i­an or veg­an cook­ing trends. Is she think­ing of becom­ing veg­an? Does she pre­fer a high pro­tein diet with meat and dairy foods? You like­ly know these things super­fi­cial­ly, but cook­ing a meal togeth­er presents the per­fect chance to delve into her thoughts on why she choos­es cer­tain foods and stays away from others.

- Consider Taking A Fun Course Together

Do you both want to learn Span­ish, or take a course in oil paint­ing or try your hand at cre­ative writ­ing? Even if the cours­es are online right now, why not ask your daugh­ter to enrol in a sub­ject that inter­ests both of you? Imag­ine doing home­work with her or review­ing each other’s short sto­ry or poem before the next class! An activ­i­ty like this is rich in pos­si­bil­i­ties for laugh­ter and sim­ply spend­ing time togeth­er. If you can’t com­mit to a lengthy course that lasts eight or ten weeks, con­sid­er a week­end work­shop at the local col­lege or uni­ver­si­ty. This offers the added bonus of giv­ing her an extra item for her resume when she applies to post-sec­ondary school.

- Spend A Day Volunteering Together

Chances are your daugh­ter knows how for­tu­nate the fam­i­ly is, but vol­un­teer­ing is a great way to give her a gen­tle reminder. Depend­ing on her age (you want to choose an appro­pri­ate char­i­ty), sug­gest vol­un­teer­ing at a local soup kitchen or women’s shel­ter. Spend an after­noon gath­er­ing up clothes and oth­er items at home and take them around to char­i­ties for donation. Offer your­selves to the local ani­mal shel­ter and spend a day clean­ing cages and inter­act­ing with the pets up for adop­tion. This is a won­der­ful way to spend time with her, and it helps to devel­op her aware­ness of oth­er people’s needs. Stud­ies show that chil­dren and teens who vol­un­teer from an ear­ly age grow up to be peo­ple who give back to their com­mu­ni­ties in sub­stan­tial ways. It takes them out­side the four walls of their home and cir­cum­stances and teach­es them empa­thy and kind­ness toward those who are less fortunate.

- Take Her To The Office For The Day

This depends on the kind of work you do, of course. But if you’re head of a depart­ment, or your boss is fine with your daugh­ter watch­ing you work (and most of them are), why not invite her to spend the day with you? Watch­ing you at the office will give her a fresh appre­ci­a­tion of all you are capa­ble of – the pro­fes­sion­al skills and tal­ents she doesn’t wit­ness at home. And she will see how much oth­ers respect you and how you treat your coworkers. By the end of the day, she’ll be see­ing you in a whole new light. And who knows? She may even start think­ing that your pro­fes­sion would be an ide­al career path for her.

Final Thoughts

Spend­ing time with your teenage daugh­ter while she’s still under your roof is vital for her emo­tion­al and psy­cho­log­i­cal devel­op­ment. As her par­ent, it gives you pre­cious oppor­tu­ni­ties to learn what mat­ters to her — what she’s think­ing about for her future and how she feels about friend­ships and relationships. Spend­ing time with her also gives you the chance to dis­cov­er what, if any­thing, is trou­bling her. Things she may not be keen on dis­cussing with the entire fam­i­ly may come to light when you’re shar­ing an appe­tiz­er and a soda after an exer­cise class. And you know­ing about those things, whether you can solve them or sim­ply con­sole her, reminds her that she is not alone, that you are always there to sup­port, com­fort and help her. It’s easy to let time slip by with­out mak­ing a com­mit­ment to spend at least one morn­ing or after­noon each week with your teenage daugh­ter. But don’t let the world keep you so busy you for­get to pay atten­tion to the one per­son you prize almost above all oth­ers – your beau­ti­ful, grow­ing teenage daugh­ter. As every par­ent knows, she will be gone before you know it!

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