Question:Our two teenagers tell us on a regular basis that we are not fun anymore. They say, "We need more fun in our house. We used to do a lot of fun activities, now all we do is work." When we try to have a family outing, the kids are often negative or just too busy. Any suggestions?
Adolescents sometimes have a difficult time distinguishing between needs and wants. Your kids sound like they need and want more fun. So give it to them. Kids support what they help create. My suggestion is to brainstorm family fun times around the table some evening. Let the ideas flow. Write them on a piece of paper, and then hold them responsible for calendaring the times and schedule to make the fun times happen.
Your kids want more fun, they may need more quality relationship time with the family in a non-structured manner. We try to do a "family fun day" at least once a month where everyone clears their schedule and participates. Our monthly individual dates with each of our children are an absolute hit. Nine out of ten times we let them choose the date, as long as it's within our financial structure. Frankly, the cheaper the date, often the better it is for relating.
Many parents give up on family vacations when their children become teenagers. I hope that's not you. Vacations will be different than when they were younger, but still you are building positive family memories and instilling an important family value.
Just one last idea. Turn off the TV often and spend that time around the table playing games. With every criticism, there is often at least a hint of truth, so make this a year you, as parents, work on being more fun.