As a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner and mother, I understand how difficult it can be to get quality time with your teen daughter. With all of the demands that the holiday season brings, it can often be overwhelming. Between the parties, shopping, cooking and planning, sometimes the really important things, like spending time with your teen, get pushed aside. Participating together in activities that connect you to your daughter not only help keep the spirit of the holidays real, they can be the best gift you give to each other. Spend time together making memories!
10 Activity Ideas
1. Have a baking day. Together, pick out special recipes and spend the day baking. There is nothing like rolling out dough together to give you a chance for some meaningful conversations.
2. Invite your daughter’s friends and their mothers over for a Holiday Tea. You’ve already made the cookies. It allows you to get to know her friends and their moms while doing something fun.
3. Volunteer. Together, pick a charity and spend time volunteering. Not only do you get the opportunity to be together, but you get into the spirit of the holidays by giving to others. This is a great message.
4. Search for a craft project that would make great gifts for friends or neighbors and make them together. For example, one year we made cookie mix in a jar, decorated the jars, and took them to our neighbors.
5. Have an afternoon of culture. Go to a Christmas play, concert, or ballet. You don’t have to spend a lot of money doing this since there are many local productions.
6. Have a Christmas movie marathon. This is one of my favorites. Each year we get out our favorite Christmas movies, put on our PJs, pop popcorn and lay on the floor and watch movies continuously.
7. Have a spa day at home. Get some festive nail polish and do mani-pedis. Who needs to go to the spa when you can do it in the comfort of your own home? When it is just the two of you and you are relaxed, the conversation just flows.
8. Christmas shop together, but start early with breakfast out. My favorite is to get up really early when all of the stores have the early bird specials. Take the advertisements, head off to your favorite breakfast place and come up with your game plan.
9. Go for a walk one evening, and look at holiday decorations in the neighborhood. Then decide on the most beautiful as well as the house with the “most over the top” decorations.
10. Start a holiday memory book. Get a journal and each of you write about the holiday season from your point of view. Don’t forget to put in photos. This is something you can do every year, and when your daughter has her own family, it can be passed to her.
Remember, the shoes you give her will go out of style or wear out, the designer jeans will do the same, but the memories and time you give her will always be in her heart.
Janine Sherman is an OB/GYN nurse practitioner in Houston, TX, who specializes in caring for teens and their moms. She is also the co-author of the book Start Talking: A Girl’s Guide for You & Your Mom. This easy-to read, lively, down-to-earth book is definitely teen-friendly and is ideal to help both mothers and daughters have engaging conversations about tough topics.