5 Steps to Avoid Losing Your Cool With Your Teen On Break!

5 Steps to Avoid Losing Your Cool With Your Teen On Break!

My good friend Shannon Hale at www.skiptomylife.com has kindly written this guest post letting us know how to avoid losing your cool with your teen. She has some great ideas!

And, bonus, these tips would be helpful over winter break as well, just tweak the timing and conversations! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen!

…It’s tough to remember exactly where the burning sensation started. Perhaps I mistook it for a hot flash. Before I knew it, I was excusing myself from the room, muttering something to my husband about this being HIS son.

When your darling teen comes home from college…

What could my rising freshman possibly have said to stir such emotion, just moments after hugs and welcome-homes from his first year at college? I’m going to tell you. Because even though I’m not usually a betting kind of gal, I’d be willing to place cash on the barrel that you will hear some version of these two sentences come from the lips of your sweet child in the coming weeks:

“You never knew what I was doing when I was away at school. Why do I have to tell you where I am now that I’m home”?

How to avoid losing your cool with your young adult

Whether you’re launching a graduate or welcoming a teen home this summer, the routine you’ve settled into over the school year is sure to change in the coming days. And, surprise! The dynamics between you and your young adult may have morphed more than either of you are expecting.

Learn from me, friends, and top off the volcano of unrealistic expectations before it erupts. Just a little planning on your part and a short discussion with your student can make the difference between a frustrating summer and one you’ll cherish for years to come.

Don’t worry; I’ll walk you through this process step-by-step.

Living with young adults feels a little like walking a tightrope over the Grand Canyon. It takes a lot of balancing to trust our kid on one side while requiring their personal responsibility on the other.

That balancing act can leave us, as parents, a bit wobbly. Add to this the fear of major repercussions for slipping too far to either side, and we are quickly set up for a very stressful summer.

Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen

Avoid summer slump

“Summer Slump” is the term coined to describe the post-semester blues that result from a combination of factors:  change in daily routine, distance from friends, and unforeseen conflict in family and romantic relationships. About 1 in 3 students described themselves as depressed as a result of this phenomenon.

Quote:  “Without our rigid schedules where our days are planned down to the minute, we begin to feel like we don’t know who we are anymore.” (Post-Semester Depression, Kaitlyn Skye Hipple, Odyssey, May 3, 2016)

As the busyness of the school year comes to a screeching halt, don’t be left frantically navigating how your teen will fill their summer days. (These tips are all true for winter break as well!)

Take just 30 minutes to talk through some simple strategies and set a plan in motion, and you’ll see major pay-off in the coming months. Here’s how you’ll spend that half hour.

5 tips to avoid losing your cool with your teen this summer

1. Get out the calendar

Young adults are notorious for misunderstanding time constraints. Pull out the calendar and start by figuring out just how many weeks are unaccounted for this summer. It may be fewer than you, or your student, think.

Next step:  post any dates that are already scheduled, such as family vacations, weddings, deadlines and social events. These events will serve to break up the perception of monotony of the months stretching before your student.

Click here for a free printable summer planner.

2. Give your teen time to dream

Give your student permission to dream about what they’d like to do this summer. During my son’s last summer before college, he and his cousin organized a cross-country road trip to see their favorite band.

Although I was tempted to say “absolutely not” when he first presented the idea, the planning and responsibility he showed won me over. Put a lock on your lips and just listen. You may be surprised to see a new side of your kid.

How can you avoid losing your cool with your teen this summer?!

Once they’ve had their say, it’s time for mom and dad to share their dreams for the summer. This might include something as simple as visiting the local snow cone stand or as epic as a major bike ride. Your summer will be so much more fun if you don’t lose your cool with your young adult!

3. Discuss boudaries for your teens

Learn from my mistakes, my wonderful friends. Don’t assume your student knows what you expect from them this summer. You are making the transition from parenting to coaching, from living with your child to living with another adult.

It’s tough. It’s awkward. But, we can do this. Setting simple expectations about household chores, curfew, communication, use of car- will keep you from so many rolling eyeballs and slammed doors.

Remember that they have, indeed, kept themselves from dying over the last several months. Give them credit and very generous limits.

I grew up in a home with one bathroom. Not one full bath and one half bath- one toilet, one sink, one shower. So many battles could have been avoided and so many tears could have been saved had we just sat down and figured out a schedule. But then my sisters and I wouldn’t have near the stories to tell, right?

4. Provide summer ideas for teens

In the event that your teen’s answer to question 2 is “play video games on the couch”, here’s some help. You, dear parent, will come to this conversation armed with some ideas for summer options. Here is the beauty of taking 30 minutes to have this planning session in early summer versus waiting until mid-July.

Avoid losing your cool with your teen this summer!

As you probably know, but your teen may not, now is the time to apply for and pursue a summer job, schedule an internship, or sign up for summer classes. I know, I know, you’re afraid this revelation will push your already-overwhelmed kid into overload. But here’s where your pre-work will pay off.

Show them support by offering to temporarily take something off their plate so they can have a couple of hours to fill out an application online or schedule a meeting with a local business owner.

**If it is holiday break, they can use this time to scout out summer jobs -this will give them a head start over their friends who won’t be thinking about this until later in the spring. Line up jobs now!

5. Celebrate and model self-care

Summer is a great time for students to catch up on sleep, get into better eating habits or start an exercise program. But we can’t very well encourage them to do those things if we’re not doing them ourselves.

Choose a few goals you’d like to work on this summer. Your son or daughter will be more motivated by your actions than by nagging. Plan to celebrate reaching a weight or fitness goal as a family.

Now that another school year is in the books, push the easy button and set aside some time for summer planning with your student. You’ll be glad you did when fall rolls around and you’re waving goodbye once again.

A tool to help:  how to avoid losing your cool with your young adults 

Shannon created a  free printable summer planner that will walk you through the 5 steps above.

Thanks to Shannon for all the great ideas for ideas on how to avoid losing your cool with your young adults. This is our first summer that our boys are NOT coming home, and that is a whole other story!

Another tip for summer or holiday break…

 **It is recommended that you get a power of attorney for the state that your teen goes to college in, as well as the state of permanent residence. Here is more info about each state’s requirements.

Grab both the health and financial power of attorney legal documents. We used them and printed these out for our two oldest boys while they were in college. It took less than 15 minutes to fill in the blanks, and print out!

I have heard horror stories about parents not being able to make medical decisions for their kids because this was not in place, so please do this for your peace of mind. *The cost of these forms is so much less than going to an attorney, which I checked into before doing this. And, talk about EASY!

Related posts: 

Great Books to Read With or Without Your Teen

27 Great Books For A Young Adult to Read For Success

You Have An 18 Year Old: Be Aware Of These Little-Known Facts

7 Things to Know If You Love a Teenager

Great Games to Play With Your Teens Anytime

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for a weekly dose of love from me about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Simply enter your information below and you will be all set! You can also like my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!❤️

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Avoid Losing Your Cool with Your Teen!

 

25+ Advent Calendars That Teens Will Love!

25+ Advent Calendars That Teens Will Love!

“Advent calendars that teens will love” has been so much fun to write!

I was wanting to write a new holiday post, and I realized how many fun advent calendars there are available! I decided that this would be a fun post, and my boys and a couple of their girlfriends helped me to find advent calendars that teens will love.

I am always updating this post beginning in late July. Order soon because there are only a few of some of these left, and I had to delete a lot off of the list! I am looking for new ones to add, but it takes time!)

Is there an advent calendar for teenage boys that they would like?

Yes! My boys still love the velcro advent calendar that we have and when they are all around they still do rock, paper, scissors to put on the next figure. 

Officially, Advent is the period of four Sundays and weeks before Christmas (or sometimes from the 1st December to Christmas Day!). Advent means “coming” in Latin, This is the coming of Jesus into the world. Christians use the four Sundays and weeks of Advent to prepare and remember the real meaning of Christmas. *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

I like to think of it as anticipation for a special event! There are now advent calendars for having a baby, for Hannukah, and even for your dog! And, I could not help but add this Covid Advent calendar of fun activities -this is not your traditional Advent calendar- but a great idea!

Be sure to check out my other gift guides below!

Advent calendars that teens will love!

AND, my friend Monica over at How2WinScholarships.com has put together an advent scholarship activity! This is a fun way to get your teens motivated to apply for some of those pesky scholarships that are so helpful when paying for college! ( She usually updates this around October or November.)

There are so many different kinds of advent calendars that teens will love, take a peek at the 25+ calendars below! Each calendar has its own theme for so many different interests… and, don’t forget to order soon since most of them are 24 day calendars starting December 1.

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Advent calendars that teens will love

This is the advent calendar that my kids grew up with, so I had to include it on this list. Even though it’s for younger kids, my boys still put it up (as teens and older!), and add a character each day, and I love it!

Nativity Fabric Advent Calendar

Here we go with advent calendars that teens will love!

•For the DIYer, here are 24 cute holiday boxes with sticker for you to put together your own version!

DIY Holiday Boxes -these are reusable!

•Have a little tree for your apartment, dorm room or bedroom? This Advent calendar has 24 tiny ornaments that you could use.

Christmas ornament calendar

•Marvel movie lovers?

Marvel advent calendar -almost 30 surprises over 25 days as you count down to Christmas. Here’s another Marvel advent choice by Funko.

•Any jewelry lovers out there?

Bracelet advent calendars

•Do you know a crafter? 

24 Handmade Arts & Crafts Ornaments & Decorations 

•Have a chemist in the house?

The Crazy Scientist Advent Calendar – 24 Cool Science Experiments

•Does your teen love Harry Potter? This is a great advent calendar… And, here is a countdown calendar with not HP, but really funky “Cabinet of Holiday Curiosities” -great items for the 24 days!

Funko Advent Calendar: Harry Potter – 24 Vinyl Figures

•Have a horse lover? I am leaving this one on here as of July, 2022. There is only one left, but hoping there will be another release!

Breyer Horses 2022 Holiday Collection

•Here’s another Funko advent calendar…

Funko Advent Calendar: Dragon Ball Z Pocket Pop! – 24 Vinyl Figures

•Do you have a lover of all things origami?

Make your own origami advent calendar -These are not different shapes, but origami boxes that someone would make, then put a tiny gift inside. If you have a hardcore origami artist.

There is a German version of an origami book with all sorts of Christmasy designs. Written in German, but I am guessing the pictures show it all anyway. If you have a teen that tries this, let me know how it goes!!

 

•Want a do-it-yourself version?

24 reusable burlap bags for advent calendar -so many choices! I will share the picture of my favorite one. Here is a version that has pockets.

•Here’s another brain teaser advent calendar…

24 Brain Teaser Puzzles Wire and Plastic Puzzle Advent Calendar

 

Have a kid ot teen who like diamond painting? New driver?

Diamond Painting Kits – Make Your Own Gem Keychains

•Know someone who loves The Office?

Funko The Office Advent Calendar

•Know someone who loves baths?

Spa life “Fizzle All The Way” Bath Bomb Advent Calendar -12 days, not 24

•Know anyone who loves Fortnite?

Funko Advent Calendar: Fortnite

•I have seen it all! This one is for crossword lovers!

Mindmade The Advent Calendar for Crossword Lovers

•My boys love The Nightmare Before Christmas!

Here is an advent calendar and pop-up book with this theme!

 

 Here are some advent calendars that teens will love that I do not have images for, but they are worth mentioning here!

Badvent calendar -Krampus Christmas (24 naughty characters to find),

Movie advent calendar with holiday flicks -this is one that I might have to do this year!

12 Days of Potato Chips Advent Calendar

Christmas Activities Advent Calendar (re-usable)

24 Days of Cookies -yum!

And, here are some Star Wars countdown calendars

Advent calendar with hot sauces and here is another advent calendar with hot sauces

 12 Days of Noodles Mandarin Style Advent Calendar

Tea advent calender -There were a bunch of these! Here is a link to a couple more. These would be great for a girlfriend!

So many Lego advent calendars!

I hope that this gives you great ideas to find an advent calendar that teens will love!

Related posts:

Great Games Your Teen Will Love!

Gift Guide for Teen Guys

Gift Guide for Teen Girls

Stocking Stuffers for Teens

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays

147 Jolly Holiday Ideas to Enjoy with Your Teens

49 Awesome Holiday Movies For Teens: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

Advent calendars that teens will love!

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure to visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! And, finally, if you feel like this post was helpful, please share it on your favorite social media platform!

Thank you so much!❤️ 

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Advent calendars that teens will love!

 

 

The Ultimate List of the Best Stocking Stuffers For Teens

The Ultimate List of the Best Stocking Stuffers For Teens

Best Stocking Stuffers for Teens

Are you looking for the best stocking stuffers for teens? This age can be challenging. With a little help from me, you’ll find the best stocking stuffers.

Stocking stuffers are my favorite way to give gifts to our boys! I know I have many fond memories growing up as a child of Christmas morning and running to see what was in my stocking. Finding the best stocking stuffers for teens can be a challenge!

One of my favorite Christmas memories was receiving a printout of the safety features of a car in my stocking. I asked my parents if it was there by accident because it was a car that we didn’t have at the time. Turns out that they had gotten this car for me to take back to college.

I was sooooo excited. Mind you it was the ugliest car ever, but it was all mine, and I couldn’t have been happier.

Needless to say, that was my favorite stocking stuffer ever, especially since the key was in the toe of my stocking. (Sometime I will have to write a post on the ugly cars that my parents got for my sisters and me to drive.

There are so many creative ways to give gifts in a smaller way. Our boys love to open their stockings first every Christmas morning. Santa props them up next to the fireplace since a couple of times they have pulled the hooks off of the mantle from their weight.

I have put together a gift guide for stocking stuffers for your teens. I asked my teens and their friends for these ideas, so here you go!

One thing to remember is that teens love gift cards, and that is always a great option! Here are many choices. 😃

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

Stocking stuffer ideas…

  • Sneaker balls -These are great for deodorizing stinky shoes in their gym bag or locker. My boys actually get embarrassed when their shoes stink. If your teen doesn’t notice the smell, then this is really a present for you!
  • Portable phone charger –One of the most powerful ‘mini’ chargers on the market. It will add over one charge (6 hours talk time) to an iPhone 6, almost one charge to a Galaxy S6 or around one charge to most other phones. These are great to throw in a backpack or purse.
  •  Swedish Fish  -‘Nuff said. Really any candy works!
  • Ridge wallet -These are great with the money clip, and they need a place for their licence and school ID.
  • Duct tape  –The uses for duck tape are endless, both for crafts and fixing things. My boys have many rolls of tape, and they have used it for so many things!
  • Sun Bum Chapstick  –Always a good choice! Contains soothing cocoa butter. Gluten Free/100% Vegan. Petrochemical-free.
  • Bombas  –Moisture wicking, ventilation, smell free, soft touch and durability. Perfect gifts for a stocking! 100% happiness guaranteed! My sons love these, and you can order one pair, a pack or a subscription.
  • Fitbit Alta HR –Track your activity levels, sleep patterns, and more with the black Fitbit Alta Activity Tracker in size small. This sleek band uses an array of sensors to keep track of how many steps you take, how far you walk, how many floors you climb, the number of calories you burn, and the time you spend active. Alta is sweat, rain, splash proof.
  • Snack subscription box -Food is always a good choice, and here are so many options at different price points!
  • Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds- Look for in-ear headset built in bluetooth V4.1 technology, and microphone give a real stereo music sound and stable calling. Find some that are sweat-proof and waterproof with up to 8 hours playing time. (My son got some for his birthday and loves them for the gym!)
  • 3-in-1 charger stand– Works for iPhone, earbuds, and Iwatch all at once. Super convenient, and it really doesn’t take up much room at all!
  • A Dogs Purpose  –Everyone love a great dog movie. But, seriously, any movie is a great idea for a stocking. My boys always like a couple of movies for their stockings. Here are some great sports movies -more than 65 titles!
  • Do you have a teen that is a picker? Here is a great thing! It’s a Picking Stone Kit, and it’s basically a covered rock that your kid can pick on to relieve that desire instead of picking on their own skin! Plus it is supposed to sooth stress -who knew!
  • Bubble tea -have your teens gotten into this craze?
  • Starface acne patches -These are so great! The little star shapes can grip in creases, and other difficult spots. They are cruelty free, and use the ingredient Hydrocolloid, which is clinically proven to improve pimples overnight. This is the starter kit, and it has refills.
  • Noise cancelling headphonesActive Noise Cancelling technology. Significant noise reduction for travel, work and anywhere in between. Advanced active noise reduction technology quells airplane cabin noise, city traffic or a busy office, makes you focus on what you want to hear, enjoy your music, movies and videos. The noise cancellation function works well both in wire and wireless mode. 
  • Selfie Ring Light -If they are going to do selfies, they may as well be the best possible. This clips on for easy use and is rechargeable.
  • Hydrating Facial Masks -My boys love these, so don’t rule the guys out on this one.

Do you have a teen that loves the show Schitt’s Creek? I wrote a post about the show with lots of gift ideas! And, don’t forget that cash and gift cards are also great small gifts that are great stocking stuffers for teens!

*Did you know that I have a Facebook group that is all about Deals for Moms of Tweens and Teens?

Are you looking for new Christmas stockings? I have thought about ordering a new look when we downsize. For now, I will stick with what we have, but there are SO many cool looks for stockings out there!

Check out my other holiday posts:

49 Holiday Movies to Watch with Your Teen

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays

11 Ways to Bond with your teen over the holiday break

Advent Calenders for All Ages

Gift Guide for Your Teen Girl

Gift Guide for Your Teen Guy

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

I would love to stay in touch!

Make sure you subscribe to my Parenting High Schoolers newsletter below for a weekly dose of love from me about surviving and thriving with teenagers. Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube where I share lots of helpful info for parents of tweens and teens! Thank you so much!❤️

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Best Stocking Stuffers For Teens

7+ Best Gifts For A New Driver

7+ Best Gifts For A New Driver

Two of my boys have been driving for awhile, and our youngest just got his license! Want to talk about worry? I want to share tips for surviving these days, and give you some great ideas for the best gifts for a new driver.??

Here are three things to remember when you have a new driver in your house. And, don’t forget to check out my best gifts for a new driver below! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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Best gifts for a new driver

Have clear expectations

Let your teen know that just because they have received their license, there will still be limits. The amount of driving freedom will be increased as they prove that they are responsible.

For instance, in the beginning, they may be allowed only to drive to and from school. Gradually, other activities can be added.

We were worried about our oldest parking in the crazy tight school parking lot. So, we chose a place on the back side of the school for him to park on the side of the road. It meant that he had to parallel park if he was late, so he always went early to be able to just pull in next to the tennis courts.

As your child drives successfully over time, and follows your rules, add to the places that they can drive and the times they are able to leave your house. We gradually let our boys drive at night to go to a friend’s house or to a movie.

Best gifts for a new driver

Have explicit rules

The rules were clear cut. They had to let us know when they were there, and when they were headed home.  If they wanted to go anywhere else, they were to call and ask. This rule was huge because we wanted to know where they were at all times.

We did not track our boys, if you are wondering. My husband and I talked about this at length, and decided that just because there is technology to do this, we didn’t feel the need for it. We had long talks with each of the boys as they started to drive with their permits. The boys knew that as long as they followed our rules, they would continue to have their driving privileges.

Limit night-time driving

Driving at night is more dangerous in general for all drivers. More accidents occur between 6 pm and 6 am for teenage drivers than any other time -more than 50%. Glare from oncoming headlights and low visibility are the main culprits for these accidents as well as young drivers trying to multi-task.

As your young driver gains more experience, have them go out for short nighttime errands. Our son loves a quick DQ run which is literally about a mile away. He gets to drive, and we know that he is not going far. Then gradually, maybe send them a little further away to the another destination that they might be equally excited about like a friend’s house or another fast food joint that they love.

Here are GPS trackers for your loved ones in case of an emergency or a stolen car…

Non-negotiables

There are some non-negotiables. Buckle seatbelts. No multi-tasking while driving. No drinking and driving. Limit the number of passengers based on the graduated license. Here is the link to all state’s licensing programs. Make sure that you, and your teen, know the rules.

Determine consequences for any violations of the above rules. What will your policy be if your teen receives a traffic ticket?

My advice is to be sure that your new teenage driver has some skin in the game. In other words, will they be making some portion of the car payments? Will they pay for the car insurance, or at least a portion of it? I would highly advise this because they will take driving that much more seriously!

Faith and Humor by Hillary Ibarra

Best gifts for a new driver

We just had a bad weather day, and I was thinking about the things that I like to have in my car at all times, and realized that my boys’ cars are maybe not equipped with those same things.  So, I have put together a list of items that you should be sure to put into your teen’s car. Actually, we should all have these things in our cars! Here are some great gifts for a new teenage driver!

Rather than list each thing individually, I found these great kits!

Emergency Road Kits -There are 12 different ones, I will list a couple…

Auto Emergency Distress Kit -includes

many useful items, click the pic below for more info!

Best gifts for a new driver

Car phone mount for dashboard -This makes it all hands off and safe

I also added some fun items as well because you know how fun it is to make a car your own!

Mini fidget pop clip-ons -These are fun for everyone!

 

Fuzzy steering wheel cover -I know a teen girl who loves hers!

Dice gear shift handle -My son got this in his Easter basket. I never would have thought of changing my gear shift handle…

Here are a couple of keychains: lucky penny, personalized leather, St. Christopher, charm ring for driver

And, car charms are fun!

 

And, some car air fresheners – my boys have tried all sorts. They crack me up how many times that they change them out! Here is one choice below…

Other related posts:

Emergency road trip kit

15 Ways to Keep Your Child Safe at College

Sexting and Your Teen: Get the Facts

When You Have An 18 Year Old: Important Information You Need To Know

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Topics

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!❤️

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Best gifts for a new driver

 

 

10+ Great Games to Play with Your Teens

10+ Great Games to Play with Your Teens

The quote below is so true, and I am going to help you out this season to find some really great games to play with your teens!

Life is more fun if you play games (with your teens)!“–Roald Dahl

Many people think that they only have time to play games on vacation or at the holidays. Unfortunately, we fall into that group a lot of the time. But, when we do take the time to actually play a game, it is always so fun!

Have fun with your teens with Game Night!

 

Have fun with your teens on Game Night!

Let’s face it, time with our teens is so precious. We know that the times that they are with us is limited. They leave for college, and are home for vacations less and less. Also, even when they are still living under our roof, they get busier and busier with school and work. Plus, there are real benefits for everyone if you do this!

So, my resolution for time going forward, is that we are going to try to play a game on those weekends when my boys are randomly home from college, or when we are just bored and turn on the t.v. for another binge watching session. I know we will be glad once we have done this!

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Just play. Have fun. Enjoy the game!“–Michael Jordan

Great games to play with your teens!

Here is the list of games to play with your teens that my family and I have put together for you. Some we have played, some have been recommended to us, and some look too great to not mention! *This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

In case you also like puzzles, check out these!

Kids Against MaturityOh my goodness! We just came across this game at a friend’s house -hilarious! You have to know that a lot of the humor is geared towards teens, so farts are a part of this game. It is a game that is perfect to relieve any type of family tension!

Password  -(This is the original version)  I have many great memories of family and friends playing this hilarious game! You can play it so many different ways, and each way is fun!

Pick Your Poison  -a modern day version of “Would you rather?” Super fun for all ages, and the answers just might surprise.

Spending time as a family is not a matter of convenience, it is a matter of priority.“–unknown, but true!! 

Trivial Pursuit -This is an oldie, but a goodie. Always fun to see what your people know-or not! There are so many versions, but the original is always a good choice. Here is the Star Wars version and the Harry Potter version.

Quelf -This game is sooooo much fun! You have to obey the card, and the commands can be super silly. The last time we played this, we laughed so hard. It is a more active game, and great for all ages–I’d say 12 and up.

Some games are fun even when you lose. Even when you know you are going to lose before you start. It’s fun just playing them.“–Nevil Shute

Sequence  -This is such a fun card game! It combines a board with a card game. It involves strategy, and can be played individually or with teams.

Wits and Wagers -Questions, guesses and bets. Great multi-generational game with all sorts of crazy questions and answers. I have only played this once at a friend’s house, but we had a great time!

We didn’t realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun.“–unknown

Spontuneous  -Do your kids quote movies or song lyrics like crazy? Then this is the game for them! Words are given, and then the race is one to blurt out a song with that word in it. You don’t have to sing, so no talent is required! I think that my teens will love this one. Goat Lords  -This sounds like a crazy fun game. The goal is to become the Goat Lord. The way to do this is to have the biggest herd of goats (cards) at the end of the game. There is much magic and dueling involved!

Families that play together, stay together.“–unknown

Catan -This is the game that my boys still look forward to playing when they are all at home! Here is the extension so that more can play!

Taboo -This game will make you laugh so much. Get your teammate to guess the word, but the trick is to not use certain words which makes this challenging. This is fun to play with big family groups or friends. Here is the Midnight version, for older teens and adults. Apples to Apples  -Our boys love this game. We’ve played for hours with their cousins and my sisters. Some very funny red apple cards have been thrown down to describe the green apple card. Their is also a junior version and a Disney version!


I hope you enjoy these games to play with your teens!

Holidays are a great time for good family fun. Let me know if you have any favorites that I didn’t list. I can always add more later! Remember that playing a game with your family is always a good idea!


Related posts:

Toys and Games for Teens with ADHD: 27 Great Finds

Gift Guide for Teen Girls

Gift Guide for Teen Guys

Budget Friendly Ideas for the Holidays 

Movies to Watch with Your Teens for Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles!

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25 Days For a Teenage Christmas

25 Days For a Teenage Christmas

The holidays will be upon us before we know it.

Here are 25 days for a teenage Christmas that you can incorporate into your schedule to make things easier on you in the long run. The list includes activities, but also ways to be prepared for later in the month so that you can enjoy it as much as everyone else.

One of the things that I am trying to do is to be more intentional with my time. By asking ahead of time what my family likes, I can let go of some of the other things. 

I am going to try a questionnaire this year and see how it goes. There is always the chance that someone won’t think of everything as they are filling it out. We can always be sure to add it in the next year! 

Be sure to check out the book recs at the bottom of this post encouraging us all to slow down.

Make a plan for the month of December.

When are finals for each of your kids? When will they be home? What are your teens’ work schedules? Make a master calendar to keep track of it all. Ask all members of your family what are their top 3 favorite events/traditions that they like to do. Combine all the lists, and let go of any traditions not on there. Re-evaluate each year.

Once your master calendar is set up, ask all participants in your family if they would like to try anything new? It is always fun to try new things. Don’t go crazy adding things. Maybe one new thing a year. Take turns who gets to pick.

I talk more about this on Youtube -Check it out here!

I wrote this post because as our kids have grown, our traditions have changed, not always the “what”, but the “how”… Read on to find out what this means.

*This post may contain affiliate links. My full disclosure policy is here.

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25 days for a teenage Christmas!

•Be sure that you have a wishlist from all your teens to make sure that your shopping is on point.

•Order holiday pajamas to wear on Christmas Eve.

•Go see a holiday parade or living windows evening in your downtown. Check your community’s holiday calendar for any other fun events. 

•Choose a day to bake holiday cookies. Again, ask your teens for their top couple of favorite holiday treats, and don’t even think about baking anything else. There will be plenty more to do! Or try these cute little salt dough ornaments to make as gift, and here are cute holiday cookie cutters.

•Pick a night to watch home movies from when they were little. Holiday home movies are the best! This can be an ongoing activity. 

•Bake bread (we love this cinnamon bread!) for the neighbors. Have your kids walk over with you so that they can see your kids now as older semi-adults. This is fun for everyone. Take them with you to see friends from old neighborhoods to deliver holiday cheer. This can be so fun!

•Schedule a night to work at your local soup kitchen. There is nothing like it to instill gratitude in our teens. Or, create blessing bags to distribute to the homeless. 

•Be sure to make sure you have time planned for gift wrapping. This can be an ongoing activity as well. Set up an extra bedroom with wrapping paper, ribbons, and cards for anyone to take advantage of as needed. This is a life skill!

•Our teens/young adults still love to take hot chocolate and snacks out for a Christmas light tour. Play holiday music, and enjoy the conversation. We have taken the same tour for years. 

•Be sure that your teens have scheduled time to shop for gifts for each other and anyone else that is important in their lives. I usually give them some money for lunch, and they have a great time hanging out together. Here are my gift guide for teen guys and teen gals.

Plan a day out for yourself with friends. Go out for lunch and shopping or a movie.

•Put a few movie nights on your schedule for old holiday favorites. Here is a great list. 

•We always put up our tree at Thanksgiving, but if we are not all there, we wait to decorate until all are present. Put this on your list of “things to do”.

•Our boys always offer to babysit for another family with younger kids so that the parents can have a night out for the holidays. This is fun for our boys and the young couple is always so grateful! (Bonus, the little kids love this night with the “big” boys.)

•Create a holiday playlist with everyone’s favorites.

•Have a cousin sleepover for old-time’s sake. The more the merrier! They could make their own ugly Christmas sweaters! Here are some great ideas!

•Work on a holiday jigsaw puzzle.

•Be sure to take pictures occasionally, even though they might not want you to. Make sure that you are in a few! Here are some holiday crafts that would be fun to do and take pictures of:)

•Spend a night in front of the fireplace with hot chocolate and no cell phones just visiting. Try this fun hot chocolate charcuterie board!

•If you are lucky enough to get snow, build a snowman.

•Donate old towels to the animal shelter, canned goods to the food bank, toys to a local shelter…

•Go ice skating, roller skating, play miniature golf or do some other activity with your family for a fun day.

Interview an older relative about their childhood holiday memories. This is such fun! Continue on with other memories that they might have.

More ways to make sure that your holiday with your teen is great!

Make sure that your teens and young adults get to sleep on this holiday! They have been stressed about school all fall. Whether they have been online learning, away at school, working or some variation, they need time to decompress and relax.

Agree ahead of the visit what you both think is reasonable. This will go a long way toward them being comfortable at home, and wanting to be there!

Create hygge!

There are some great books to check out for creating hygge, which is pronounced Hoo-ga―it’s “a sense of comfort, togetherness, and well-being.”

Calm Christmas and a Happy New Year: A Little Book of Festive Joy -“Kempton gently encourages you to prioritize your holiday hopes and take a slower, more mindful approach to your celebrations.”

The Little Book of Hygge -“Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking, the author, explains. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”

The Little Book of Lykke -“We can deepen our blissfulness and contentment with little adjustments in our behavior,” again according to Wiking.

Other related posts

Budgeting for the holidays -Get started now!

Gift guide for teen guys

Gift guide for teen gals

Advent calendars that your teen will love

Stocking Stuffer Ideas

Games your teen will love

11 Ways to bond over the holiday break

Fun Holiday Ideas on Budget

49+ Holiday Movies to Watch With Your Teen

15+ Best Gift Guides for Teens

Best Year Round Posts for Parenting Teens and Tweens: 50+ Titles

I would love to stay in touch!

Visit my Facebook page, and follow me on Pinterest and YouTube! I look forward to seeing you again!

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25 Days for a Teenage Christmas|www.parentinghighschoolers.com