So, I’m a teenager, and yes, I like to coop up in my room. Probably more than I should… BUT I do enjoy spending time with my family. I really have been blessed with my parents, because we get along pretty well. I don’t have any siblings (though I always wanted a little sister), so it’s just the 3 of us. And every night, we have dinner together and spend time together. Okay this is the first thing I’d like to address. I understand that eating dinner together every night isn’t always possible with work, school and other things, but I often see families that don’t even TRY to have dinner together. I was talking to my friend once, and he was literally shocked that my family spent time together every night. So I started to think about it, and about half of my friends’ families don’t eat together except about once a week. They say that school and work get in the way. I’m just saying, you can take 20 minutes from your homework to eat with your family.
Okay, second, is taking the “spending time with your family” just a bit further. I’m not really sure if this is an issue with most families out there, but I’m assuming it is…. T.V…. On any given week day in my house, once we have all finished eating, we all migrate into the living room to watch TV. I never really thought about it, but we watch quite a lot of TV. Call it 3 hours a night. 15 hours a week (only weekdays) That’s 60 hours a month. That’s a lot of time just sitting and staring at a screen. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my shows, and I love just laying back and relaxing. But, I just feel that there should be more things to do. I mean just thinking to myself, ” Wow I spent 720 hours last year watching T.V.” makes me feel horrible!
But the challenge is, trying to find something else to do. A teenage girl and her parents probably won’t have the same interests. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, so here are some ideas. Not that you have to cut T.V. out of your life completely, but maybe just try one of these things once a week. The Big Bang Theory can wait.
1. Learn to do something new, together- I thought of this today while I was playing my keyboard. Learning a new hobby with your family cold actually be quite fun! For example I’ve always wanted to play the guitar, and I think my dad has too. You could learn to play an instrument, try learning a language, or just a new skill that might come in handy one day.
2. Listen to an audio book- Picking the audio book might be a challenge, being that you might have different tastes in novels, but I’m sure you’ll find something. Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, Mortal Instruments, Lord of the Rings, the list goes on. Just plug it into a stereo and listen to it together. If you can’t seem to just sit, grab a pen and paper and doddle while you listen.
3. Play a video game- Yes, you’re still technically using your T.V., but at least you will be talking and doing something, rather than nothing. Some great one’s are Modern Warfare 3 and Portal 2 (both have multi-player options) or you could always just go for a racing game or guitar hero.
4. Play an actual game– I know playing board games with you family isn’t the most thrilling night ever, but it can be a lot of fun, if you play the right game. Rather than just monopoly, go with games that are more… creative. 20 questions, charades, pictionary, 2 truths one lie, or even an improv game; all of those cheesy games you play with your friends.
5. Go outside- whether it’s on a bike ride, or a walk, getting outside will really do wonders.
At home kareoke, make ice cream, go geochaching, or even just sit and talk! The list goes on! If you’re in high school and reading this, you’re going to be out of the house within years. If you’re a parent with children reading this, they will eventually grow up and won’t be home as often. Enjoy your time together. Don’t spend all of your time together in silence staring at a screen.