Are We Having Fun Yet?

No, I’m not being facetious!  I meant that seriously – when’s the last time you and your teen had any fun together? 

If you have Rock Band or Guitar Hero in your house and you’ve never played, you’re missing a wonderful opportunity.  Sit down next to your teen and prepare for a humbling experience.  You’ll be lucky to get 3 regular stars on Easy while she crows about her 5 gold stars on Expert.  But it won’t matter in the least, because she’ll be laughing at your fumbling attempts (I always forget to “strum”) and you’ll both be enjoying the music.

Happy memories are made during good times together.  Don’t have (or approve of) video games?  Try board games like Apples to Apples or Taboo (don’t worry; it’s a word game).  Want something a little more intellectual?  Sit down in front of the TV together when Cash Cab or Jeopardy are on. 

Or have some spontaneous fun.  I went on a 4-hour road trip with a fellow teacher who was an expert at this.  He covered up the odometer at random times and said, “Guess how far we’ve gone.”  At our lunch stop, he put his hand over the bill and said, “Guess the total, within five dollars.”  It was a blast every time!

Just not a game person?  Go to a movie together.  My husband has seen Avatar twice with our sons – the second time in 3-D, and he can barely focus with his bifocals behind those attractive glasses.  Surprise your teen by making an unplanned stop at Starbucks, or by going out and eating ice cream for dinner.

My point is, there are going to be a lot of stressful times with your teen.  Balance those by just enjoying one another and laughing together.  But be smart about timing!  You can’t force fun, and it’s a well-known fact that you especially can’t force fun from a reluctant teenager!  I had success with letting everybody know “I’d really like this Friday to be a game night.”  We’d play games for a couple of hours, then separate to do our own things.  That way, it didn’t take up their whole evening, and we’d quit before we got bored.

Playing Guitar Hero is lots more fun than playing Candyland – take it from me.  Go give it your best shot!


  1. OH you are SO RIGHT! We don’t have fun nearly enough. I think i must be making faces, (i’m really facially expressive) a lot because alex is always asking me “are you ok, mom?” or “Are you tired, mom?” 🙂 But i’ve found when i actually make the time in BOTH of our schedules (high school homeschool doesn’t leave a lot of extra time!) it is SO worth it, and it makes much of the time to follow more pleasant and improves our relationship so much.

  2. Ummm… Candyland is awesome. The retro version though, not the new version. I’m also super jealous about missing out on Avatar by the way (I still haven’t seen it). I think when you guys come down for Man of La Mancha, we all need to go to Francine’s and play The Beatles’ Rock Band, because then Dad can sing!!! You know he would! Plus we could all harmonize! I remember you and Dad used to play Donkey Kong and Mario Kart with us all the time, wiping your sweaty palms on your pants between every level. I should make Dad play Mine Kart Karnage again someday…

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