Teens, Tweens, and Everything Between by Coach Rio Hawkins

Categories: Blog

Teens, Tweens, and Everything Between.

As my one and only teen moves into adulthood, I find myself happy and sad at the same time. That little girl I dressed so cute in all pink, who loved babydolls is gone. I miss the flower socks, tap shoes, the beads I put at the ends of her hair. Those beads drove me up a wall after an hour of her shaking her hair lol. I miss all the first moments we created together. 

What I don’t miss is the cell phone she has attached to her hand ALL day long. The “I can’t find it” moments we shared daily. She is the only person that can tell me “you look fat in that”, and still get a hot meal at dinner time. Some days I wanna buy her a set of suitcases and kick her out. On the other days, I wanna lock her away in the basement for safekeeping. 

Becoming a mom was the highlight of my life. But being a parent has some rough challenges. See I stay up late, eat chips at night and play videogames. All the things you tell your kids not to do to be successful. With her leaving the nest soon, I’ve been extra hard on her to be more independent. As parents we all know we gotta let go and let them grow, although it’s super hard.  You hope your late night talks and family values put a mark on your children. You want them to be great people, and spread positivity into the world. 

Always be a safe place for your child to unload, to ask questions, or to cry. The world is changing and things are happening with social media that can flip your child’s thinking or vulnerability. Be active in their life and social media life, because they are very different.  

Below I have listed some things to do with your teen to build a lasting bond.  The list was compiled by Amy Morin, LCSW

  1. Sit down and talk about your teen’s day.
  2. Volunteer together.
  3. Make dinner together.
  4. Solve a problem together. It could involve a household issue, like how to keep clutter from collecting on the table, or bigger problems of the world, like poverty.
  5. Attend a music festival.
  6. Talk about the future. Identify your teen’s future goals and discuss what the world might be like 20, 30, or even 50 years down the road.
  7. Read the same book and talk about it.
  8. Plan a weekend trip.
  9. Go hiking.
  10. Watch a play.
  11. Develop a new healthy habit together, like exercising or writing in a gratitude journal.
  12. Attend a concert.
  13. Explore foods from other cultures by attending restaurants that serve food you’ve never tried or by cooking foods from other parts of the world.
  14. Plan a family vacation together.
  15. Work on a monthly menu plan together.
  16. Participate in a monthly challenge, such as walking for 30 days or saving spare change for one month.
  17. Take a walking tour of historic neighborhoods.
  18. Go to the ballet.
  19. Take a class together, like a photography class or a graphic design class offered in the community.
  20. Attend a community event.
  21. Build or add to a family website or social media site together.
  22. Research your family tree.
  23. Visit your library.
  24. Do a puzzle and frame it.
  25. Plant a garden in the backyard or a potted indoor garden.


Submitted by Coach Rio Hawkins, Regional Manager for the East & West


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