Now here are your Session #3 Assignments --

1. Continue session #1 assignments.

2. Continue session #2 assignments.

3. Use the assertive parenting strategy "When You Want
Something From Your Kid" as needed.

4. Have fun with your teenager at least once a week.

That's right - FUN!   Just do it...
Have fun with my teenager?  Are you kidding?!

No, I am not kidding. This title is not an oxymoron. You can
have fun with your teens and, despite their protests, they can
actually enjoy your company too.

Fun time together can take many different forms. What's
important is that they happen regularly. These experiences
can be as simple as:

·        family nights at home
·        cooking a meal together
·        walks or a bike ride on a beautiful day
·        day trips or family vacations

Teens can be fascinating people when the distractions of
everyday life are removed. Try something really daring and make
all the electronic devices in the house - the TV, VCR, computer
and, yes, even the phone - off limits for a few hours and enjoy
some uninterrupted time with each other. Place a premium on
having dinner together as a family. Sure, schedules are too tight
and scattered with outside commitments like athletic practices,
work and school obligations, and community responsibilities.
However, dinners together at least several times a week can do
a lot to pull families closer and create time for everyone to check
in and catch up with each other.

"How in the world will I ever find an activity that my picky teen
will enjoy doing with us?"

This may not be as hard as it seems. Sit down together and
brainstorm things you can do together. Everyone should throw
a suggestion into the pot and decisions about how and when to
spend family time should be shared. Try rotating who gets to
pick the activity for the week. And don't despair if your teens
turn up their noses on a parental choice. Very often once they're
engaged in the activity they'll unwittingly enjoy themselves. Also,
the more you expose teens to things they might not otherwise
choose on their own, the more you're broadening your child's
experiences. By the same token, parents must be prepared to
accept their teen's suggestions as long as they're within
budgetary realities and acceptable standards.

Here are some tips on what parents
can do:

  • Set aside time on a regular basis for fun with your teen.
    Decide together when this will be and how often.

  • Make sure everyone has input into the choice of activity,
    taking turns with the final choices.

  • Set clear guidelines about budgetary constraints when
    planning outings that require money, and be sure to
    include some free activities too (for example, nights at
    home, roller-blading, walks, etc.)

  • Try to have at least one meal together each week. Make
    sure that this time does not deteriorate into a complaint
    session about your teen.

  • When spending fun time together, avoid topics that set off
    fireworks, like chores, homework and school. Rather, use
    the time as an opportunity to talk about things everyone
    can discuss like the events of the day, personal interests
    or ideas.

  • Check out the local newspapers for ideas on what to do
    together and ask teens to do the same, or have them
    research a particular place they might like to visit.

  • Most of all, have fun and enjoy each other's company.

Dear Parents,

Here are some ideas for family fun on a

1.     Take a walk through your neighborhood.
Say hello to everyone you meet, whether you
know them or not.  

2.     A great source of cheap entertainment
is your public library. At our library, we can check
out family videos and jigsaw puzzles as well as
books. Check out a video the whole family can
enjoy and pop some popcorn.

3.     Have a family picnic in the park. Let the kids
help prepare the food -- make sandwiches, pack
an ice chest, make cookies for dessert.

4.     Take advantage of entertainment the
schools have to offer (e.g., band concerts,
school plays).

5.     Work on a family scrapbook.
6.     Learn a new game.
7.     Go to a movie together.
8.     Put a puzzle together.
9.     Cook an ethnic dinner.
10.     Bake cookies or a cake.
11.     Have a water balloon fight in the backyard.
12.     Have a late evening cookout.
13.     Write letters to friends.
14.     Take a hike through a state park.
15.     Have a bonfire.
16.     Do soap carving.
17.     Go bike riding together.
18.     Make homemade ice cream.
19.     Go swimming.
20.     Visit different parks in town.
21.     Take flowers to a friend.
22.     Have a neighborhood barbeque.
23.     Play basketball.
24.     Go wading in a creek.
25.     Try stargazing.
26.     Go camping.
27.     Go window-shopping.
28.     Try a walk in the rain.
29.     Share feelings.
30.     Play Frisbee.
31.     Plan a vacation.
32.     Make candles.
33.     Visit a museum.
34.     Visit the fire station.
35.     Go fishing.
36.     Visit a relative.
37.     Visit the neighbors.
38.     Bake bread.
39.     Go bowling.
40.     Roast marshmallows.
41.     Take a walk through the woods.
42.     Go and visit grandparents.
43.     Take family pictures.
44.     Play cards.
45.     Make caramel corn.
46.     Visit a college campus.
47.     Plant a tree.
48.     Watch a television show together.
49.     Have a family meeting to discuss whatever.
50.     Sit on the porch in lawn chairs and watch
people and cars go by.

Between busy schedules and fluctuating moods,
it can be hard to remember the last time you just
hung out and had fun with your teen. But
spending some time together doing something
you both enjoy is a great way to stay close to
your teen without being oppressive. Before you
say "
My teen would never hang out with me," try
some of the "cheap" activities listed above.

Don't make excuses about why it can't be done.

Just do it!

Instructional Video #22
Can't see the video? CLICK HERE