Social Activities for Confident Teenagers
As your child reaches their teenage years the activities they tend to enjoy with their friends change. At this age they also start to become more and more interested in the opposite sex and so will be looking out for activities that can be enjoyed by both sexes.
You can help them to prepare for these significant changes by starting them off with various activities long before they reach their teenage years. This helps to give them a head start later on and can only help to add to their confidence. If they are able to gain a good grasp of each activity it will help them to be accepted by their peers and ensure they are not left on the sidelines.
Listed below are eight different activities that teenagers enjoy. Children can gain skills in each one long before they reach their teenage years.
If your child is already a teenager and they are struggling with friendships and confidence then it is never too late. Try helping them to develop some of skills listed below.
Ten Pin Bowling
Ten pin bowling is a great family activity. Children can start from a very young age by using ramps to roll the ball down and bumpers at the side of the lanes to keep the balls in play. One of the biggest changes a child is likely to encounter is if their friends are used to playing with the bumpers up and they are not. Therefore it is worth practising with the bumpers up.
Tip: Many bowling alleys offer cheap rates and a children's club. These often take place on a Saturday morning.
Now I know not too many teenage boys would sit down and watch ice skating on the television, but if there are some attractive girls involved they are more than happy to head down to the local ice rink. The good news is that most children have fairly good natural balance, but it will still help to take younger children a few times to build up their confidence.
Tip: Most rinks offer coaching to younger children to get them started. This is especially useful if you are like me and spend most of the time on your rear!
Swimming is another activity that changes when children reach their teenage years. Leisure pools with flumes and slides become the order of the day. By the time your child is a teenager it will help if they are a competent swimmer and enjoy descending some of the more exciting flumes. It doesn't look cool to stand at the top trying to pluck up the courage to ride!
Tip: Some pools have a waiting list for lessons. Check with your local pool to find if you need to get a child's name down early.
Theme Parks are one of the most popular destinations for teenagers in the school holidays. This is an activity that is often done in a mixed group. Be prepared to try the more adventurous rides with your children in the run up to their teenage years.
Tip: If you feel uncomfortable on large rollercoaster sit towards the front. This is the slowest section of the ride. Conversely sit at the back to increase the thrill!
Looking good on the sports field still does a lot to raise the self esteem of a teenager. Tennis is a sport I can recommend early exposure to as this is another activity that can be enjoyed by a mixed group.
Tip: If your child struggles with some of the more popular sports then get in early on some that children only start to take up as they get older such as badminton and rowing.
One of the best ways to gain points amongst peers is to be in a band. Most of the best players in teenage years have usually had some sort of grounding earlier on. More and more girls are becoming interested in joining bands. Any teenagers who are able to get up and perform in front of others are likely to receive a popularity boost.
Tip: Not everyone can be a great lead guitarist. There is normally a shortage of bass players and this can be a less demanding instrument when starting out.
In this day and age it is rare to find children who are not used to eating out as a family. Areas you can look to improve your child's social skills are the variety of places they are used to eating and the protocol of waiting for a table and paying the bill.
Tip: Teenagers, especially boys, can develop a taste for more adventurous foods. Try checking out restaurants offering different foods to what your children normally eat.
In my teenage years it was rare to see girls playing pool, but the numbers of girls playing pool has steadily increased. Pool is certainly a game where a teenager can gain kudos from their peers if they know how to use a pool cue. It is a technical game, so if you have pool skills or know someone else who has make sure some useful tips are passed on.
Tip: A smaller table at home can give your child the edge.