Studies show that once your children become teenagers, their friends become their confidants and their mentors. Therefore it is very important to establish good communication, trust and solid relationship with your children before they become teenagers. That is why I decided to start weekly mother-daughter dates with my tween.
Get To Know Your Tween
I think that I know my daughter pretty well, yet I most certainly didn’t know everything about her interests and passions. That is why I asked her to sit down and write down 10 things that she is most interested in and that bring her joy.
Come Up With Date Ideas SHE Will Enjoy
Once her list was completed, it was time to come up with some creative dates. We both sat down at our kitchen table, grabbed 10 strips of paper, and wrote down 10 things we would like to do together based on the things she enjoys. Once this step was completed we read each date idea to make sure that we didn’t have the same thing written twice and that she liked all the ideas. We folded the papers and put them into a jar.
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Schedule Weekly Dates
We decided that our date night would be every Wednesday. My daughter took some colorful markers and wrote down Mother-Daughter Date Night under Wednesdays for July and August on the family calendar that we have on our fridge.
Planned vs Surprise Date
Only one question remained: should we pick out the strips with our dates at that moment and write down on the calendar where we were going for the next eight weeks, or should we leave the papers in the jar and pick one out on the day of our date? We decided to do both. Kind of. We picked out four pieces of paper and wrote out what we were going to do on every second date. Then, under the remaining Wednesdays we wrote down SURPRISE DATE. For those Wednesdays we will be picking out the strip from the jar on the day of our date.
Some of Our Mother-Daughter Date Ideas
Since my daughter loves reading, drawing, painting, manga, Nintendo videogames, and crafts of all sorts we were able to come up with quiet a few interesting ideas. Here are some of the dates we are both looking forward to going on together:
1. Going to paint pottery at the ceramic shop. (I got a great two-for-one coupon on Groupon for this one)
2. Grabbing a hot chocolate at Starbucks attached to our local bookstore and going in to find our new favourite book, and of course, picking it up for our summer reading.
3. Going to a local coffee shop with wifi and learning more about some of her favourite YouTube channels and Podcasts
4. Taking a cupcake decorating class at our local Michael’s. This also involves making two dozens of cupcakes, which we can do together as well.
5. Going to a local art museum together.
6. Going for ice cream tasting at one of our favourite ice cream shops.
7. Spending an evening at our local library.
8. Taking a drawing class together.
9. Window shopping at our favourite craft store.
10. Going for a walk at our local marina, watching the yachts coming in for the night and chatting.
11. Pastry shop hopping. Going to at least three pastry shops in the area, picking up a treat in each and coming home to share them with other family members.
BONUS: 12. Visiting a used book bookstore.
What About You?
Do you have a tween in your home? What do you do to build trust, to keep open communication and to strengthen the bond with your child? Share your ideas in comments below.