Five Tips for a Fun Holiday Season with Teenagers 😉
One: Giving Teens Self-Confidence
Over the holiday season, giving your teenage girl the opportunity to have experiences outside of their comfort zone can be part of making your teenage daughter feel more confident. Confidence doesn’t mean they won’t fail. It doesn’t mean they never have self-doubt. It does mean they can have those feelings and rise to the challenge anyway. That takes practice. Taking the time to go Indoor skydiving, kayaking, take a dance class, hiking or volunteering will make them feel valuable while stretching their bodies and minds away from the screen.
When I was a kid, my mother and grandmother encouraged me to take chances because they said that just going for it, no matter how it turns out, makes every experience a win. The more experiences I tried, the more confidence I gained. Even if it didn’t work out. I got used to trying anyway. Seeing it as a game instead of a failure. In second grade I wrote in my Hopes and Dreams journal that when I grew up she wanted to have a Jewelry business. I went to college and then law school. I practiced law as a Trial Attorney for New York City and had three children. I never forgot my dream of owning a jewelry business. I started Shame On Jane Jewelry with the idea of designing pieces that celebrate girls trying new experiences (or: going for it!) and finding self-confidence.
Two: Giving Teens Flexibility
When kids are little they are completely dependent on their families to provide fun. Now, they have schedules, friends, sports, jobs and school. They don’t have unlimited time to participate in every family celebration…and honestly might not want to. Even though it is not our first choice, being flexible on timing such as holiday dinner turning into holiday brunch or even holiday breakfast may stop some really big fights and disappointment.
Our family sits down before the holidays and we set up a schedule. Our kids have Final Exams right after break and they work during the year as ski instructors. They are busy every minute. It is easy to assume that things will be done the same way every year, but the reality is that the only thing we can count on is that every year is different.
Three: Giving Teens Traditions
Teens are old enough to have memories of favorite traditions from their earlier childhoods and know which ones they want to continue and those that they feel too old for. Talk to them about which traditions are the most meaningful to them and at least for now, let go of the rest. They will feel validated and maybe in return they may do a couple of the traditions that are important to you.
In our family we decided to keep the tradition of gift giving on Christmas Eve. We give one gift on Christmas Eve that we don’t want to get lost in the frenzy of Christmas Day. It is usually the one that is meaningful such as a personalized gift or a necklace with a card expressing why they are special. We decided to get rid of the baking and decorating cookies on Christmas eve because the kids are not little anymore and they don’t want to. I can live with that.
Four: Giving Teens their Friends
Holidays are a time for parties and just like the adults, teens want to be around their friends. If you provide a space for them to hang out, make noise and eat than you got your teenager at home and happy. Bonus! You can set limits as to when the family time will be and when the friend time will be so that you don’t feel short changed. Just giving them time to celebrate with friends may make them feel that they have input on how they spend their holiday.
When our teens have their friends over, they have a Secret Santa with a $10-$20 limit. It is a fun way for them to have their own gift exchange. Seeing how hard it is for girls to find meaningful beautiful gifts in the $10-$20 price range and even birthday gifts in the $30 price range, we developed our jewelry line with Friendship bracelets, Adjustable rings and Chokers.
Five: Giving Teens Reasonable Expectations
Teens are old enough to participate in putting on the Holidays. If the expectation is that the parents make the holidays great for them, then there are going to be a ton of unhappy teenagers. If the expectation is that everyone has to do their part to make the holidays fun for each other than everyone takes some responsibility. Not everyone is happy all the time. The holidays take a lot of effort to pull off. The holidays do not have to be a like a Hallmark Commercial. If so, every family would be the same. It is uniquely yours and you and your family can make into whatever you want.