A Surprise Day Treat for Your Teens

Images: J.K. Califf
by Rom Brafman PhD.
Site Director at La Entrada Middle School

If you’re the romantic type you’ve probably planned a surprise date night or day-long event for your loved one.  Maybe you took them to a concert or even whisked them on a romantic getaway.  We take pride in putting thought into planning a fun event for our partners–which is great–but why not apply the same type of creative energy into putting together a surprise day-long event with your teen?  I know, I know, most teens don’t exactly jump up and down at the thought of spending a day with a parent.  But if you plan it the right away and present it the right way it’ll me a memorable experience for both of you and show your teen just how much you adore them.

What would be a fun experience that both of you can share?  Maybe it’s a lunch at a favorite restaurant and a trip to a museum where you can reflect on art?  Or maybe it’s going shopping together and then going to the beach.  To be honest, these suggestions are a little generic because they are not tailor-made to your teen.  But you know your child well enough to make it magical.  Put some thought to it.  Make sure that it’s a surprise.  Tell them that you’re planning a surprise day just for them.  Build it up.  Give them some clues if you’d like, but they should be difficult ones.  If they ask you why you’re doing it, tell them that it’s because they’re so great and you love them.  If they try to opt out, tell them that it’s really important for you to spend quality time with them.  They may not show you how thankful or appreciative they are, but they’ll take it in, and when they grow older they’ll remember it.

Once you go on a couple of these adventures, turn the tables and ask them to plan something to surprise you.  They may not want to, which is fine, but give them the option.  You’ll be teaching them to be creative, to be thoughtful, and to celebrate life.  It’s those moments that mean the most.