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Family Sports: From the Teen’s View

by Jacob P. | April 18th, 2012 | Teen Perspective, Teens

On a nice day, like today, there is nothing like spending your day outside in the sun.  Nobody wants to spend their time inside watching TV.  Many families like to spend their time outside playing games together.  In fact, I just finished playing whiffle ball with my cousin, sister, and dad (I won).  Games like these can be fun, but they aren’t always.

Playing games as a family is great for families with young kids, such as grade- and middle school.  Sadly, it works out less and less as kids get older.  Often, kids would rather be with friends as they get older, rather than their family.  At the same time, there is something nice about getting together as a family and playing a game, such as whiffle ball.  There is a different type of fun to it and you  get to bond as a family much better than you bond doing other things such as watching TV.  Seeing as it is harder, but not impossible to play games as a family, here are some tips to make it easier.

  • Pick a game that everyone enjoys.  My dad, cousin, and I all enjoy football.  But we didn’t play it.  Why? Because we would have been excluding my sister.  In order to make sure the kids (especially teens) will want to do this again, you should pay a game everyone likes.
  • Don’t try to do this too often.  Although this may sound dumb, teens will burn out on it.  If you try to have a family game more than once a week, teens will begin to lose interest.  Rather, once a week or less is the right number, with once every two weeks or less being optimal. (This doesn’t include when the kids initiate it.)
  • Don’t be a jerk.  This doesn’t really apply to teens, it is more pertinent to kids.  If you try to push kids around or abuse the fact that you are older and more athletic they will not have fun.  I know it is common sense, but I had to say it.
  • Sometimes, being a jerk is fun.  You’re confused now? Good, it was my intent.  When you are playing a game with competitive equals (teenage boys), go full speed.  We (teen boys) will go full speed right back at you.  Last fall, while playing two-hand touch football, I tackled my dad.  And you know what? He didn’t mind, he just played rough back.

Playing a family game outside is fun, but it can be tough.  Hopefully, these rules can help.

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