It’s the irony of family life that at the early stage, the kids long for their parents’ attention and in the later stages, it’s the parents who are yearning for their teenage kids’ time.
Some might say that it’s unavoidable. As soon as the kids become aware that they belong to a different generation from their parents, the concept of misunderstanding becomes a reality and an unavoidable circumstance.
Be it as it may, it is in the acceptance of this reality where the possibility for the interesting and appealing co-existence of the 2 generations begins.
But, the house will not be the perfect venue for such meeting of generations. It has to be in a mutual ground, it will be in a restaurant.
Less Talk More Fun
Have you ever been caught in a situation where a harmless discussion turns into something ugly? Things can get out of hand with too much talking. One may dwell into a subject matter that is sensitive to the other whether unintentionally or worse, jokingly and all hell breaks loose. It could lead into an exchange of hurting words or none at all; the silent treatment.
Eating will give you less time to talk. You won’t be able to do so with food in your mouth.
Show your kids a new aspect about you. You know you weren’t so boring when you were young. Take them to the Hard Rock Café and maybe you’ll learn how to be fun again.
Step Down from Authority
Showing everyone who’s head of the family is important but, one night won’t hurt the ego or the domestic status quo. Pretend you’re King Arthur and sit on a round table where everyone can be as equals.
If they are 18 years old or older, let them order a beer or two. You know they drink beer with their friends. Wouldn’t it be safer if they drink under your care and with you driving them home? Maybe, if you drink with them the whole business about drinking will not be so much of a novelty and they will be drinking less elsewhere.
Freedom of Choice
Forget about your diet for this important family meal and let your kids order what they like.
If you are diabetic, a slice at Cheesecake Factory or Stevi B’s Pizza won’t hurt that much for as long as you are taking medication and following your low sugar diet on the rest of the days. If you have a son who is overweight, now is not the time to call his attention. If you have a daughter who looks bulimic, let her order water if that’s all she likes. Treat the day as a “Cheat Day” as all cheat days are fun.
Let them wear what they like. Let the rock star wear an earring for the day. Try to swallow the nose ring as well. No one will comment on your suspenders if you don’t make a fuss about their fashion statements.
Flash Backs are Good
Old people are more opinionated than the younger generation. And, most of the kids don’t really mind hearing about your heydays for as long as you try not to intrude and comment on theirs.
Munching away and breaking all the rules of proper dining etiquette and middle age diet while talking about your wild crazy teen escapades, skipping the once that are too wild, will make your kids more comfortable about the changes they are going through.
Fun family restaurants may be good while your kids are still kids but when they’re teenagers, the idea of dining with dad in mom is not so appealing. That is the reason why dining at home does not belong to the best teenage dining list.
You need to take them where you would take your friends to eat. We are talking about Applebee’s, Hooters and the likes.
Food is the Common Ground
The truth is that no matter how old you are, or how sick you may be, the food that we all enjoy are the same thing. It may be bad for you at your age but, you can’t deny the power of the steak, the burger and the pizza with a tall glass of ice cold beer.
Eating, enjoying and talking about food are the safest encounters ever. You can never go wrong with food.
Step down from your daddy and mommy thrones for a day and have fun eating with your kids; or should I say, eat irresponsibly with your kids for a day. It’s bad for your diabetes. It’s bad for your wife’s waistline and your overweight son but, this may be the only time your bulimic daughter will sit down and drink her water with you….just kidding, it can’t be that bad.
The point is; it could be the worst domestic authority and dietary disaster but, it’s the best time you and your teenage kids will have together.
Just think of it this way; it’s either your kids are enjoying these things with you or with someone else. Take your pick.