When was the last time you got lost in the moment or had a genuine belly laugh? When was the last time you noticed your teen having fun? If you can’t remember, you are not alone. Many parents and teens are so busy in the day-to-day hustle that they don’t make time for fun and often miss spontaneous moments of joy.
For parents, meeting life’s demands – career, family, and parenting – leaves little time for fun. And for teens, the activities that are meant to be fun, like sports and extracurriculars, have become so competitive and demanding that stress often replaces fun.
It’s time for a change.
Having fun is as important to our well-being as sleep and a healthy diet. Having fun reduces stress and promotes balance. It strengthens connections with ourselves and others. Fun serves as a reset for your brain, so having more of it can improve productivity and focus at work and school. Perhaps most importantly, having fun boosts dopamine and endorphins, so it increases happiness!
How to have more fun.
- Discover your type of fun. Fun is different for everyone. Some teens I talk with love going to parties while others have fun watching a movie at home. Some parents may enjoy reading a book for fun while others relish in planning and hosting dinner parties. The way in which you and your teen have fun will likely depend on your energy and mood, but it’s important to identify a few activities that promote a sense of well-being, peace, and joy.
- Be intentional about having fun. Now that you know the health benefits of fun, make a point to make time for it. Ensure that you carve out a few minutes each day or blocks of time each week that are devoted to having fun. Encourage your teen to do the same.
- Find a “Fun Tribe.” Think of the people or a person who inspires you to have fun or someone who is willing to commit to having more fun with you. Include them in your fun time or make a point to engage in conversations with them about new ways you can have fun. Talk with your teen about who she can include in her Fun Tribe.
- Reevaluate social media. All of us spend time on social media. Many of us (especially teens) think it is relaxing and fun, but is it really? Challenge yourself and your teen to consider if scrolling endlessly really sparks joy and peace or if it diminishes energy and triggers self-doubt.
- Download a Year in Focus and print out October’s journal page which is all about having more fun and is perfect to use with your teen!