The Grandparentís Grab Bag of Activities for Teens
These suggestions from several grandparents are surefire hits if you need ideas about entertaining and connecting with your teenage grandchildren:
"FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Engage your grandchildrenís electronic expertise. Let them help you program the VCR or cell phone, find interesting sites on the Internet, scan and clean-up old family photos to make an electronic scrapbook or tackle a new genealogy program.

"FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Make it easy for teens to complete summer reading and homework assignments by setting aside a time each day when youíll be reading or working as well. You may want to read or reread some of the books they are reading and discuss them together.

"FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Make time for one-on-one conversations with no agenda. Sometimes the best conversations with teens occur when everyone else is asleep!

"FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Take teens to places that were significant to you or to their parents growing up. Show old movies or family photos and tell family stories. Some teens may be interested in taping formal interviews to create an oral history.

"FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Arrange summer jobs or volunteer experiences if teens are interested, even for part of the day. They may enjoy helping out at your workplace, at a nearby program for younger children, or on a volunteer project coordinated by your church or service club Ė especially if they can work with you.

"FONT-FAMILY: Verdana; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">Encourage your grandchildren to introduce you to current teen fads and to their own hobbies and interests. Go together to movies, plays, tourist attractions, concerts and festivals that provide opportunities for them to extend your education.

Exercise together. You might get a guest membership at a gym or club, take nightly walks, play golf or tennis, take advantage of a neighborhood basketball court or bowling alley, or enroll in a yoga class.

Teach your grandchild a new sport. Play golf or tennis, or take him or her sailing or horseback riding.

Teach some sophisticated strategy games that you can both enjoy Ė such as bridge, hearts, Go, Risk, chess, poker, etc.

Give your teen the responsibility for shopping, preparing and cleaning up after meals and snacks that are out of sync with your schedule. (Remember, many teens prefer a late-to-bed, late-to-rise schedule.)

Introduce your grandchild to your friends, especially those whose careers or hobbies relate to interests shared by your grandchild.

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