5 Ways to Bond with Your Teenager Before College

As your teenager prepares to embark on their first year of college, you still have the entire summer ahead of you to spend some quality time together. Take advantage of this time by incorporating these five ideas to create special bonding moments with your teen.

The moment draws near to sending your teen off to her first year of college. It may feel like time has flown by, and memories of your own college experience might still be vivid in your mind. While you may have mixed emotions and questions swirling in your head and heart, this summer marks an important milestone for your family.

It is crucial to take the time to plan how you can have meaningful bonding moments with your teen beforehand, allowing both of you to make the most out of this special summer.

Your teenager is brimming with excitement as they near the end of high school. A world of newfound freedom and long-awaited dreams becoming a reality is just within their reach. While it’s natural for your mind to dwell on the nostalgia of your once little baby, it’s important to meet your teen where they are and be a part of their summer journey.

Striking a balance between respecting their independence and finding opportunities for bonding time will be crucial.

Here are five ways to make it happen:

1. Plan a Vacation


If there was ever a moment to plan a well-deserved vacation, this is it. Your family has successfully navigated the stress of your teen’s high school graduation and the college application process. All of you are in need of a break, and a family vacation presents the perfect opportunity to spend quality time with your teen.

Whether it’s a week-long adventure or a weekend getaway, camping near your home, or a resort far away, the goal is to enjoy meals, relaxation, and engaging activities together. It’s normal for family vacations to include some bickering and moments of tension. Still, if you approach it intending to be present with your teen and have fun truly, you’ll be grateful for the memories created during this special time.

2. Shop and organize for college together


Regardless of how your family prefers to approach things, some shopping and organizing will be necessary before your teen heads off to college. Assisting your teen in this process can be a great bonding experience for both of you. Whether you’re browsing for bed sheets, posters, clothes, or school supplies, it will provide an exciting task and project to collaborate on together.

3. Parent-Child Journal Writing


During this summer, both you and your teen will experience a wide range of emotions. Discussing these feelings can be challenging, especially with your teen’s busy schedule. A helpful approach to express yourselves and create a safe space is by writing down your emotions in a shared journal.

You can choose a journal designed specifically for this purpose or simply present your teen with a blank notebook while explaining the concept. This practice could become a cherished tradition for the two of you, possibly continuing even after your teen goes off to college.

4. Volunteer together


Whether you decide to dedicate a few days this summer to assisting at the local food pantry or plan a more concentrated day of action together, engaging in a shared goal of helping others, unrelated to your personal agendas, can foster a unique form of bonding. Choose a cause that both of you genuinely care about and collaborate on scheduling your volunteer work for the summer. Even if you find yourselves too occupied to have extensive conversations during the actual work, the mutual admiration you hold for each other during this time will undoubtedly strengthen your bond.

5. Schedule a weekly walk, run, or hike together


Whether you establish a new Sunday evening tradition or find a way to fit it into your schedules before work, spending even twenty minutes engaging in an activity together will bring a sense of fulfillment. Not only will you both have an opportunity to de-stress, but you will also improve your overall health. Furthermore, participating in an action-oriented activity where you’re not constantly face-to-face can create a comfortable environment for conversation and quality bonding time.