My Daughter Is 16 and We Are Older Parents, 55 & 62. What Fun Things Can We Do

Updated on March 20, 2018
R.B. asks from Helotes, TX
14 answers

What do parents do with their 16 year teens (girl). I'm stuck. The first 15 years were easy but now that my daughter drives it seems like she doesnt want to hang out with us anymore :(. I don't even know what to plan since we are older parents 55&62 we don't much like the outdoor active stuff as much due to our age eventhough I still run but my hubby does NO exercise

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answers from Philadelphia on

My girls are 15 and 19. They still like to go to dinner with us and go to any kind of live entertainment (concerts, musicals, plays).

There is a new place called “escape room” we all want to go to when my daughter moves home from college.

We also frequently get together with the parents of my daughter’s friends. It is not uncommon for us all to hang out. One friend has a shuffle board game and another has a pool table that everyone plays.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from Dallas on

When our daughter was that age.. she was very involved in school and cheer.

At home... we tried to have something stable at all times which meant spending time together just watching tv or doing things together.

She had a heavy schedule and lots of friends so I had the house with all the good homemade food so everyone wanted to hang out here.

We made parental friends with many of her friends and their parents.

Our last vacation together was at Miami Beach for spring break. Little did we know it would be the last with my husband. He died in 2015.

We treasure those days spent together just being together and no "plan"

We were active together... walking, golf, her cheer and more.

Get active.. move around, enjoy her.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

Teenagers don't want to hang out with mom and dad much. It's normal for them to prefer to spend what free time they have with friends. When mine were that age, I found that if I wanted to spend time with them, it had to be on their terms, doing what they wanted to do. But I was also realistic that they preferred to spend their time with friends. We still had family dinners but their free time was theirs. It gave me more time to spend with my husband, which was nice. We are now enjoying being empty nesters as our youngest is a college freshman.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

We are older parents as well, but I'm not sure that her not wanting to do things with you is a function of your age. I think it's a function of HER age! I think most teens are preparing (emotionally if not financially or academically) to be on their own in a few years. So becoming independent is a normal evolution. If she has a car (or at least access to yours), she has even more freedom.

What we did was make our home a relatively cool place to hang out. We always had snacks and "real food" available, we had a TV & pingpong set-up in the basement along with a small fridge, and I developed some teen-friendly recipes like sweet & sour meatballs and quesadillas that I could whip up quickly. I would give the kids their space, but I stopped in periodically with food or to pick up empties as a way of giving the place a quick once-over o be sure there was no booze or other illicit substances going on.

The other thing we did was allow our son to bring a friend on vacation - usually we rented a house near the shore, so it wasn't really any extra expense. The kids did their own thing at the beach or we dropped them off for mini-golf, but other times we did things together (golf, bumper cars, going out for dinner or ice cream, etc.).

We also always kept at least one museum membership at the science museum or a local environmental museum, and would go as a family or with one extra kid. We also got passes from the library for museums and other attractions we didn't visit that often. We'd let the kids go off by themselves for part of it but would rendezvous at certain exhibits and to plan our next step.

We also were regular attendees at his events (track meets, awards dinners, etc.) but made sure we weren't the embarrassing parents who yelled out coaching instructions from the stands! We made friends with other parents and, even though we didn't socialize otherwise, we enjoyed seeing each other at subsequent events. That also gave us a good sense of the kids he was hanging out with and what sort of parents were supervising (or not) the groups of kids at parties.

Mostly, although we missed all those fun times together with just us, we learned to accept he natural separation that starts to occur around this age, and used those times to make sure our son "experimented" with his freedom in sensible and safe ways, with us providing necessary (if surreptitious) checks on his wellbeing and safety. Today, he's 28 and very close to us, wanting us to meet his friends and come visit him and so on.

I think the most important thing you can do is not see this as a reflection on you (or your age) but rather her stage of development, and therefore not something to guilt-trip her about. Yes, it's sad, but it's also natural.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

It's normal for her to spend more time now with her friends and doing her own activities. You can still do family things together, like cooking/baking or going out to dinner, go to the movies, have the occasional spa day, go bowling, shopping, volunteer together, travel, work on DIY/craft projects, etc.
You and your husband can also enjoy this time doing things YOU like to do together, now that she needs less hands on attention and supervision :-)

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Movies are always nice - although there's only one or two a year we are interested in seeing.
Our son is 19 and we've never yet got bored with each others company.
We still do museums, aquariums, zoos as well as Renaissance festivals, the Pungo Strawberry Festival, Norfolk Botanical Gardens events, etc.

On vacation to visit my mom in western NY we've seen Niagara Falls, Toronto Science Museum, African Lion Safari, the locks museum in Lockport NY, a kazoo factory, a merry go round museum, Fort Erie, Fort Niagara and Fort George (Canada), etc.

She's not a different person - and she does have a social life of her own - but you should still have plenty that you enjoy doing together.
She needs to balance friends vs family.
In college she'll see you a few times during the year - she doesn't have to run off in the car at every opportunity - and you can always limit the cars use if it gets obsessive.

Many 16 yr olds don't have their own vehicle.
Your daughter might have got one a little too early.
Teens often need more supervision - not less.
Their judgment isn't always well developed and kids can get in with a bad crowd, and play around with sex/drugs/alcohol.
I know you think "My kids a good kid - would never get into any trouble".
Even good kids can make bad decisions sometimes.

Whether she's with you or not - do you own things to have fun.
It's good practice for when she does leave for college.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Honolulu on

I agree that it's not you or your ages, it's normal 16 year old stuff.

However, that doesn't need to mean that your daughter gets to avoid all family activities. For example, your or your husband's birthday - your daughter should attend the party or go out to dinner or whatever you've planned.

And you can try and think about what interests your daughter. Does she like to cook? Put together a personal cookbook of family favorites, or heritage recipes like your mother's famous jam or something your husband remembers his family eating and enjoying. You can make a photo scrapbook (digital) online of favorite recipes.

Or, if she loves sports, plan a special day at the major league ball game, or a college game. Let her know in advance and keep it on everyone's calendars.

If she is involved in a team sport or club at school (theater, cheerleading, dance, etc), make her a gift of a photo collage (easy to do and print at Costco, Shutterfly, etc) of her and her teammates or club members.

From this point on it will be fewer frequent activities, different from when she was 13 and you all went for pizza every Thursday or played board games on weekend nights. Just make some special memories that aren't too suffocating on her schedule.

And make your home inviting for her and her friends. Don't hover, don't ask to be included if they're all watching a movie, don't try to be "one of the girls". But serve great food (not just a bucket of cheese balls and sodas), be pleasant, be aware (making sure they're not sending selfies from the bedroom, or accessing questionable websites), and enjoy her!

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

When my daughter was that age, she was involved with her friends and their activities. We rarely did anything recreational together. My granddaughter moved in with me at 15. She's now 17. We were close and spent alot of time together when she was younger. We rarely spend recreational time together. She does participate in family things such as holidays and birthdays.

The teen years are a time for teens to begin to separate from parents as they gain new interests and approach adulthood. They love us as they venture out on their own. I was disappointed when my granddaughter preferred to not spend time with me. We still have the day to day living together time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from Santa Fe on

I think it's normal for some 16 year olds to have no interest in hanging out with their parents and it doesn't have anything to do with your age. My niece who started college this year was like this. Her sister is not it's a personality thing. What does she like to do? Have her invite over her peers to your house. Make them delicious food. Let her hang with her friends. Does she like music? Take her and one friend to a concert. Insist on family dinners together each night. If she likes a certain show or movie or whatever her interest attention to that, have her show you, watch it together, be positive about it. My son is 14 and although I hate video games I have him teach me to play them with him. He loves this. He loves memes and music and I show interest and have him share them with me. I encourage him to invite his friends here and I always make brownies or something. I stay out of their way, but I listen and get to know his friends. Good luck. Some kid are just like this.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Las Vegas on

I agree with the others about it not being about YOUR age. It's pretty normal for 16 yr olds to start unfolding their wings and getting ready for the launch. So, it sounds like she's pretty healthy in that respect and not going to be one of those dependent kids that wants to be coddled for another 15 years.
The one thing different is that she already has a drivers license at 16, it seems you dont see that much these days. You are probably experiencing separation anxiety, lol.
I remember at 16 NEVER wanting to do anything with my parents except for when my mom wanted to take me to the mall to buy me new clothes.
The best thing you can do is always have a stable home for her, a few boundaries to keep her in check, communicate as much as you can and always insist on knowing who her friends are and have their phone numbers.
If she's showing interest in any of the arts, try to get her in classes-- music, sports, etc. If you are able to offer her things to try, you are doing your parenting job.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

What about going for walks? Around your neighborhood? Parks? Just for exercise together. Also, you could do flat hikes that are nearby. Look for flat trails. Some are paved in some areas. Always take your cell phone with you in case you fall and need assistance. You could go to dinner together and/or see movies together. Just know that at her age, it's common to want some space/freedom from your parents and to hang out with friends her age.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

In the same way that you probably do not hand out fistfuls of cash to strangers, you do not have to simply support her in ignoring you. You are probably paying some costs related to her car, some costs related to her activities with friends. You can "gently" enforce a balance - insist on one "family dinner night" each week, something like that. If she goes off to college / living alone in a few years you will really see her only rarely. Keep trying to catch time with her now while she is around!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

We are older parents of teens as well. Our kids are very busy and have activities most nights of the week. We do spend a lot of time driving them to activities (they aren't driving yet) and watching their performances and such. We also volunteer for many of the activities they are involved in, so we get to meet the other kids they are involved with. We spend family time together one night a week (the one night we all have off) where we enjoy a nice family dinner and a movie (either at home or out). We also attend live theatre and symphony performances a couple of times a year. Otherwise family time is on vacations. We do road trips that involve sight seeing, museums, amusement parks, zoos, auariums etc. and camping trips that involve hiking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and hanging out at the beach. How about stuff like mini golf or bowling? Escape room? Archery? Skating/roller skating? Mom and daughter spa day? Shopping? What are her interests? What are your interests?

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

We are grandparents raising grandchildren. We have to work hard to find things that appeal to our 14 year old girl. She doesn't want to do stuff much at all. We will pop some popcorn and watch a movie sometimes. I take her to Claire's and she can get a couple of pairs of earrings or a necklace or something. It's girl time. Sometimes we play card games or board games and she is really in to playing a few games on a playstation...I'm not sure that's the right brand but a friend got one for their family for Christmas and she was going over there and playing it with them. So we got one for our house and it's a lot of fun to watch her play. I haven't played it myself yet, I've just watched her and cheered her on while she's played.

Overall I'd ask your girl what she'd like to do.

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