What parent of teenagers hasn’t frequently heard the “I’m so bored” routine? It doesn’t have to be a rainy Sunday afternoon, boredom in teens seems to strike out of the blue and wise parents have strategies in place to deal with such eventualities.
Moody teens are notoriously difficult to please and most parents admit to a degree of frustration with finding things to engage and amuse them. Anything a parent suggests is by definition uncool, so you have to be clever about how you present activities to keep them occupied.
With teens we want to keep them close at hand, to know what they are up to and where they are, and we want them to be happy – it’s a tough job but many parents find that going down the creative path reaps rewards. Most teens have a strong sense of self and give freely of their opinions (even when not wanted!) So encouraging them to dig in to creative crafting projects usually meets with a positive response.
At first they may be suspicious of your agenda, but when you subtly point out the numerous cool possibilities that arts and crafts open up, they will warm to the idea. Appeal to the self-centred part of your teen by pointing out how many craft projects can be used to decorate their bedroom, worn on their body or eaten – all areas in which most young people are acutely interested. The next time your teen makes the “I’m bored” announcement, here are some ideas to head that catatonic state off at the pass…
Customising is cool
What teen isn’t permanently attached to their mobile phone or laptop? Customising cases for such gadgets is a surefire way of getting teens interested. Expressing themselves creatively by changing the look of their electronic accessories is something many teens enjoy. Making a statement with some glued on sequins or crystals, some Sharpie art, paint effects or other decorative techniques is an edgy way of being artistic whilst staying cool.
Customising stuff is something all teens buy into and it works particularly well for clothes. Plain T shirts can be transformed with tie dye or digital printing techniques, turned into eye-catching street wear. Canvas baseball boots can be beefed up easily by stitching beads or fitting metallic studs to the sides – lifting dull sneakers to another level. Sandals, flip flops and baseball caps can be decorated and adorned with beading, braid,ribbons and silk flowers to change them from plain to pretty.
Card making capers
Sitting your teen down for a spot of card making may seem like a long shot, but if you make it relevant to them, they will play ball. Order in a wide range of interesting and varied card making supplies so that the creative boundaries are far reaching. Invitations for a slumber party, birthday cards, Valentines greetings, Christmas cards – all these are areas in which teens can be engaged. Card making is a rewarding and enjoyable craft for teens because it requires dexterity, imagination and creativity in equal measure. There is a wide choice of card making supplies online, enough to satisfy the fussiest teen, and many of the tools and techniques available help to produce very professional looking results.
Some teens love to spend time in the kitchen experimenting with recipes. Cooking is therapeutic and an activity in which we can become completely immersed. If you are looking for edible craft ideas, point your young chef in the direction of gift boxed cup cakes, prettily dressed jars of jam or chutney, candy and fudge in crisp cellophane tied with a jaunty ribbon or cookies in a glass painted jar. For gaining confidence in the kitchen, craft cooking is an enjoyable way of finding your way around the pots, pans and utensils.
Decorate a bedroom with candle holders made from soup tins, mobiles from coat hangers, paper mache fruit bowls, hand made rag rugs, stamped/printed duvet covers, decoupaged furniture or feather decorated lampshades. A bedroom that reflects the style and personality of the occupant is something most teenagers aim for, so let them go wild and focus on some crafty décor.
Tapping in to the creativity of your teen and letting them explore without limits, is a brilliant way of keeping them entertained. No longer will you hear “I’m bored” ringing out. Instead it will be an excited “ Hey, look at this fab thing I’ve made!”