Teen activities for Single Mom and 15 year old son. - FamilyEducation
Teen activities for Single Mom and 15 year old son.
05/14/2007 at 06:56 AM


finding activies to do with childre can be very difficult especially when they're teens.

Teens sometimes don't talk too much and therefore its hard to know what the like.

My son doesn't give suggestions for family activities ans when asked he doesn't have much to say.

What activites would you suggest for a single mom and her 15 year old son do on weekends or during Summer break?


Hi Nanny,


Does your son have anything he is really interested in?  Movies can be a great way to spend time together and do something you would both enjoy---also, I rent or DVR old movies and watch those with my daughter, who is almost 15.  I get to expose her to great old movies and we get to discuss it together.  Also, my daughter enjoys when we go shopping together, even if it is just window shopping---I know that can be a sort of girl activity but maybe if you took your son to a sporting event of some sort---my daughter loves going to our minor league baseball games.


Anyone else have any ideas?






I should of said what we do, do together.  We borrow movies from the library to watch, and watch sports on tv, but often he doesn't like to much conversation.  

We go shopping for things he needs like video games but then he wants to leave right away.

I suggested that we exercise together ( he riding his bike, me jogging) but he thinks its embarassing. 

He likes to spend time with other family members and and has great conversations and laughs with them but not with me.  I feel left out.


“It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” - The Golden Girls


Hi Nanny


I can understand feeling left out but I think it is very common for teenagers to distance themselves from their parents.  They are just trying to find themselves at this point.  I would continue to offer to do things with him and take the moments that you are able to share and enjoy them.  Don't get your feelings hurt, although I know that can be hard.  Just give him a little space while still showing him how much you love and care for him.  He will come back around when he is out of this stage.  My husband probably wouldn't have done much with his mother at 15 but just this past weekend we spent lots of time with her for mother's day and they both loved every minute of it.






 Ask questions which are openended and dont make him think too much. AND the # 1 rule dont ask too many questions and hound them too make a decision RIGHT NOW.  This will only irritate him and make him not want to do anything with  you! I also suggest to bring yourself to his level of thinking. I guess im saying, you have to be one of the guys in order for your son to try and want to relate and feel comfortaable interacting with you, and it's  wise to involve some of his close friends.  types of activities such as; flyfishing, skateboarding, golfing, playing catch with a football, attending a moster truck show and/or a pro baseball games. You have to put yourself out there to ensure them they can feel comfortable with hanging out with you and this may take sometime. you also may want to offer to take him and his buddies on an outting to watch look and listen to things they may talk about and do while they hang out to get a better idea of how to figure out what kind of activities you can do with your son.


Hi Yvonne


Welcome to the boards.  Great ideas, thanks for sharing please continue to post, we are happy to have you with us!






These are great ideas.  I read somewhere that teens love risky activities so if a parent can find something safe but a little on the edge teens love it.  As a single mom I have trouble finding inexpensive activities.  My son also is not a big sportsfan but he does love skateboarding.  It is hard to watch (at 16 he won't wear a helmet anymore) but I do support, brag and encourage him even if he doesn't complete a jump.  Are there any other suggestion for safe but risky activities?  This times together are becoming less and I would love to entice him to try something new with me of course.

Thanks delemy


Thank you for all your advice & support. 

There have many been many great  suggestions given.  

I'm looking forward to a great summer break.

I've decided to plan at least one outing each weekend, with the flexibility to add more as our interests in other things increases.



“It's not easy being a mother. If it were easy, fathers would do it.” - The Golden Girls


Great Nanny


Keep us posted on what works and what doesn't--continue to share ideas!






Hi Nanny,

14 to 17 is definitely a tough time for boys, but hang in there it will get better. Just keep the lines of communication open and you will see how things will change for you both in the coming years, be patient.

It's nice to be able to sit together and watch movies and boys don't always have much to say to their mums at this age,  just chat about everyday things and don't push him to open up too much because that is more likely to get him to stop talking altogether.

I can understand how he would be embarrassed to go jogging with you, it's not very cool really, but how about if you drive away from home and go for a walk in the woods or somewhere nice if that's an option for you.

Look at the bright side, he is not locking himself away in his room or shouting and fighting with you, he is just a little quiet, it'll pass.



Mum of 3 www.mumspage.com


I have a 19-year old son and a 14-year-old son. It became obvious with the first that if I didn't keep him busy he was going to do things he shouldn't.

These are the things we do frequently that they both love. Now the 19-year old does these on his own with his friends or takes his little brother with him. Sometimes we take friends along:

  1. mountainbiking (of course, you have to have trails near you. I took a woman's mountainbiking workshop first so I would know what I was doing and not kill myself.) We do this several times a week, and it keeps me in shape as well. Sometimes my son will enter a race as well....not me.
  2. hiking (about twice a month)
  3. rock climbing (the indoor gym kept them busy for hours, then my older son got a job there and even entered competitions, but it eventually closed in our town)
  4. skateboarding (him, not me)
  5. kayaking (both at the lake and on rivers and at the beach) My husband's favorite. He or I take the boys frequently.
  6. camping (even just in the field behind our house. I think they like the campfire the best of all) At least once or twice a summer
  7. movie theater (once a week)
  8. scuba lessons and diving (expensive since we have to leave the area to dive)
  9. snorkeling in the lake
  10.  music lessons (without me, but I paid for them)
  11. take my son and a friend to a local restaurant

If it sounds like the boy scouts I guess it is our version of it, since the local chapter was very "lame" as the kids say.

Here are things we've done infrequently, but they also enjoyed:

  1. volunteer to teach a craft at the local homeless shelter
  2. volunteer to "man" a check in point for a 24-hour endurance race. We had a blast and had to camp up high on a mountaintop. 
  3. safari zoo (one hour away)
  4. visit big cities (ours is a small city)
  5. go to music concerts (their music or our music, any music)
  6. volunteer with the local trail building crews or the local river clean up crew (we do it with other moms and their sons)

If the first list sounds expensive (buying bikes and kayaks) consider that we don't join the local gym and the boys are too busy having fun to hang out at the mall spending money. When you buy a bike, buy one that will fit him as an adult, and its an investment that will last for several decades. Our family loves to kayak. One big purchase and we have many hours of family fun. I would say family fun is worth it and helps them establish healthy activities for the future. We have family friends who kept saying they would never buy mountain bikes because they were too expensive. Well, one day the dad broke down and bought the family bikes and they absolutely love it. Mountainbiking makes adults feel like kids again. When I ride with the mom from that family we scream "weeeeee" a lot, much to the chagrin of our sons. Its very addictive.

Also, when I checked out our county's parks and rec there is nothing interesting for my boys to do. BUT, when I checked the neighboring county, theirs was a lot more interesting. They are very reasonably priced and the minimum age is 12. For example, my son can go on an all day rock climbing trip for $30!  He can go on an overnight kayaking trip for about $50. Much cheaper than sending him to camp (which I've also done, but gone into debt for).


Wow!! I thought I was the only single mom with a 15 year old son who all of a sudden shut me out, but he sounds so normal and I love the ideas posted. Will try to get him mingling with me again . Feel so much better.

I did not sleep last night. I feel so distant from my 15 year old son. I want to help him, so I reach out to talk to him and he just withdraws. He seems depressed, withdrawn, moody.... I think the adjustment to high school is difficult for him. I feel he has done some things that he normally would not do because of the peer pressure.... We were able to talk about that and I hope he continues to make the right decisions and learn from the bad choices. I know he wants to spend time with me, but being a single mom, I am ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS working! I googled activities for moms with 15 year old sons and I found this site! I went from spending my morning with unwilling tears running down my face to smiling. I HAVE HOPE!!! It seems most on this site know my son and know the way I feel!!! Thank you, Debbie

I look forward to growing with my son ~ something we have done for so long, until 14 and now.......I never knew it would be like this. Had I known, I would have studied and been prepared for it years before! I will visit here daily, the advise here is priceless and I want you to know HOW GREATFUL I am for the opportunity to hear your advice. Again, Thank you,Debbie

My 14 year old son plays League of Legends when he gets home from school.That's all he does. He is a straight A student, runs every day in school or at home, I make him do Boyscouts and go to church with us, and eat dinner with his older brother and I each night. He went in his cave about a year ago. I use open ended questions, which he responds to, but if I try to micro manage him to do other stuff, he REALLY withdraws and hates me, so I've learned to back off, just love him, remind him occasionally that when he gets married, he can't go in his cave 8 hrs a day or his wife will hate him, without getting preachy. I tell him husbands when they come home from work ideally need about an hour of cave-time to recharge, then they are supposed to engage with their families. Occasionally, we do what I laughingly call an FFO, Forced Family Outing(movie, dinner in the mountains, out to dinner with Grandpa). I believe he'll come out of his cave when he's ready. I have faith.

HOLY CRAP!!! I thought I was the only mom feeling this way. Thank GOD for you ladies! I have cried soooo many tears about this very subject. Its like my son was this person at 14 and when 15 hit he was an entierly different person. This has been soooo hard on me. Of course he thinks I'm crazy and says nothing has changed. He used to come up to me in his silly way and hug me, suggest fun things for us to do together,laugh, cuddle ...now its so different.(tears rolling down my face). I suggest things for us to do together but he is not interested. Just plays video games and TV. I wish now I never would have bought that f------ XBOX.All his friends have it so..IDK. His dad is a good guy and I know they laugh alot together and also with his uncle.My son is an excellent student and heavily involved in sports. He does come to me about girls and if he is in trouble with a teacher.NOT HIS DAD.lol. THANK YOU FOR LISTENING