Dinner. Hit your teen's favorite restaurant to celebrate the holiday, or surprise your child with reservations at a swanky place that requires you to dress up. And no matter how much homework there is to finish, make it a relaxed, languorous dinner that shows no semblance whatsoever to your weekly McDonald's run.
A movie. It's not exactly cool for a teen to be seen with parents at the movies. Offer to pick up the tab for tickets and popcorn for your child and a couple of close friends. Drop them off at the cinema while you catch a bite to eat or do a little shopping. If your teen actually likes you, consider staying in, renting a few blockbusters and ordering a pizza or two.
Drinks. Of course you don't want to break the law by serving your child an alcoholic beverage. But offer the opportunity to hang with you while enjoying a luscious virgin cocktail.
Coupons. No parent wants to battle with a teen over chores, curfews, bedtimes… Take off a little bit of the pressure with a coupon booklet. The coupons can be anything from "A Chore-Free Night" to "Double Allowance Week."
Pampering. Make it a mother-daughter Valentine's Day with a date to a spa for facials and massages, to the hairdresser for a cut and color or to the salon for a fun mani-pedi. Enjoy a lovely lunch together afterward... and maybe a little shopping, too.
Guy stuff. Most teen guys aren't going to enjoy the pampering, so why not schedule something a little more manly for this mostly-for-girls holiday. Dads and sons can spend a day at the driving or shooting range or beating up on each other playing laser tag or paintball. Or take in a local boxing match or other sporting event.
A party. Throw a cheesy Valentine's Day party with the works: decorations, favors, snacks. Require guests to wear red. Your teen and guests will roll their eyes at first, but since they're all hanging out together, they will soon find themselves having a really good time.
Keep it simple on Feb. 14. Your teen may be too old for kiddie Valentine sentiments and too young for Cupid's romance, but trust us: He or she still wants to celebrate the day.
Image: Flickr/Carol VanHook
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