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Published January 7th 2015
How To Get Your Teen Away From His/Her iPad, iPhone, Laptop
Has your full-of-life-and-eager-to-go-out-to-play son or daughter suddenly turned into a teenager who is permanently connected to their iPhone, iPad, laptop, Xbox and sometimes all devices at the same time?
Are you having a hard time getting them out of the house and into nature or simply away from virtual life to real life? It's time to take drastic action and come up with creative and fun activities that your teenager will be excited about doing.
Although I am no expert on teenage behaviour (yet), I am slowly learning how to communicate with Master 13. I have learnt that communication via Text / Skype / Messenger / Facebook / Instagram has more impact than asking him to do something in person.
Having been used to organising play dates with his friends, it's been a bit of a transition to realise junior is now setting up his own schedule when he wants to hang out with his buddies.
Teenagers hate missing out on fun with their friends, so I have figured out, if I want him to disconnect from his electronics and get him a little excited about spending a day out, the first thing I need to do is make sure he hasn't already made plans and then give him several fun choices of what we can do together.
And while we are pursuing something that he is excited about, we get to talk about the important stuff.
Here are some suggestions of fun things to do with your teenager on the weekends or during school holidays
Shark Reef Snorkel
This is a great experience at Sydney Sea Life Aquarium, which you can book any day of the week. They have several sessions each day. The cost is about $80 per person, which includes a behind the scenes tour of the sea life sanctuary as well as the snorkel and admission to the aquarium if you wish to explore it afterwards.
Your teen will be able to brag to his friends that he swam with sharks and sawfish. If he has an underwater camera, he can take photos and videos during his experience. But don't worry your child is totally safe in a clear enclosure, where the snorkel takes place.
Riding a Segway is great fun no matter how young or old you are. It doesn't take long to master and it gives your teen a sense of freedom and being in charge of a motorised vehicle. Although our laws do not allow Segway to be driven in public places, there are several spots, where you can hire this personal motorised mover and even take a tour.
Segway Central Coast, which is located only an hour north of Sydney offers tours and experiences at Mount Penang Gardens. Costs start from $40 per person for a 30 minute ride.
This is the perfect spot to take your teen during spring, summer and autumn holidays. Although the daytime sessions can get busy, Wet N Wild also offers evening sessions. If you have an annual pass, you can go at any time, but if you are only planning one visit this season, buy twilight tickets, which are cheaper and give you access from 3-10pm.
Most teenagers like staying up late, so sliding and swimming in the dark adds extra excitement to the visit.
Wet 'N' Wild has many thrilling rides including 360 Rush, Aqua Tube, Bombora, H2Go Racers, Half Pipe and many more.
Wet 'N' Wild even offers surfing/body boarding lessons on their Surf Deck – there is an additional charge of $25 for a 40 minute session, but it's definitely worth it.
If your teenager is not too keen on water fun, then Monster Skate Park is a great spot for them to either learn or show off their skating, skateboarding and bike riding skills.
The Skate Park has ramps for those just starting out as well as ramps for more advanced skateboarders.
All riders must wear a helmet – you can either bring your own or hire one at the park. Monster Skate Park even runs clinics where professional coaches demonstrate and assist riders to develop new skills.