These mother-son date ideas are designed to be fun activities to do with your teenage son but also ones that have life long benefits! Whether it’s teaching him to drive or learning about money, here’s some ways to spend time with your teenager you both will enjoy.
When your son hits his teenage years, he can go from being a loving, sweet-voiced little boy, to this big lump with occasional body odor, whose communication extends to grunting.
When my own son was 14, I split from my second husband (not his dad). I didn’t meet my now husband until my son was 18, so there were a number of years where I was a single mom parenting a teenage boy – and I tell you, some of those years were super tough.
In fact, I put a picture of my kids on the fridge from when they were little, and when I thought that I wasn’t going to get through another day, I would look at it and remind myself of what they were like way back when.
I also had a countdown app on my phone for when he went to college, but that’s another story.
But anyway, we survived. I’d like to add he did return to that little Lion King loving sweet boy when he hit his early 20s.
And even during those rough times, it was important to keep connected to each other and the lines of communication as open as possible.
Because if you’re at the point that your son is more man than boy, I can assure you that he needs you as much as he ever did, even though it might not always seem like it.
One of the ways that you can be there for him is by going on mother-son dates.
Now if your son was anything like mine, saying something like, “Hey let’s go on a date,” or “Why don’t we spend some one on one time together?” probably would engender a “Why?”
So I suggest if you’re wanting to build your connection to your teenage son, and if he’s 16 or so, then try slip some of these activities in to your regular life in as subtle manner as possible.
If he’s younger than 16, then now is the time to make mother-son dates a regular part of your life so you have this as a well-established tradition before you get to the older years and are left asking the question, “How do I spend time with my teenager?”
You might also like: Mother daughter date ideas for you and your teen.
Now sons are a little different than daughters as a rule. You are best off selecting activities which require some kind of “doing.” Conversation will come naturally from this.
Oh and add food too. Always food!
Teach him to drive
Now I have to say this is not one for the faint-hearted.
My own dad taught me how to drive and I still bear some traumatic memories from the experience.
One such lesson was not long after he had a vasectomy and I remember him screeching, “My balls, Katie!” as I bounced over the raised road markers.
In fact it was this very experience which convinced me that even though I was a single mom, I would pay for both the kids to have driving lessons when the time came.
Strangely enough neither of them would agree to this until I taught them the driving basics, claiming they didn’t want to embarrass themselves with the driving instructor, which in my mind defeated the purpose, but I digress.
Teaching your son to drive is a great idea for a mother son date and you can end every lesson with a visit to a diner.
Go car hunting
Following on the footsteps of teaching him to drive, you can also go car hunting.
Now, I’m a firm believer that you should always have some skin in the game, so purchases like a car should involve some financial input from your teenager.
But this is one of those mother-son date ideas that keep on giving because the car hunting process can be a long, drawn out occasion not just focused on actually making a purchase.
You can make an initial scoping expedition so he knows how much they cost and set some financial goals.
You can test drive a few in certain prices ranges.
Heck, you can even hire a more upmarket car so he knows what it feels like to drive something a little more prestigious.
Attend a sporting event
Whatever sports your son enjoys – be it e-sports, baseball, basketball – grab a couple of tickets and go to the game together.
It doesn’t matter if it’s not something you know, like or enjoy.
In fact, it can be better if you have limited understanding of the game, because you can spend the car ride there getting him to explain the rules to you, and the car ride home getting him to explain exactly what just happened.
Go on a hike
Hiking is another fun thing to do with your teenage son. It has the experience of exertion through physical activity, the novelty of a new place to discover, and the sense of accomplishment when you reach your destination.
Another benefit is as he is younger, fitter, and stronger than you, he can carry the backpack with the picnic food in it for you to enjoy when you’re done!
Train for an event
Maybe you’ve decided to start running and would like to do your first 10 km run. Why not get your son to join in your training with you?
Make sure you both have full physicals before you start training by the way – there are some varying opinions regarding running long distances and its effects on teenage bones, so unless he has a strong running base already, aim for the shorter distances.
Take the dogs on an outing
My son and I used to love putting the dogs in the car and taking them down to the river to have a swim in the water and a general run around.
Take a ball or Frisbee with you and have fun throwing it to the dogs and to each other.
Teach him to cook
Every man should be able to cook delicious and healthful meals.
Set up a regular mother-son date where you teach him to cook some of the family favorites.
This has another bonus to it as well – once he is well-versed in some recipes then he can have his own night to cook.
Having my son take over even one meal a week was huge in the years when I was a single mom – and years later when he came home to live with my husband and me during his medical training, it was also super helpful!
Level up his cooking
Once he’s got some meals down, you could take it to the next level and enroll in some cooking classes together.
I know you’ll find this hard to believe, but some teenagers respond better to people other than their parents telling them what to do.
In this case, this might be an option BEFORE you attempt to teach him yourself.
Work on a project
This mother-son date idea has the advantages of a) being at home and b) getting something done you actually need.
For example, one summer we dug out a new garden and replaced the bark areas with stones.
Doing this shared project together allowed for some quality conversations, though if memory serves me correctly, I also slipped him some cash for helping.
Improve his financial literacy
It’s only been in the more recent years that I’ve started learning more about money and boy do I wish I had learned some of those lessons earlier.
Another financial regret of mine is that being a single mom not once but twice during my children’s lives at home meant that money was often tight and more often than not, I let my fears and stresses about money influence the things I said.
If you’re wondering what I mean, I feel like, “I can’t afford it,” was one of the more frequent phrases to drop from my lips, and sometimes I think back on this and wish that I hadn’t created this scarcity mindset in our home.
Learning about money together is a lesson that can only benefit you both – and you don’t even need to leave the house to do it!
Here’s a link to a range of free online courses on topics of financial literacy that cover everything teens (and adults!) need to know (although be aware I checked them and not all are still free).
Sign up together and enjoy learning an important skill that will have life-long benefits.
Mother-son date ideas
The teen years are challenging – no doubt about it.
But these mother-son date ideas are designed to be not only fun activities to do with your teenage son but also ones that have life long benefits.
Whether it’s teaching him to drive or learning about money, here’s some ways to spend time with your teenager you both will enjoy and that will create memories for years to come.
You might also like: At home family activities to do with teens.