In the summer of 2018, the teen parents of a 15-year-old girl got together to share a family activity they were all passionate about.
“It was really a great way to spend some time together, because she was so active, she was very active with her friends, she loved sports, she liked playing basketball and just really liked to be around people and have fun,” said Lauren Smith.
Lauren’s mom was not at home that day and so she was in charge of the family activities.
She had the kids dress up, set up chairs, play in the backyard, and play games.
The teen girls were also told not to wear makeup and not to speak to anyone except their parents.
Lauren and her mom, who are both now married, are currently engaged.
“It was so important that the family was really open and open to the fact that we were doing something together,” Lauren said.
“We were trying to figure out what we wanted to do with our time, and just being around the kids and just trying to have fun.”
The parents set up an online family sharing app, and Lauren used it to invite friends to share activities.
“We could just kind of talk about whatever we wanted, we could just hang out, and it’s like, I love you guys,” she said.
“And we just talked about our day, we talked about the things that we did together, and we just shared that together.”
The teens got to play with a new group of friends, all of whom had different hobbies.
Lauren was particularly interested in learning how to knit and crochet, and one of her friends was learning how she could get into fashion and make jewelry.
“He was so excited, because he was in fashion design and he was going to be in fashion fashion design for the next five years,” Lauren recalled.
They started hanging out together and she made some jewelry, and the parents also decided to get into some backyard activities together, including making sand castles.
After all the fun was over, the parents had to head home.
“The kids were really excited about going back and spending some time with us,” Lauren explained.
While there were some logistical challenges with having a family sharing program, they were able to find a great partner to share their family time with.
“I really enjoyed that, and I think it really made the whole experience for us,” she added.
With that experience, the couple decided to set their own family sharing agenda for the coming year.
This summer, the teens will start a new family sharing plan.
They have a few goals for their first summer: “First off, we want to do the best we can for our little girls, so that we’re not just doing the same thing over and over again,” Lauren says.
“That’s something that I think we’re definitely working on.”
The teens will also start to share more of their time together.
They plan to spend more time with each other and have a greater sense of community.
“One of the biggest challenges for me, I’ve had so many kids growing up, and not knowing each other, and kind of just living in the same house, that has kind of made it hard to just hang in there,” Lauren adds.
In the future, the teenagers are planning to create a more personalized family sharing experience.
They will be using their new family share app, which will allow them to share family activities with friends or family members.
“[The family sharing apps] have allowed us to be more spontaneous and have our kids be more open to it and to be able to be open to each other,” Lauren added.
“So we’re really excited that we’ll be able be able have that and then to have some fun together.”