As a parent, you realize your golden years with your children are rapidly ending. As children become teenagers, they’ll likely try to assert their independence by asking to go on trips with friends instead of with Mom and Dad or by asking to stay home while the rest of the family goes on vacation. However, despite your teen’s lack of enthusiasm, there are ways to ensure that the whole family has a good time on vacation- even your teenager. So rather than dragging them along, kicking and screaming, and allowing them to spoil the rest of the family’s fun, consider the following tips to help you plan a great vacation that the whole family will enjoy:
Don’t crowd them.
Crowding into a basic, two bedroom hotel room with one bathroom and five people is not fun. Stress and tension will build as family members fight over outlet space and who they have to share a bed with. Instead, consider spending a extra few dollars to book a second room. Allowing each family member- especially teenagers- to have their own personal space will go a long way in ensuring that everyone remains levelheaded and happy throughout the trip.
Let them invite a friend.
If your family can afford it, consider allowing your teen to bring one of their friends along on your trip. At this stage in their lives, many teens value their friends as much as they value their family, so allowing them to bring a friend along on your trip could be a great way to make everyone happy. Your teen is happy because they don’t feel isolated from their group of friends while they’re away, and the rest of the family is happy because your teen is happy. In this situation, everybody wins.
Give everyone some responsibility.
No teen wants to go on a vacation in which they’re dragged around from place to place with little say in activities. To combat this, consider giving everyone some responsibility in planning the trip. For example, set a rotating schedule dictating who gets to choose the restaurants and attractions that your family visits that day.
Make time for activities that they’ll enjoy, too.
The last thing your teenager wants to do is be trapped at an amusement pack wearing mouse ears and riding spinning tea cups all day. Instead, pick a destination where your teen will be happy. Many resorts or attractions have teenager-friendly activities that can spark excitement in your otherwise unenthusiastic teen. If you set aside part of your trip especially for your teenager, they will feel much more included.
Make an effort.
Although resistant at times, teenagers still do love their parents. Show affection and love as you spend time at new destinations, and rather than stressing about getting from place to place, try to take the time to enjoy the laughs and smiles. Tell stories of your past, and connect with your teenage son or daughter. Communicating freely will strengthen your relationship and will help you build memories that will last a lifetime.
Traveling with teenagers is never an easy task, and parenting through the teenage years can be extremely difficult. If things have gotten out of control, there’s no shame in admitting that you need the help of an expert. The qualified staff at Christian boarding schools are an excellent resource for helping you and your family through the trying teenage years. Specializing in treating troubled and at-risk teens, these schools approach education with a balance of discipline and love, and their methods have helped countless teens transform into intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually healthy young adults.