When our kids are young, summer vacations can seem a little stressful. We worry about how they’ll cope with travel and how they might behave at the airport. We’re not sure how well they’ll sleep in a different bed, or if the heat might make them unwell. While seeing the world with young children can be fantastic, offering us a fun holiday and a great way to bond away from the stress of home life, part of us longs for time alone, knowing that a holiday with toddlers and young children isn’t really a break, it’s just parenting in a different place with less control and without our usual coping mechanisms and tools. It’s all too common to wish their childhood away, hoping for a time when vacations will be more comfortable, and you might even get a bit of a break.
So few of us realize that vacations with a teenager might actually be worse. Sure, they can look after themselves, and they are unlikely to throw a tantrum at the airport. But, they might not want to be there at all. Once the teenage years hit, you might find that your child starts asking to be left at home alone and that even if they do come, they are keen to spend time alone, meeting new people and avoiding family. They might be whiny, irritable, and generally hard to be around.
But, once the teenage years have hit, your chances to get away as a family are started to run out. Soon, they’ll be off with their friends or their own family, and you’ll have all the time you want for a relaxing break on your own. So, you’ll want to make the most of it. Here are some ways to survive your trip with a teen, and even have some fun along the way.
Allow Some Screen Time
It can be tempting to ban phones, tablets, and other devices when you are on vacation with your family. But, this could just lead to moods and grumpiness. You might find that with no screens at all, you actually chat even less than you usually would.
So, instead, set limits using an app. You can click here for more information. Let them use their devices to speak to their friends and catch up on social media for the odd hour but encourage them to leave devices at your accommodation when you go out. Then, make sure the rest of the family, yourself included, stick to the same rules.
Ask What They Want to Do
When our kids are younger, we expect them to go along with our plans and do the things that we think are a good idea. But, when they’re older, you need to respect their opinions and ideas, as well as their likes and dislikes. Ask them to look online and to research the local area to find things to do. Some of the things that they suggest might not be the kinds of things that you would usually do, but have a go. Trying new things together might help you to bond and have some fun, and your teen will love seeing you learn something new.
Give Them Space
You wouldn’t spend every second of your days at home together, and nor should you expect to on vacation. Make sure they’ve got their own room wherever you are staying, and let them have some space. It’s ok for them to have lie-ins or to spend some evenings alone in their room. They might even want to go off exploring or trying activities on their own. As long as they are safe, this can be a good thing. They might make new friends, learn new skills, and have plenty to tell you about when they are ready.
Relax the Rules
Apart from screen time, you might have other rules when you are at home. They might still have a bedtime or at least a time to be ready for bed. There might also be rules about what they are allowed to wear to what time they have to be home. While you are away, you might want to relax some of these. Pick the important ones that keep them safe, but choose your battles and let other things go for an easy life. You might think their bikini is a little small, but ask yourself what you were wearing when you were their age and had their figure? Try not to argue while you are away unless it’s very important.