Overcast   58.0F  |  Forecast »

Vacationing with Teens

Tips for planning a trip that will stop kids' grumbling and get them geeked about spending family time away

Is your sweet child who used to look forward to going on trips with you now moping at the idea of being whisked away on a family vacation? If so, you don't have give up on the idea of summer family vacation, but you do have to adapt.

"It's really important to me that my teenage son still come with us for a trip each summer," says Leanne Rimswell of Troy. "But I don't want to drag him along. I want him to want to come."

Get everyone's input

Your best bet is to find places where the entire family can have fun and where your teen can explore a bit without having to stay glued to mom and dad. Cruises, family-friendly beaches, and areas close to theme parks are usually safe bets.

When planning, it's important to get your teen's input. This doesn't mean you have to abide by his every whim, but that you've asked for his opinion. Nicole Hockin, travel expert for Hotels.com, explains, "It certainly helps to get apathetic teens to take a vested interest in their fun."

Brenda Hester went one step further. "When my daughter started grumbling about going away, I knew I had to start thinking of things to do that would appeal to her, too," says Hester, of Wixom. "I decided to make her the researcher who brings us suggestions the whole family votes on. It really worked."

Families who plan together tend to have fun together. If interests of all family members are taken into account, chances are that you will all have a fabulous time.

Permitting freedom

Certain types of vacations cater more to teens than others. Hockin suggests cruises because there are so many programs geared toward the teen crowd. There are teen night clubs, teen movie nights and other special activities just for them. She also adds that all-inclusive resorts have the same types of teen activities and socials events. Teens also love vacations filled with exploration and adventures where they can go off a bit on their own.

This is normal and you should allow your teen more freedom than you would a younger child. However, Dr. Laura Grashow, a national psychologist who specializes in family therapy, suggests that parents use caution while on vacation with teens.

"Parents need to pay attention to what their teens are doing. Research shows that youth who engage in high risk behavior at home are even more likely to engage in high risk behaviors, such as unprotected sex or alcohol and drug use, while on vacation."

Use your best judgment when making decisions about letting your teen go solo or with peers. "If you have teens who are basically responsible and trustworthy, you can probably expect more of the same on vacation," adds Grashow.

You might also consider allowing your teen to bring a close friend along. This is particularly a good idea if your other children are much younger. Think about easing up just a bit on your regular rules as well, such as bedtime hour and junk food intake. It is vacation, after all. Everyone should live a little!
 

Jun 3, 2011 06:25 pm
 Posted by  Emily:)

I am a 13 year-old girl and can back up the advice about allowing your teens to participate in the planning. When my parents start planning vacations they tell me where they want to to go and let me do the research from there. For example if we were to go on a cruise I would be allowed to choose the boat based on onboard activities as long as it is within their guidlines for budget, place,..ect... Currently, I am writing for a parenting website called radical parenting.com where there is informative article on this topic. Here's the link if you want to check it out http://www.radicalparenting.com/2011/05/31/vacations-with-teens-how-to-enjoy-your-vacation/

Add your comment:
Advertisement

More »Latest Articles & Blog Posts

Kids and Indoor Exercise During Cooler Temperatures

Kids and Indoor Exercise During Cooler Temperatures

Keep your kids off the couch this winter and get them active and healthy with these family-friendly fitness tips from the community program director at the Macomb Family YMCA.

Sage Yet Strange 1920s Baby-Naming Advice

Sage Yet Strange 1920s Baby-Naming Advice

Modern flapper era mamas had plenty of progressive advice. But when it came to baby name tips, it was a mixed bag. (And especially tough for poor Lenora!)

Dessert Pizzas Recipes That Kids Will Love

Dessert Pizzas Recipes That Kids Will Love

Slice into sweetness with these kid-friendly ideas – thanks to Betty Crocker, Taste of Home and more – that transform pizza into something oh-so-sweet!

Rustic Pumpkin Lunch Bag Halloween Craft for Kids

Rustic Pumpkin Lunch Bag Halloween Craft for Kids

Lunch surprises can brighten kids' day at school. As October rolls along, try something fun and new with this sweet, not-scary jack-o'-lantern sack.

Mom Transforms into 'Annabelle' Doll for Creepy Photo Shoot

Mom Transforms into 'Annabelle' Doll for Creepy Photo Shoot

One suburban mom embraced horror movie season when she dressed up as an evil doll for a photo shoot – an artistic expression that is drawing mixed reactions.

Hello Kitty Crochet and Craft Books, Hobby Holster Tool, More

Hello Kitty Crochet and Craft Books, Hobby Holster Tool, More

Craft roundup! Quirk Books has a cool new crochet book, while Barron's offers projects for Rainbow Loom lovers. Check out a clever hot glue holder, too.

Avoiding Respiratory Illnesses in Children

Avoiding Respiratory Illnesses in Children

With respiratory viruses such as enterovirus D68 spreading, it's important to take steps to keep kids healthy. Dr. Earlexia M. Norwood from Henry Ford Health System gives tips to avoid getting sick.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement