Teenage years can be very trying. One moment, you kids are craving the reassurance of your presence and support, the next they are screaming that you should leave them alone and stop interfering. Sometimes these tensions can be especially intense when traveling. Take a deep breath, count to ten, and learn how to diffuse the problems before they arise.
Compromising with your teenager can seem like a very one-sided affair. Apparently, you have to accept them as they are, while they are free to criticize everything about you. But compromise is all about seeing things from the other’s point of view, even if that view is inherently unreasonable!
For early teens, accept that they don’t have much choice about accompanying you. If you have saved hard for a vacation or taken a loan to pay for it (hop over to this site for guidance on personal loans) you may be inclined to feel aggrieved whenever they moan. But in the end it was your choice, so keep it to yourself.
A good place to start compromising is in the planning of the vacation. Get input from all the family into where you should go, for how long, and what you should do when you get there.
Kids can turn out to be surprisingly reasonable at times, so pick your moments and don’t settle for anything unless everyone is calm. The ultimate veto is yours—use it wisely.
If you are sensible about the schedule and how you use the allotted time, you can diffuse a number of arguments by being seen to be fair.
Let everyone have a say in what you do day by day. Probably the best solution is to take turns deciding what the main event of the day will be. If you are in Italy, perhaps you could happily spend every day visiting temples and museums, but accept that you won’t. Teens need a surprising amount of time sitting around doing nothing, so bite your tongue and join them by the pool.
Food and Phones
You can never predict when your kids are going to be adventurous or conservative about food. Traveling to a gastronomic hotspot does not mean that they will choose the local specialties. If possible, always try to eat in places where there is a choice between spicy exotica and bland pizza. Sometimes kids just need something familiar.
Do not let the cell phone become a source of conflict. It is irritating to stand outside the Taj Mahal while your kid plays a game, oblivious to the surroundings. But go with it—at least they can use the phone to take a selfie, often the only way to get them to pose for the camera.
As with so many things about bringing up children, staying calm is a big help. If you are not stressed, then the situation is less likely get out of control. And remember—sooner than you realize you will be taking your vacations without them.