Teenagers are full of conflicts, anxieties, and, of course, hormones, and this can make them feel unhappy and seem confrontational, even when underneath they are kind and caring young people. A family holiday can be the ideal way to really reconnect with your teenage children, and reassure them that, no matter what, you will always be there for them.
Find A Teenage Appropriate Destination
Teenagers can often feel as though they are not being listened to in the home, and that their thoughts and feelings aren’t important. Therefore, when you are planning a family holiday, you should involve your teenager as much as possible. It should be a joint decision when you book a holiday because everyone is going to be there.
It’s essential that you find a destination that is teenage appropriate, and that will have everything your child will want to be able to enjoy their holiday as much as you will. Holidays in Majorca, for example, are often ideal for teenagers. There are plenty of beaches to enjoy, and they can rest and relax, reading a book or listening to music, or they can explore the local beaches and coastal paths for exercise and some time alone. They might want to join in with the many different water sports that are available there. If you rent a villa, when they need to be on their own, they can have a private space to go. This may be more accommodating than a hotel with set menus and perhaps a shared bedroom.
Be Both Parent And Friend
Teenagers come across as rather complicated beings, but when you start to dig deeper you’ll see that they’re not complicated; they’re confused. They are growing up, and they need to separate from their parents, yet they are still children and therefore want their parents around them. This is why you need to be both parent and friend, gauging the situation and giving them what they need.
A family holiday can give you exactly the opportunity to do this – you can enjoy some activities as a family, and then perhaps go out for a meal together as friends. You can reassess each situation as it comes to you without the stresses and strains on ‘real life’ and make good decisions that you can all get behind.
Spend Time Together
No matter how grown up a teenager wants to feel, having quality time with their parents where they don’t have to pretend or be something they’re not can be a huge relief. Make sure that you carve out some time to spend with your teenage children when you are on holiday, but remember to step back if they aren’t keen on the idea, to begin with; the more you push, the less likely they are to agree with your plans. When you are planning your family holiday, ensure there is at least one day when it is just you and them. The difference it will make to their happiness (and yours), and your relationship as a whole will amaze you.
When was the last time you talked to your teenager? We don’t mean simple questions about their day and the one-word responses that you may have received in return; we mean important conversations about them and their lives. If you haven’t for a long time, or ever, then the family holiday is the best way to start, and reconnect with them again.
Ask them about themselves and don’t judge the answers – they need to trust that you will listen and help them if they need it.
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