How to Plan a Good Holiday with Your Teens


If you do want to offer your teens a family holiday that would appeal, you might find that this is the time to break from the past, as a way of formally acknowledging they have grown older and your relationship with them has changed. Instead of just being a time to be together, your three or four weeks of holiday can become a time to talk and to experience something new and exciting with your emerging adult offspring. The first step in achieving this is to invite their ideas on what they would like to do and where they would like to go.

Choice of holiday can often provoke a power struggle, open or bidden, that echoes in the family for the rest of the year. Some people prefer a rest – two or three weeks on a beach, soaking up the rays and doing nothing more strenuous that eating, drinking and turning brown. Others would like to explore the countryside, take up a new skill or practice a sport. We tend to be fairly conservative about what we do in our leisure time, and many people cling to the belief that a rest means being inactive. This can be particularly frustrating for the teenager who is going through a period in life when their mind and body needs constant stimulation. Parents could learn from their young people the unobvious truth that running about, getting physically exhausted and filling up your mind with new impressions is ultimately far more relaxing than lying about doing nothing.

Good Holiday

Rather than just inviting the youngsters in your family to have a say in the refinements of destination – that is, between one Mediterranean village and another – why not invite their ideas on the type of holiday you take, and the part of the world it should be in? It may also be worthwhile to discuss length of holiday. Both you and your children might find the limits of tolerance at this time are stretched less by two short and different holidays in a year, than by one long marathon. Negotiation and compromise can play a part here, with you agreeing to go on the holiday of their choice if they submit to yours.

Giving your young people a say in the type and location of your holiday can make agreement easier for all of you. So, too, can inviting their active participation in the running of the holiday itself. If everyone is to enjoy themselves, a useful strategy is to give each person the right to choose and plan at least one day’s activities. The responsibility – and power! – can be exhilarating in itself, and the opportunity to introduce the rest of the family to a particular pastime can be fun. If such a plan is agreed beforehand, you also have less risk of enduring the sulks and tantrums of’ But we always do what you want’.

It can also be productive to let your teenagers go off on their own, exploring or making new friends, or even to stay behind at the hotel or beach while you go on excursions or spend time with people your own age that you have befriended. Being with your offspring on holiday can be enormously enjoyable, but spending time alone with your partner has a special flavor of its own. You may well benefit from making the effort to give yourself time away from the kids to cherish each other’s adult company.

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About the Author: Roberta Southworth is a psychiatrist by profession. She likes to help out people by writing informative tips on how people can to solve their family and relationship issues. She is currently staying in Ireland. She has 5 years of couple counseling experience.

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