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Joys of Vacationing
by Elfsgal

The joys of summer vacation - every year parents look with excitement at the joy of spending time with their kids. Teaching them the fun things they experienced it their youth. Fishing, camping and family outings all come to mind. Oh yes, these are all fond memories we wish to pass on to our children.

Well as a mom of four, I suggest you do these things before they discover the opposite sex, the phone and the local hangout. Otherwise you will have to listen to the cries of terror as you rip your child from these securities of his or her life. (I am speaking the teenage years if you haven't guessed.)

Oh, how the teen is offended at the thought that you, as a parent, wishes to spend actual time with them is amazing. They begin to whine then next comes pouting and then mean glances - no direct glares mind you, mom does not go for those - then the "I am going to make my siblings life miserable if I have no other option but to be here". Then we, as parents, get the privilege of listening to the "I am older than you so you have to do what I say" and "Move, I get to sit there!" Of course, this is followed by the cries of the siblings "MOM!! Tell him to stop or I am going to punch him." Oh yes, the joys of summer vacations are coming, they are just around the corner.

As a parent I have found that if you ground them the week you are planning to leave, your teen will be quite happy to tell friends "I am going on vacation!" thus eliminating the fact that they were grounded and had no choice. Next make them responsible for some task like folding of the map perhaps or verifying the road dad is on so we don't get lost. Never mind that dad could drive the route in his sleep, just the fact that the teen has a job seems to help. When you arrive at your destination ask your teen's opinion on the accommodations regardless of the fact that you will be staying put, no matter what.

After this, hopefully, the stay should be quite fun for the family and your teen will have some fun memories just like you have - even if you had to drag them screaming and kicking to give the memories to them.

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