Travel now, before your teen says “buzz off”
I love my kids, but there is a 7-year age difference between my 17-year-old and my 10-year-old, and that makes all of that family bonding a little rough (I had each child on Navy shore duty assignments, and there was a 7 year stretch at sea between pregnancies. Kinda into planning….that’s me.)
Right now, they have little in common.
When I get all excited with the maps and ready to plan excursions, my teen daughter is less than interested in my favorite ideas for long-haul road trips with her brother in the van.
“Less than interested” meaning “violently objects to.”
Here’s the thing: she now has a life outside of her immediate family. Friends. Buddies. Other plans. A driver’s license.
So, when it’s time for Thanksgiving break or the December holiday break or Spring Break, she wants to see her best girl pal coming home from a grueling stint at West Point, or hang out with other friends, not drive with us to West Texas for a visit to Fort Davis and a McDonald Observatory star party (the latest road trip on my wish list.)
We’ll still drag her out periodically, and she loves to travel given the right circumstances, but the tail-wagging days of enthusiasm are over (until a few more years pass, and then suddenly the Parental Units are cool again – you know how that is.)
Moral of the story: travel a ton when they’re younger, before they decide that their own peer group is infinitely more appealing than long trips with squawky brothers and parents in a minivan.