Why a holiday with teenagers is the ultimate parenting challenge

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  • Alison from Mad House Mum was selected by our BISS August panel and in her guest blog has her say about the realities of holidaying with teens…

    ‘Let’s talk about sex baby…’
    ‘Are all the songs you listen to about sex?’
    ‘No. They’re just the ones I sing.’

    Aaah, on holiday with teenagers. What can I say? Well, you quickly realise that you mustn’t dare try to say anything to them if they’re on their phones and god forbid the villa doesn’t have WiFi.

    This means that catching up on Snapchat streaks, Instagram and Facebook has to be done in cafés. Teens work fast when a streak is at stake: break a streak and they literally die. Your teenagers will quickly have the WiFi password to every café in the local area and once they realise that they can actually sit on the public bench next to the café and still get the WiFi, they won’t even need to embarrass themselves by sitting with you.

    If there is, however, the occasional time when you want them to join you – without their phones – it will probably prove to be pretty much an impossibility. One lunchtime over tapas on our recent holiday in Spain, I sat at the top of the table, large glass of Rioja in hand and surveyed the scene: 4 teenagers, heads down, incommunicado.

    ‘We’ve bought you this meal’ I announced, taking matters into my own hands, ‘the least you lot can have the decency to do is put down your phones while you’re eating.’

    They vaguely looked up and very slowly, very reluctantly put their phones on the table – screens still clearly on view to catch any notifications that may appear. My eldest daughter was still hanging on to hers. ‘I just have to reply to this streak quickly’. ‘Why?’ I questioned, with the stupidity of a parent. ‘Because otherwise my friend will think I’m really rude!’ Oh, the irony.

    So, instead, you will spend your entire holiday watching your teens pouting and gurning into their screens, whilst at the same time rugby tackling you to the floor whenever you take a photo of them. They will zoom in and check every feature at close range, only to announce that they look disgusting, that there is no way that is getting posted on Facebook and if you do they will report you.

    You are very quickly left wondering what happened to those cute little toddlers who waddled around in swim nappies, not caring if their bum looked too big. I smugly thought to myself how easy holidays will finally be now that the kids are all older…don’t be fooled.

    Holidays with teenagers present new challenges. Little ones squeal and shriek with delight, thus endorsing the fun factor of being away. Teenagers have the ability to look utterly miserable for the entire vacation, forcing you to drink copious amounts of cheap wine, whilst telling yourself to ignore them, until you get home when they will immediately announce that they miss it and want to be back.

    Yes, expect a holiday with teenagers to be drenched in the 3 s’s: selfies, strops and silence.

    Alison was selected as a BISS guest blogger after entering our August linky. For your chance to write for GoodtoKnow, check out our Because I Said So platform.

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