It’s March, and almost time for SPRING BREAK! This has been a long winter for some of us, and the thoughts of warm sunshine, amusement parks and lake retreats sound not only amazing to us, but also to our teenagers!
A spring break full of fun memories begins with a simple safety plan for your family. Teenagers have varied interests and activities during spring break, but my three simple tips will cover most all of them!
It’s time for Spring Break!
Will your teen be pool bound during spring break? Beach bound? Or maybe, having a stay-cation right in your hometown? Perhaps they are going with another family to their lake house for the week. Or, maybe you’re the lucky mama hosting teenagers at the beach! Let’s face it: there’s a lot going on during spring break if you have teenagers!
For the sake of clarity in this post, I am coining the term “teenager” to include children from 8th-12th grades. Teens typically begin launching their own social vacation plans away from their family starting in 8th grade, although some may do so earlier.
Even if you are taking a big family vacation to China or a cruise together, your teen will at some point inevitably go off on their own with new friends or to explore. My three tips cover family vacays, too!
3 Spring Break Tips for Parents of Teens
Fund them! Make sure you son or daughter has the proper fiscal resources for the activity they are attending. For example, if you are sending your child to the local water park and another parent is supervising, check ahead to make sure they will have enough money for admission and meals.
Talk to them about the activity’s budget before they leave. Will they use babysitting money to pay for souvenirs? What is the expected use of the money you provide them with that day?
If an activity or vacation stretches your family’s resources, have a candid talk with your son or daughter to manage their expectations. Find an alternative activity and commit to the plan.
Can you hear me now? Make sure your son or daughter has a way to communicate with you, their friends, and the supervising adult. If they are in eighth grade and do not have their own device, make certain they have temporary use of one while they are away. In this day and age, a cell phone is a safety device as much as it is a privilege.
This sounds like a no-brainer, but if your 17 year old is going to his best friend’s lake house, make sure you have the number to the lake house and/or information for the adult in charge. Conversely, if your beach house is housing a few teens for the week, check in with the parents and give them your contact information.
Confidence is key! Make sure your son or daughter knows exactly where you stand on the issues of alcohol/drug use and premarital sex. I know, this is tricky territory. But, if you have a candid conversation with your teen, they will leave your home confident with the knowledge of family expectations and social behavior standards away from home. This conversation is crucial to setting open communication patterns with your child down the road, too.
Have a great spring break, stay safe and MAKE MEMORIES!
If you are the parent of a high school senior, make sure you run over to Totally Tailgates and check out my five part series called All About College Orientations. Your summer will be a busy one as you navigate this new territory, and I breakdown what to expect and what questions you should ask during the orientation.
And, if your daughter is considering Sorority Recruitment in August, you will both want to brush up Pre-Rush Vocab 101 !
Happy spring, y’all!
P.S. – I am not a trained psychologist, and the tips in this post are meant for encouragement purposes only. It is not to be construed as professional advice. Raising teenagers is a lot like potty training a toddler: we read the experts, try a few things on our own, and share our newfound wisdom with others. 🙂