Sun, Sea and A Final Family Holiday With My Teenage Son

Sun, Sea and A Final Family Holiday With My Teenage Son

Watching your children grow up can be defined by one word; bittersweet. You make it your mission to nurture and guide them to the goal of a happy, healthy adult, revelling and marvelling at each milestone they conquer. There’s happy moments, proud moments, tough days and sad. Then just as you start to appreciate the person they’re growing into you realise that your work is almost done.

It’s not that you stop being a parent or guiding and supporting them whenever you can, it’s just there comes a time when your influence is out balanced by many other factors and they’re pretty much free wheeling without you as their stabilizers.

And that’s where I’m heading in my parenting journey with my eldest son, the Teenager.

Our family holiday days are numbered, I’d even say we’re on the final countdown. This sombre fact struck me just this week when I excitedly announced a weekend away and he floored me with his response,

do I have to come?

I hadn’t prepared for a time when our family holidays would be without him and here it was like a slap in the face dealing with that very fact there and then. So I did what every self-respecting, emotionally balanced parent does when they don’t get the response they’re expecting; I resorted to underhand threats and blackmail with a much less appealing option and I told him that he would have to stay with his grandparents instead.

Unfortunately on this occasion my tactics backfired and the thought of a few days away from his computer wasn’t enough to coerce his decision. He took it, a weekend away rejected in return for a few stolen hours with his mates.

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Then ‘Boom’ and there it was. My light bulb moment. I needed to up the stakes and set about researching the perfect final family holiday for a teenager. I needed sun, sea and activity. My check list would have to be so exciting that he wouldn’t give his skateboard or XBox a second thought. There had to be other teenagers, they hunt in packs and gravitate towards each other or is it repelling  against adults.

I haven’t quite worked it out yet.

One thing I’m sure of is that too much time with the olds could possibly be the nail in the coffin for any future calls on his time, so giving him the opportunity to have fun with his family while allowing some time within company of other teens could be the answer to my quandary.

A final family holiday with my teenage son

The toddler’s the easy one to please, give him a sandy beach, short traveling times and the undivided attention of 2 adults and 2 older brothers and he’s smiling. And while I may crave a week of book reading, swimming and dining out, the reality is there’s a  tween, teenager and husband who need more going on than a week by the pool.

Put simply, we need sun, sea and activity. That’s all. Water sports, sun and food tick our holiday check list.

Throw in a week with out the distraction of computer games, emails to answer and above all time to reconnect and make memories.

And hopefully, fingers crossed, wish upon a falling star, our final holiday with our teenage son, is nothing but a silly worry.

As if we get it right, there’ll be many, many more to come.

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36 Comments

  1. 8th February 2016 / 8:37 am

    I hope that your dream of a family holiday can come true. I agree going away with the parents does not seem like a welcome prospect for kids especially since they have technology to keep up with but it is so important to reconnect!

    • 8th February 2016 / 8:51 am

      Thanks Ana, technology can bra blessing and a curse when it coed to kids but hopefully with careful planning it won’t be the make or break for us.

      • 9th February 2016 / 6:47 pm

        Fingers crossed that your planning saves the day good luck!

  2. 8th February 2016 / 8:59 am

    It’s doesn’t have to be the last family holiday if all future plans take into consideration what he would like to do it might surprise you.

    • 8th February 2016 / 9:08 am

      That’s what I’m really hoping. I know life is littered with lasts but I’m just not ready for this one and our time with him is very limited as it is

      • Miranda (Anosa)
        12th February 2016 / 3:45 pm

        Don’t worry, though time is limited he will surely make the time for he’s mummy

  3. 8th February 2016 / 5:44 pm

    Aww this kind of made me sad! my little one is 3 now and we haven’t managed to go anywhere yet! I don’t want to think about a day he doesn’t want to come with me

    • 8th February 2016 / 10:27 pm

      Sorry, I really didn’t mean to make you think of something you really shouldn’t be worrying about too soon! put it to the back of you mind and enjoy these precious years.

  4. Someone's Mum
    8th February 2016 / 5:59 pm

    Awww this makes me a little sad. My oldest is 3 so haven’t experienced trying to engage a teenager in family life yet. I hope you get to have a wonderful holiday and share some quality time with him!

  5. 8th February 2016 / 7:34 pm

    Teens are fickle creatures aren’t they – mine digs his heels in refuses point blank to come on days out these days and I’m pretty sure that this year will be our last family holiday with him too as he will want to be off with his friends next year.
    We holiday’s with Mark Warner last year and it was perfect, with things to do for both him and the little ones.
    Good Luck with your application xx

    • 8th February 2016 / 8:23 pm

      Thanks Kara, that’s so good to hear that it was a great break for all your kids. I can’t remember there being a time when I didn’t want to go out with my parents as the alternative – a boring day at home – was much worse! Maybe life’s too fun for them with all this technology that they just don’t get bored anymore!

  6. 9th February 2016 / 7:32 am

    When he’s older and looking back on his childhood, this holiday will be a wonderful memory. Far more memorable than goofing around with his mates. He’s got plenty of time to do that over the next few years.

    Well done for finding a holiday with something to offer everybody. Good work!

    • 9th February 2016 / 7:40 am

      That’s so true Grant, I remember my family holidays much more vividly than the days spent wandering around the village. Its been quite a mission to think of somewhere that would suit us all and where neither myself or my husband have visited before.

  7. 9th February 2016 / 8:33 am

    Oh that must be hard – as you say, it’s the goal all parents are aiming for but it doesn’t make it easier when the day arrives. I’m glad that, with my three-year-old, we still have time!

    • 10th February 2016 / 10:01 pm

      I am always telling parents of younger children not to wish the years away. life full of lasts so as one reader has commented its nicer to hold onto the firsts.

  8. Emma T
    9th February 2016 / 10:12 am

    Your holiday sounds perfect. I’d love to do an activity holiday and N’s just getting to the age when it would work for him too. I’m not sure the OH would want that though. He just likes to mooch along a beach – boring!

    • 9th February 2016 / 12:05 pm

      We’ve always gone to Center Parcs as activity holidays really suit us, it would be lovely to go somewhere hot for a change though.

  9. 9th February 2016 / 11:53 am

    Oh I’m dreading the day when my daughter says ‘do I have to come?’ when we go on holiday. She is 6, so hopefully a few years off yet. I hope you can find the active holiday you are looking for. #ukawesomebloggers

    • 10th February 2016 / 9:59 pm

      You should have years left, just enjoy every moment and make memories

  10. 9th February 2016 / 8:36 pm

    I had our last family holiday abroad in 2014 when my eldest turned 18. She has been away with us in the UK but last September we had our first holiday abroad without her, which was strange – we missed her so much. Good Luck! Kaz x

  11. 9th February 2016 / 9:13 pm

    Ahhh, teens. You’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t. My eldest two are just beginning to gain this kind of independence.

  12. 9th February 2016 / 9:18 pm

    I dread the teenage years for this reason, I love spending time together as a family and they thought that one day my kids won’t want to hang out with me, well that’s pretty scary! Hope you get your dream holiday together x

  13. 9th February 2016 / 10:24 pm

    Ouch, I am sure I did something similar to mine at around 16! I think I turned down a trip to Disney land Florida (my parents had divorced and spending two weeks with my step mum was not appealing)!! Love your tactics though have made a mental note of this for future years xx

  14. 9th February 2016 / 10:39 pm

    This sounds like a perfect holiday to me! I can’t imagine a day when I don’t go on holiday with my children… but I know that day will come. So sad 🙁

    • 9th February 2016 / 10:46 pm

      It may not come as soon as you think but it’s a hard concept to accept when you’re heading that way with your first

  15. 10th February 2016 / 10:19 am

    This might be a REALLY inappropriate way to start off my comment, but goodness, is that a photo of your teenager?! What a little heartbreaker he’s going to be (if not already!). The family holiday in Rhodes sounds brilliant – what a fantastic compromise between adventure, excitement and relaxing. Mark Warner are so good for holidays like that!

  16. 10th February 2016 / 11:59 am

    Aww, what a bittersweet post. I hope you manage to convince your son to go on one last holiday as a family. Somewhere with lots going on seems perfect … although you might not see him if there’s too much to distract him!

  17. 10th February 2016 / 10:42 pm

    I know exactly how you feel having a 17 year old she refused point blank this year to come anywhere with us and instead she’s staying home to care for the dog ….

    • 11th February 2016 / 2:19 pm

      I’m not brave enough to leave mine at home, his bedroom’s bad enough!

  18. 11th February 2016 / 9:22 pm

    Such a lovely post and I remember when I said to my mum that I no longer wanted to go on the family holiday, the look on her face is still one I remember now x

    • 13th February 2016 / 12:19 pm

      it difficult as I’m sure you would have hated being made to go just like my son, the decision was made by my parents not to take me on holiday as i was a teenager, I didn’t mind but then hated it when they left.

  19. 11th February 2016 / 10:37 pm

    Oh no, it’s always sad when your kids stop wanting to spend time with you and go on holidays with you. I also agree your son it a proper little heartbreaker.

    • 13th February 2016 / 12:17 pm

      i’m sure that some parents relish the time on their own which i can totally understand but I’m just not ready for that yet.

  20. 15th February 2016 / 1:12 am

    Aww teens. So big, so independent. I remember when I was like that and I most definitely didn’t want to go with my parents on a weekend away (although I am sure if there had been sun and the sea on offer I would have reconsidered!) 🙂 Good luck!

    • 15th February 2016 / 8:36 am

      I am hoping the lure of fun and excitement will overshadow any pull to be with his friends. I’d love to be able to say he can bring a mate but I selfishly want him all to myself!

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