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The topic of parents bringing children on trips

The topic of parents bringing children on trips

Old Jun 13th, 2005, 02:27 PM
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The topic of parents bringing children on trips

Whenever my wife and myself travel, we always travel with our two children who are 12 and 15. Some of our friends who travel prefer to leave their kids home (they have young children). I know its not financial reasons to leave them at home. Is it considered selfish to travel and leave kids at home if you have money and can afford it?


Just wondering other's thoughts on this sometimes touchy subject
Just wondering others thoughts on this subject...
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 02:58 PM
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I think that if you enjoy your children it enriches a trip to have them along.

I know some kids I would never want to travel with and I think their parents agree, lol.

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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 03:08 PM
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Our children are teens. They have been known to say to us, "We're not going there! Booooring!" That's when we leave them behind. They stay at home and bond with their grandparents, who are gracious enough to hold the fort down while we're gone.

Other times our children have said exactly the opposite, and that's when we do the family vacation thing.

Both experiences are wonderful.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 03:15 PM
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We have kids, 3 and 5, and we do it both ways. Even though they both travel very well and have a ball wherever we go, I think it's important for a couple to have time to reconnect without the kids around every once in awhile. I'm a stay-at-home mom and I'm all for spending quality time with the family, but I need a break from my job sometimes too.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 03:19 PM
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I think there are variables here. When my parents used to go to Vegas (back before Vegas became "kid friendly&quot, there was no way I wanted to go. I was very happy staying at the home with the grandmother and kids of another couple my parents went with.

Same can be said if the kids are still very, very young. Some people enjoy traveling with infants/toddlers, others don't. I don't think either one is good or bad, just personal perference. (I doubt a 6 month old is goind to remember their experience in Paris much, anyway)

Older kids? I would say if they are able to understand and enjoy where they are, take them. It's a wonderful opportunity.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 03:53 PM
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My husband and I travel with and without our children. Some of our travel is business reward-type trips and it is specifically stated that children are not invited.

We love to travel to national parks and do a lot of hiking and outdoor type stuff like white water rafting. These types of trips were not possible when the kids were younger, so we would go and the kids would stay with my parents. My sons love this, and they look forward to it. We hadn't done this for a few years (gone away by ourselves) since we were doing more of the business type travel. We went to Maui on a business trip last month,and while it was wonderful, our 2 extension days in Kauai were also great b/c we got to do everything at OUR pace. I had forgotten how wonderful this type of travel with your spouse can be.

I do think there are inappropriate places to bring children - places they are not ready for (like spending hours in the Louvre), or places where it's not proper - like my husband's business trips.

That said, we also take 2 family vacations a year and I LOVE these. These are planned with a kid focus - not that we don't try to hike and do some things we like, but we try to plan these with an eye toward what THEY would enjoy. (Orlando is certainly not MY favorite destination!)

One thing we never did, though, was plane travel when they were really young. We went to the beach, but didn't take my youngest on a plane until he was 4. It helps that my kids are only 2 years apart. Now they are excellent travelers, but we've had some stressful situations. (Like the time my older son caught a nasty stomach bug one hour before boarding our departure plane home!)

Family travel is great for just enjoying your family without worrying about chores, school stuff, etc.

My younger son says his favorite ride is "an airplane".

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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 08:04 PM
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We love travelling with our 12 year old twins. We travelled internationally with them starting when they were 7. Because we weren't sure how it would go, we chose one country, Greece, rented an apartment on one island, Sifnos, for three weeks. We wanted to have a "homebase" and if all went well, we would do some island hopping. We ended up loving Sifnos, the children loved the island life (what's not to like?) and they also adapted well to the different food, etc. Ultimately we did a little island hopping by taking a ferry to Santorini for a few days. It was a great trip.

Since then, we have taken them to Mexico, Croatia, Italy and the Netherlands. This year we are going back to Greece and Italy.

My husband and I also travel without the children together and separately. This year I went to Switzerland alone and my husband went to Cambodia. We also travel as a couple and leave the children behind. Each form of travel has its own rewards and drawbacks. As the children move into adolescence the entire mood will change I am sure. Overall, travelling has been a great bonding experience for us as we spend so much intense time together and learn to give each other space and time alone. It has strengthened us as a family and as individuals.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 10:56 PM
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We have always taken our only son with us on holidays. However last trip to europe was not a big success, I wrote in my diary NEVER AGAIN! He is now 14 and we are going alone this time. It is also our 20th wedding anniversary so that in itself makes it different. I think it is sometimes necessary to have just husband and wife time together, this is something we just don't do enough of. (Personally speaking) As an overactive boy he is not keen on "wandering - atmosphere - mooching" so this is what this trip is going to be all about - I hope.
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Old Jun 13th, 2005, 11:18 PM
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Going on holiday and leaving your children behind must be an American thing as I've never heard of this in the UK (before the children are 16).

A weekend or a business trip yes but not your main holiday. I wouldn't dream of leaving my children behind, I don't think we could bare being away from them for that length of time.

We choose a location that satisfies everyone's needs , for the children, its beach & swimming, for dad golf and for mum, food.

Geordie
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 01:04 AM
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We do it both ways. Our daughter is 4 and loves staying at her grandparents. They quite frequently asks her to come and stay with them for three-four days, and then we think that we might as well do something nice for ourselves, like going away for a few days, instead of staying at home. Next weekend we are going to Amsterdam, and my daughter is going to stay with my parents at their summer cottage, so everyone is happy...
I get a lot of comments about this - as if going away without her eqals me being a bad parent... I think it is important for couples to remember why they got together in the first place.
Furthermore, when we go alone we prefer going to cities and do things that are not for small children (I mean as in shopping, eating at very good restaurants and going to art exhibitions!), so I refuse to have bad feelings about going away without her.
That said, we only do this for weekend breaks, I would never go away without her for more than 3-4 days. At major holidays we do the family vacation thing and really enjoy it.
I would not say that going away w.o. kids is an American thing - I am from Denmark... and lots of our friends and relatives do holidays both ways...
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 01:43 AM
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We've been taking my daughter abroad since she was 20 something months old (Malta), even on citybreaks to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, etc. When she was younger, we would spend an hour or so in a museum, then do something that was "fun" for her. As she gets older, so she is able to spend longer in the museums, etc., and she now really enjoys that part of it.
Main holidays are different, in that we each get to choose a couple of places to go or things to do, that everybody does - that way we all get something we like.
We have gone without her, but only when she's already gone somewhere else (Brownie/Guide camp, for example). I could never arrange a holiday without including her, and I would never take her or my wife on a business trip under any circumstances.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 03:44 AM
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Selfish? I don't remember anything that says kids are entitled to every shared moment between husband and wife.

Let me put this is perspective. We take the kids with us everywhere--we've probably had a total of 14 days away from them since my 18-year-old daughter was born.

However--and this is quite important--they are "easy" kids who once they slept through the night have never been the cause of strife in our marriage. Our time with them isn't work; it's fun.

In contrast, I have friends with children who are tough little critters, the kind of kids who allow no downtime. Leaving the kids behind not only has preserved several marriages but probably has also been a gift to any person who would have been travelling with them!
 
Old Jun 14th, 2005, 03:51 AM
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It depends on the circumstances. In many cases, it is a gift (to ALL involved) to allow children to spend some time with their grandparents.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 03:57 AM
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My kids are 15 and 18 and I worked part time until a few years ago. So we could only afford one trip most years and they went with us. Sure, it wasn't always easy but the memories are priceless. Even in our pre-kid days we weren't into nightlife and fine dining, so we don't miss it on vacation. In the last few years it's become a real joy to travel with them.

My sister and her husband have always taken 2 or more trips each year of a week or longer without their kids. They've taken fewer than 5 family trips over the years. I think this is sad. Both they and their kids have missed out on a lot.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 05:14 AM
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There are three things in the world everyone imagines they can do. One is to be president of the United States, the second is to be the manager of a baseball team, and the third is to be a more selfless, read, better parent to someone else's children.

Seriously, orzo, your question has to be more specific if it is to resolve anything. One can't evaluate an action based on some abstract and subjective concept of selflessless. One not only needs to know what goals the parties involved are trying to achieve, but to accept that these very likely differ from family to family, before one could come to any conclusion as to how well they met these objectives.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 05:19 AM
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 06:00 AM
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Ditto Sue!: No one ever offers more adamant advice on childrearing than someone without children.

And ditto Sue, it can go any number of ways. There can be times when wanting your kids to come with you when they'd much rather do something else (go to soccer camp, etc.) might be considered selfish, but leaving them behind on a once-in-a-lifetime trip they're dying to come along on could also be selfish.

But it's more complicated than that, because as we all know (and should remember), what 14-yr.-olds say about what's worth doing, what's BORRRRRRRING, what's cool and what's not can be very far from what will be -- in the long run -- the actual case.

And then there's the case of marriage-nurturing trips.......
 
Old Jun 14th, 2005, 06:03 AM
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travdis, is that you?
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 06:14 AM
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Sue & Cassandra

Re-reading the comments here, I don't think there is anyone commenting here that doesn't have children and so like myself I'm speaking from personal experience both about my children and others.

By the way I don't think everyone in the WORLD wants to be President of the US or a Baseball manager, maybe thats also an American thing.

Confused Geordie
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 06:32 AM
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The OP did not specify that this question was for parents only.
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