Traveling with a teenagers

Apr 14th, 2002, 01:19 PM
  #1  
Katherine
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Traveling with a teenagers

I am taking my two children to Europe this summer. We are planning to go to Spain, France and Italy for about two weeks. The problem is my 16-year-old daughter does not like to stay with the family at night, and has expressed her displeasure with doing so on past trips saying that I need to “let her grow up”. She is studying Spanish in school, and able to speak pretty well, so I am not worried terribly (other than the usual fears of any parent) about her getting around in Spain. I have no idea about nightlife in Europe. Any tips or ideas?

Also, my son is turning 13 while we are in France (tentatively the Loire valley) Any ideas on where to celebrate

thank you
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 02:18 PM
  #2  
Rex
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This is as much a parenting question as a travel question, in my opinion. I think that one solution is to agree to let show that she can be responsible in graduated steps. Go to some place where you feel that disorientation is not an issue and allow her to go off on her own for 30 minutes - - and return to a designated spot, maybe this is during an afternoon. Then later that evening, or the next day, allow an hour. As a parent, I would probably not be comfortable with the "off on her own" portion extending VERY late until three or four proven test periods.

Good communication and rewarding responsible behavior will probably lead to some hope for a mutually agreeable answer.

Best wishes,

Rex
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 02:40 PM
  #3  
Rex
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Oh, whoops - -forgot about your son. I'd recommend one of the "son et lumiere" (sound and light)exhibits at the various chateaux. I haven't been to one since 30 years ago, so I will let others suggest which ones are really good now. Your hotel will probably be a good source of info about this also.
 
Apr 14th, 2002, 07:04 PM
  #4  
ttt
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to the top
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 06:03 AM
  #5  
Nancy
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Katherine,

Re your daughter wanting to be independent, first decide how responsible and dependable she is at home. I am a mother of two teenagers, and they are totally different. I agree with Rex, independence has to come in stages. I assume you are living in Houston. How much has she done on her own? How does she deal with out-of-the ordinary situations? Is she able to handle things calmly and make rational decisions on-the-spot? Also, speaking and understanding a language when you are a tourist is more challenging than in your home environment. Personally, I would not be comfortable having my 16 year old -son or daughter- out alone without having an idea where he/she was heading and what time he'd be coming back. I hope you have a great time.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 07:36 AM
  #6  
Jill
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Any other opinions?
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 07:50 AM
  #7  
jb
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First, let me say I am not a parent of teenager so my concerns may be moot. Here they are...

I would take into consideration where you will be, who she will be with, etc. I am assuming you will eat dinner as a family - in Spain you may be eating as late as 10 or 11 pm - so does that mean that she wants to hit the discos at midnight and not come home until 3 or 4 in the morning? Also, will she have a friend with her or will she be alone? That would frighten me! Is she naive or smart - some swarmy guy could put something in her drink! Whether here in the US or in foreign country, older guys could put moves on an innocent girl!

Obviously, if you decide to let her go, you will have these talks with her and make sure she doesn't go out completely clueless to what she could encounter along the way.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 08:10 AM
  #8  
dd
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I can sympathize with your problem. I too do not have "a daughter who is very mature and are well bahaved and benefits from exposure to different culture."

We took a 15 yr old daughter one year. She complained all the time during the trip how boring it was to be around with us and rather stay home and hang around with her friends. We let her on own during some afternoon, let her walk around on her own near the hotel, let her go to internet cafe we know where, but had to be back before dinner time. The next year, she would not want to go at all, so we had to make an arrangement to have her stay at home. We though it would be a lost cause to take her with us.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 08:21 AM
  #9  
Melanie
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I was a foreign exchange student (from Houston) in Spain as a 16 year old (early 90s). While I had an amazing time, I would cringe in fear if my parents knew what I was gettting into. Nightlife in Spain = late/crazy. No age limits at clubs and drinking starts as soon as you can reach the bar (don't believe the age 18 limit). Most clubs didn't open until late and everyone drinks/smokes. It would be one thing if she went out with friends (who knew the area at night), but I wouldn't feel comfortable having my child do that without friends. Let her go to a cafe. Probably will be ones near your hotel. Ask concierge at your hotels for concerts or gathering areas. Everyone in Spain eats dinner really late. I'd let her shop during day alone and meet out later.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 09:17 AM
  #10  
another
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Personally, I would never let a 16 year old girl go out on her own in any foreign country late at night. Where is she going to go? To bars? Would you let her wander NYC or Los Angeles, or downtown Houston on her own? Ridiculous. It would be only slightly more acceptable if she had a companion..but on her own, no way!

Options I would consider are:
a) leaving her at home with adult supervision
b) taking her but finding a girlfriend whose parents will finance her accompanying your family. Even if they don't go out on their own at night, they'll have companionship and you'll have less griping about how boring your company is!
c) letting her do some daytime sightseeing on her own.
d) letting her do the planning for a couple of special nights in each city of something for you to do as a family. At least the itinerary will be hers and she might feel more engaged.

Best of luck.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 10:50 AM
  #11  
Dr. Dick
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Katherine,

Are you out of your mind?????????? You obviously have lost all control on your 16 year old daughter, and she is calling the shots.

I would strongly recommend major doses of birth control pills whether she goes with you or not. You already have major problems with bigger ones comming up.

Good luck. No more children please.

Dr. Dick
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 11:03 AM
  #12  
Lauren
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16!! Oh what a dangerous age! I am 21 years old and studying abroad, I spent my college years in Washington, DC, and I consider myself a very independent female. Of course I totally understand your daughters concerns, but there is no way she should be allowed to wander the streets of Spain at night and especially alone. (Sorry daughter.)

I visited Barcelona and Granada a few weeks ago, and lets just say the males are more aggressive than what we are used to in the States and alcohol is amply available, even to teenagers.

I thought I had it all together at 16 and now I thank my parents every day for being "horrible parents."

-Lauren
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 05:04 PM
  #13  
Marita
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As a parent of four children, three of them teenagers, I can sympathise! We have friends who have made arrangements to let the teens stay at home, and other friends who have allowed their children to bring friends with them. My speech to our kids is - they can go out with their friends almost every weekend. When we go on vacation, we plan to go as a family. The vacation with us they will remember forever, whereas the weekends with friends will start to run together after awhile.
And my husband has a bit of a temper, so they know not to complain too much

Good luck!

Marita
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 05:12 PM
  #14  
StCirq
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Katherine: Whether or not your 16-year-old daughter wants to spend the evenings with you, I'd recommend you find ways for her to do so. I would never, ever allow my 15-year-old daughter, who is also a responsible girl,and who has grown up spending summers in southwestern France, to go out on her own in the evenings in Europe. The fact that your daughter speaks some Spanish (mine speaks decent French) is cause more for fear than for comfort. Neither you nor she understands what the local culture may have in store for her - it may be a lot more than even she can handle. European teens are in many ways even more mature than Americans, if that's believable, and it is quite possible she will find herself in a situation she doesn't want to be in and one she can't gracefully handle in the language. I'd leave her home or plan for her to spend at least the later part of most evenings with the family.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 05:21 PM
  #15  
hillary
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It's a family vacation, she stays with the family. Let her go on her own when she can pay for it. She should be thankful she is even getting to visit a foreign country. So many don't ever in their lives.
 
Apr 15th, 2002, 05:31 PM
  #16  
Are_you_crazy
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NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!

Get My Point????
 
Apr 17th, 2002, 03:52 AM
  #17  
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Apr 17th, 2002, 06:59 AM
  #18  
rlr
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If your daughter wants her own room, let her pay for it. I think that would settle things. Remember, it is her duty as a teen to push, push, push, and see how far she can go and it is your duty to make sure she is SAFE and grows up to see her next birthday.
 

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