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Setting rules with your teen when on holiday

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They want independence, you want a harmonious family trip. But with a bit of planning and negotiation, you can keep everyone happy when traveling together

We all hope for an idyllic time on family holidays, but everyone knows that being in close quarters for long periods of time can lead to frayed tempers.

That goes double when you've got teen children. They're keen to be independent, but they might still be too young to travel alone. So they can feel like you're cramping their style.

One solution is to let them explore on their own. But for peace of mind, you'll want to agree some ground rules first. Aim to get a good balance of freedom for them and time together, as well as making sure that they don't get into any trouble.

Don't do everything for them

This rule is for you: it's all too easy as a mum to take responsibility for everything. But they're old enough to pack their own bags. Just make sure that they've left enough room for essentials among all their gadgets and chargers.

They can look after important documents like their passport, but it's a good idea for you to make a copy and keep it too. That way, if the worst happens, it's easier to get a replacement.

Set a curfew they can stick to

If your teenager is old enough and responsible enough to explore without you in the evenings, then agree a time for them to return to your accommodation.

You'll want them to be home before you go to sleep, for peace of mind, so set out your expectation and ask them what time they think is reasonable. They'll be more likely to stick to a curfew that they've been consulted on.

Let them make some of the decisions

Your holiday rules need to go both ways: they can't just be about telling your teen what to do. Teenagers exploring their independence can get irritable if they feel you're running their life.

So put them in control and let them make choices for the family, with nights where they choose where to eat or days when they decide which activity to pursue. Watch them rise to the occasion when they have some responsibility.

Don't relax your rules on drinking

If your teen thinks that your European holiday destination will be a free-for-all when it comes to buying alcohol, they have another think coming. Under-18s can't legally purchase booze in most countries in Europe these days.

So just because you're on holiday, don't relax your usual rules on drinking when they're exploring on their own. Instead, they can enjoy trying out some of the local non-alcoholic drinks or more exotic fruit juices.

Share the chores when you come home

It's no good going on holiday only to feel wiped out as soon as you return because of all the household chores you need to catch up on. Make an agreement to share the tasks before you go, so there are no arguments when everyone's frazzled from the journey.

Why not ask your teen to put the laundry on? Bold 2in1 in new Silk Flower and Gold Freesia scent is now available in pearls and powdercombines detergent and fabric softener in one, so it's easy to use. And the soothing fragrance should help to hold any tempers at bay!

What are your rules for travelling with teens? Share your suggestions in the comments below.

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