Tips For Camping With Teenagers

Camping with kids can be a great way to ensure that the whole family is able to spend some quality time together and can teach both parents and their offspring some valuable life lessons. But camping can be less harmonious as children hit those awkward teenage years. So, how do you have sure that those last few precious family holidays do not turn into nightmares, with those obstreperous teens in tow? Here are a few tips for camping with teenagers:

Choosing a Teen Friendly Camping Holiday

There can sometimes be a huge disconnect between what teenagers like to do and what their parents think they ought to want to do. A little understanding is key to making sure that everyone has a good holiday – and at least some of it can be spent together. Choose a campsite which allows teens to let loose a little and enjoy some freedom from family without disconnecting entirely. Teenagers and too many restrictive rules do not go well. Sometimes teenagers may seem like a different species but when it comes down to it, they are not so different. Just accept that they might not want to spend every second with their folks. Consider choosing a campsite where they are more likely to meet others of their own age – or allow them to bring a friend or two along.

Getting Teens To Pitch In

While teenagers are not likely to want to go on long nature walks and have prolonged periods with only their family to talk to, there are plenty of activities that many teenagers will really enjoy – building fires, making smores... there are others that will require a more compliant teen, such as tidying up your camp. While sometimes it is important to lay down the law, at other times, you can relax a little and let things slide. A camping trip is the perfect dry run opportunity to loosen those apron strings. Allow your teen to prove that they have a more responsible side by letting them head into the local town for a while, and do not be uptight when it comes to allowing them access to fire starting equipment and dangerous tools. Show them how to use them right – but ultimately, give them the space and freedom to learn. Give your teen responsibility for starting a fire of an evening, or cooking a camp meal and you may be surprised how much they can step up and get things done.

Balancing Freedom with Family Fun

Teens will almost always want more freedom than you are willing to give, but a camping holiday is the perfect opportunity to test those boundaries in a safe environment. If you are always pressuring your teen to spend time with you, they will be less likely to want to do so. On a camping holiday with teens, let the little things slide – let them use their phone – let them sleep in until noon if they want – what does it matter? Let them head off for an afternoon with a friend. That way, when evening comes, they will be far more likely to want to spend some quality family time around the campfire. Balancing freedom with family fun can be difficult – but as your kids grow, this is a balance you have to learn and camping can be the perfect time to learn those skills.