As a parent, it is natural for you to want to keep your kids close, even if they are teenagers. It’s natural for you to worry about them when they’re out of your supervision. But keeping them at home is far from being a healthy way to express that worry. In fact, curbing their freedom in this manner can be detrimental to their development.
Letting your teenage kids go on a trip with their peers is a great idea. It will give them a taste of the independence they’ll soon have as adults. But giving your kids the freedom to venture out on their own doesn’t mean that you can’t still take care of them. Your advice to your kid before they set off will prove to be invaluable throughout their journey.
Read on for some tips you should follow to ensure your teenage child’s safety on a trip, without being physically present.
- Ask your child for a detailed itinerary: Let your child decide their whole travel plan, but do involve yourself in listing out the itinerary. By doing this, you can teach your child the importance of having a well-defined plan before hitting the road. The list should include contact details of the places where your child is going to stay, along with the route of travel.
Recommended Read: How to Avoid The Stress of Vacation Planning
- Educate yourself and your child about the place she is going to visit: It is always good to have some knowledge about a place before you visit it. Information about the weather at your destination will help you’ll choose the right clothes and accessories. Your child should be aware of any significant rules or laws at their destination (especially if it’s a trip abroad). The more you’ve researched about the destination, the more specific advice you can pass on to your child.
- Make your child pack their luggage (while prioritizing health): Don’t offer to pack your teenager’s luggage. Let them do the packing themselves, under your supervision. Don’t stop them from packing whatever they want, but ensure that they understand the importance of taking care of their health while traveling. Prepare a first-aid kit, and be sure to include medication for some common ailments like headaches and diarrhoea. Make sure that your child understands which medicine to use in what circumstance.
- Talk money: It is best to give your kid some cash, as well as a credit or debit card. This is because they may get into a situation where they need more money than you can give them in cash. But make sure you track their spending online. Don’t restrict your child’s spending too much, but make them account for every cent they spend. You can also give them a money belt to keep their cards and money safe under their clothes.
- Give them some practical advice to keep them safe from strangers: ‘Stranger danger’ is a sad reality of the world we live in. You’ve no doubt educated your children about the need to be vigilant all through their lives. Make sure those lessons are reinforced in your child’s mind before they set off on their trip. Tell your child to avoid mingling with strangers, and to avoid at any cost sharing any personal details with them, or accepting any food from them.
The most important tip of all is for you to trust your child. Do keep tabs on them for their safety, but don’t be too controlling. The more you try to control and restrict your child’s activities, the more they are likely to rebel. The best thing you can do is to empower your child with your advice and wisdom before letting them do what they want to do. This holds true not just for teen trips, but also for their lives in general.
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