- Family and Parenting
Camping With Teens - Tips For a Better Experience
Are your teens tech dependant?
We are all guilty of this and your teenagers are not all to blame but it seems like we always get side tracked with our technical gadgets. Phones, ipods, Blackberries, laptops and numerous more I can not count. Although these items make our life easier they also suck the conversation out of a room. Many of us think we are tech dependent, but are we?
Think about this, if we were to have a great disaster and all of our communication devices were wiped out, what would we do? I'll tell you, we would have to actually talk to each other face to face once again just like in simpler times. There is a way to reconnect with your family without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a family therapist and it seems to work all the time. The method is...are you ready?...Camping! Now I know your probably cringing at this thought because your used to staying in your 4 and 5 star hotels on vacation but just hear me out for a minute on this one then make your decision.
When I say camping I don't necessarily mean in a tent, it could be a trailer or motor home but it should be in a place where you have no Internet connection or phone service. This is important because you want the family to bond without any distractions. As a family you may have some trouble getting the kids to sit down with you to decide on where to stay so you may have to do this part alone. Once you've decided on a place let the kids know about the trip and help them pack. They are going to cringe about the thought of spending some time without their cell phones or electronic devices and most of all having to spend it with their boring parents who are packing all their camping supplies into the motor home. Be ready for some bad attitudes at first until they have settled in at the camp site and realized that they aren't getting out until the rest of the family leaves.
Here are some tips on how to get the bonding started with your family.
1. Bring chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers for s'mores. This will get the party started the first night and something funny will happen almost guaranteed to make the whole family laugh.
2. Have your kids go hunting for firewood, there's always a sense of adventure when they are off on their own in an unfamiliar place.
3. Learn about the wildlife in the area before you go and tell your kids that the first one to see a blue bellied finch (or whatever you decide) wins a prize.
4. let them bring a friend if possible because it will not only make them happier but it will make them talk to their friend face to face instead of texting. This can build strong friendship bonds that will last a lifetime.
5. sit around the campfire at night and tell stories about the funny things they did when they were younger, this make them smile and usually older kids it brings back wonderful memories.
6. try to get a dowsing rod or other primitive tool then tell them how to use it to find water. This will give them something to do when they seem bored.
Don't break out all the stops at once wait until you see lulls in the day to bring out these things, take them on hikes and tell them to lead the way. Make sure you know where you're going, maybe a GPS would be a good tool for some families. All in all if you would like to build a stronger family bond then camping without the use of most tech gadgets will bring your family closer and build memories that can last a lifetime. There's no need for a family therapist, just Mother Nature.