Holidays can become stressful times of the year very quickly. Work stress can flow over into holiday stress, and mess up a good holiday. But taking holidays with your teen doesn’t have to be stressful.

There’s lots of things that build up stress when it comes to holidays. Work commitments can pile up, all the planning and packing that’s required, exhausted parents, bored kids, it can all become too much very quickly!

My philosophy is that you can improve your relationship with your kids through small actions, in 5 minutes or less a day. So this article will hopefully show you how you can apply that when on holiday.

If you’re thinking of taking a holiday this season with the family, here’s a few quick tips about how you can make the holiday time as stress-free as possible.

Taking stress-less holidays with your teen

1. If you don’t know where to go, ask your kids! They might surprise you with their suggestions.

2. Better yet, why not give your pre-teens or teens a chance to make some decisions? Give them a time frame and budget, and let them come up with a travel itinerary. This will help your pre-teens to feel like they have a say in what happens.

3. If you want to avoid a major source of conflict, don’t ban iPods or cell phones – simply dedicate some time to when you can discuss something as a family during the trip, and the rest of the time is your child’s ‘free time’ to do whatever they wish. Everyone will be happier and you all need some ‘quiet time’!

4. If you’re taking your work on holiday, make sure you dedicate your time to it for an X amount of time every day during ‘free time’ – that way you’ll have time to balance out the time you have to work and have fun! If you spend all your time working, your children may wonder why you bothered going on holiday at all.

5. Make a rule that if it’s a family trip, the whole family goes. No exceptions. This way, everyone is clear on the rule and it also narrows your chances of coming back to an un-supervised party house.

6. When conflicts arise, cut them on the spot. Take your child for a walk and have a good chat to them. Make sure that you listen and don’t just talk and that way the problem won’t spoil the whole holiday. It might even bring you closer together and that’s what family holidays are about.

7. Most of all, remember to have fun! Without banning anything, or starting up arguments, remember why you went on holiday, and that was to bond, and have fun!

If taking stress-less holidays with your teen is the goal, check out more expert advice in our Family travel section.

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Bestselling author of the book ‘You Shut Up!’, Eva-Maria is living her dream. She's on a mission to help improve 10,000,000 relationships around the world. Find out more about how to bridge the gap of misunderstanding between teenagers and adults www.eva-maria.co.nz

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