Travel with Teen: Salt Lake

While the boys had their age appropriate moments of poor behavior on the trip, Symone wins the worst traveler award. With only one day left I’m not sure how she can Unwin that award.

Her teen world falls into two categories: about me, not about me. Traveling with a person with only those two settings is a drag. While this is quintessential teen it’s still been pretty exasperating.

An earmark of teenhood is not having a measuring stick yet. Things that didn’t go her way couldn’t simply be shrugged off – they instead become a knife that was plunged into the very core of their developing personhood. We tried a number of approaches to help her process her less than ideal experiences but none of our attempts found their mark… yet.

Throughout the trip Symone has had to face not being a child anymore. The Red Robin milkshake she’d enjoyed when she was seven no longer tastes the same to her at 12.75. She chose to deal with her disappointment by bitterly complaining, vilifying the milkshake and all those who had a hand in its making, and being angry at all of us for not somehow knowing that the experience wouldn’t be pleasing for her.

Somehow she got the idea that travel was luxurious, relaxing, and free from discomfort or responsibilities. Her loudly express entitlement has us cringing and wondering where she got any of these ideas – we decided we needed to start talking about our experiences, and range of discomforts differently to teach her what to put up with and what is actually uncomfortable and can be fixed.

She’s also going to be the recipient of a lot more household responsibilities when she gets home.

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