It’s hard, I know but eventually the teens with travel without us. It’s going to be okay!
Getting your teen ready for an upcoming school trip is something that is often overlooked by parents. Although parents are hyper aware these days, it is not hard to assume that the school will have proper supervision in place. The truth is, kids still need to know what to do in certain situations. The violent world we live in demands that we talk about uncomfortable things, and particularly so when we are releasing our teens to someone else’s care. Here are some things to consider talking over with your kid before they head off on a parent free school trip:
The first thing you should do is make certain they have an emergency contact plan. If they happen to get lost or separated from the group, they should have a contact list with numbers and information for others in the group, leaders on the trip and you. They should understand that contacting those on that list is priority number one if they get left behind or lost.
Next, it is important to discuss what is appropriate and what is not. Despite your having had that birds and bees conversation already, having it again is an important thing if they are heading on an overnight trip with the school. These are the times where kids can find themselves in trouble. They need to know what is expected and what is safe…as well as what is not.
Make sure your child goes equipped for the place they will be. Warmth for cold weather, etc…Make sure they have a cell phone with back up power so that they will always be in touch if needed. That lifeline is extremely important for parents and children when they go away for the first time.
Get to know the leadership that will be going along on the trip. If you do not have a comfort level with the group that is going or the leaders on the trip, volunteer to come along. Your teen might be upset at first, but they will relent. It is very important to feel okay with the leadership.
Finally, have your kids buddy up. If your child is going on a trip without you there, they need to have a friend or someone that they can hang with the entire trip. This is great if your teen has a best friend along or a sibling. They will not always stick to it, but you will at least have a basis for them being with someone often. Taking care of one another will make them feel grown up if you appeal to that part of their maturity level.
Do you have any tips or suggestions you can share from your own experience with parent-free teen travel?