Monday, March 3, 2014

Things my kids will know before they go on vacation without me and with their friends

We go on a vacation with two other moms and all the kids, all boys I might add. It always involves water, rafts, and some good fun. As a mom who always takes kids it never occurred to me that there IS an etiquette for kids when they are on vacation with parents other than their own. I say this because I invited a friend for one of my kids (the other two have friends who come with the other two moms). I thought I was doing my oldest a favor and he did too.......until we got to the cabin.

DUN, DUN, DUN.....

Things my kids WILL know before they go on vacation with adults that are not their parents, in no particular order:

1. You are the guest, but that does not make you exempt from helping load or unload the vehicle.  Be the first to ask what you can do to help.
2. When you are asked to do something, do it. Do it immediately, not at your leisure.
3. When other kids tell you to stop doing something because its annoying, hurtful, or just plain mean, it is your job to listen and to stop the action.
4. If you are the oldest, you are the example. The other kids will look up to you and want to mimic your behavior.
5. Don't name call.
6. Don't mock the younger kids.
7. Listen to the adults AT ALL TIMES.
8. Some of the rules may be lame, but it is your job to follow them. After all it is for the safety of you and the others.
9. Be respectful to everyone on the vacation.
10. If you have done something pleasurable or unpleasureable own up to it, don't pass the buck to someone else to get the heat off you.
11. Don't call your friends back home and tell him your are with a bunch of little kids and that they are annoying within earshot of people who brought you on the vacation.

However, there is a flip side to this. If you are the one inviting there is also an etiquette. So, to my oldest:

1. This is your guest, you don't get to check out just because he is a bit overwhelming. You wanted to bring a friend so as not to deal with one of your brothers.
2. You also are not exempt from helping out.
3. Spend some time with the friend who has been invited on the vacation......for you!
4. It is your job to make your friend feel welcome, feel like he is a part of the group.
5. Find out what he wants to do that doesn't include the younger kids.
6. When he expresses interest in doing something or going somewhere with you, do it. Don't tell him no and make an effort to get away from him.

Ahhhh, the joys of vacation. This won't deter me from bringing a friend, it just gave me insight. I need to lay out my expectations right off the bat, to all the kids involved. 

What is your worst experience when inviting a friend for one of your kids?


Tink said...

Looks like some pretty good rules.

Heather said...

Oh Suzi... I'm glad you have rules like these for your sons. So many parents today don't. You are such a good mom.

Suzi said...

It was a tough lesson for those boys. I learned a lot too.