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Tween Safety on the Road

by Ronald A. Rowe | July 19th, 2013 | Safety, Tweens

brothers on boat When you travel with a Tween, you enter into a whole new world of anxiety. When the kids were little, it was pretty cut and dried. Keep the kids in sight at all times and trust no one. Easy, at least from a parental decision- making perspective. But as the kids age, it becomes a bit harder to decide where to draw the lines.

Tweens have gotten that first, delicious taste of independence and it always leaves them craving more. How embarrassing to have mom escort her to the ladies’ room at the road side rest stop. How unnecessary for dad to hover so close over him. Yet, what’s a parent to do? 10,11,12 year olds are still very much subject to a lot of dangers out there on the road anywhere from amusement parks to welcome centers to hotel lobbies.

Your best weapon in the battle between independence and safety while on vacation is communication. Talk early (before you ever leave the driveway) and often with your Tween about what constitutes acceptable behavior and what activities are off limits. Simple rules laid out in advance can ward off public temper tantrums along the journey.

If you have multiple children — even if the others are above or below the Tween years — one tried and true classic can still work wonders. The age old Buddy System is just as relevant today as it ever was. Two children together are far less vulnerable than either would be alone. If you partner your Tween with an older sibling, they both gain the added protection that comes with numbers without the stigma of having mom or dad hanging around every moment. And if you pair up your Tween with a younger sibling it will, generally speaking, bring out the responsible side of the older child and make him or her far more safety-conscious than he or she otherwise might be.

As always, each situation and each child is different. There are circumstances in which a little more latitude may be in order. There are also situations in which there can be no substitute for a close parental presence. But following these basic steps should make your vacation both safer and less stressful than if you wing it as you go.

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