Summer Holidays – without them.

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There comes a time, and it happens to all parents, when your son or daughter doesn’t want to come on the family holiday – and it creates a dilemma. If they don’t come with you what will they do? Should you leave them to house sit while you are away (with the associated risks) or do they go on holiday with friends (with the associated risks). It can initially seem that either way you, as parents, lose and either way they win.

So lets discuss this phenomenon.


I am sure you will recognise it as another step in their gaining independence, in growing up, in maturity even. This is an inevitable journey travelled by millions of people before them but if they are your eldest, and this is therefore your first family holiday as an incomplete family, it can still be difficult.
If the request, and best option, is for them to stay at home here are some steps to consider:
briefing a responsible adult on what is about to happen – that could be a neighbour, a relative, a nearby friend or it could be the local police. Ensure they have your phone number and tell your child about the arrangement. It isn’t just a security measure to reduce any party damage but it is also an insurance policy in case your stay-at-home teen needs help in any way. Depending on who the adult is you might also want to lend them a house key.
discuss, and get agreement, on house rules. Things on the list might be how many people are allowed in the house, noise levels and music curfews, any breakages will be paid for, trust has been given and your request is that it be maintained.
establish a communication plan. It might be that you agree to speak every lunch time to touch base. If you have the technology you might even have a face time chat as they walk around the house and show you that your Ming vase looks in good shape. I would also suggest that while you are away you take your phone to bed with you and leave it switched on – just in case.
If you opt for the independent holiday then your house will be safe, your neighbours may be more happy but the trust factor has just sky rocketed. But don’t despair, they will leave the nest at some point so treat this as an excursion that enables everyone to have a taste of what it will be like.
this option still requires a communication plan, although it may need greater flexibility – especially if they travel overseas. Internet cafes work if mobile roaming isn’t available, a wireless connection plus a free program/app will work wonders if you both have the technology. There are also phone cards that can be pre purchased to ensure they can always phone home.
it will be wise to keep an eye on Facebook and Instagram accounts for as many of the group as you can – every picture still tells a story (even if these days there are a lot more pictures available). Normal rules still apply though – as parents I suggest you never comment on their wall.
Enjoy your time away, rest safe in knowing that you have done a good job as a parent and that they will ultimately recognise your values and will do the right thing.


It would be great if you could tell the readers of a positive experience you have had with going away without them – just comment below. Equally if you have a specific question the ask away below.

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