Monday, March 30, 2015

Traveling with Tweens

When you're traveling with two tweens in tow -- as we've been doing this month with our friends who are in town -- you might think you can relax a bit and not worry as much as you would with a toddler. That's true in some sense, since they can swim, go to the bathroom on their own and even do helpful chores around the house... but at the same time, it's the "managing attitudes" part that comes up and bites you, especially when you're most tender.
When times get tough, throw the goofballs in the back of the truck.

Tweens, like all kids, get tired and hungry and cranky after all day swimming or walking around in the hot sun. Unlike toddlers, however, they're not prone to naps and they talk back a whole lot more... to the point that even those who love them want to fling them across the room from time to time.

Traveling with tweens means you can have a bit of freedom to relax and read a book while they play together on the beach, not worrying so much about what they're doing every single moment... but it's not all fun and games, and the intense parts of parenting are still just as intense. Basically, they piss people off and drive them to the brink.

Getting everyone back from the brink often involves more than just a nap -- it involves shoring up patience and grace, and finding a teachable moment to appeal to a tween's better sensibilities and to try to correct their behaviors with some straight talk. When all of this is done on the road, it can mean lots of hair lost. BUT -- at the end, you're still showing them parts of the world that challenge their sense of gratitude and entitlement, and that's going to benefit their characters in a big way.

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Speaking of grace, check out Josh Armstrong's book, A Picture of Grace, which deals with grief and how art can help heal.

AND speaking of teaching lessons to kids -- Harper Lee, author of To Kill a Mockingbird, has a new book! Check out Ol' Curiosities book store and pre-order your copy of Go Set a Watchman. I am super excited to read it!


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