Patented Q & A Database
I have a 13-year-old daughter and we are bringing her friend with us on a cruise this winter. How much freedom should we allow them to have while on the cruise?
I recommend you use the same criteria you would use if she and her friend were in a city environment. Being on a cruise ship is no different, in my opinion. Base the freedom on their track record of previous responsibility in public places and in checking in with you from other activities. Since this an individualized question you will have to rely on your own judgment and the maturity level of your 13 year old. My only other comment is to remember safety first and to reinforce this to them before you go on the trip.
Posted On 2009-10-12 17:03:19
This obviously has to fit with what you are comfort with.
My 16-year-old daughter has received a lot more freedom on our trips than she would at home because I felt comfortable in our travel environments. We cruise a lot and these self-contained environments, with personnel constantly around in public places, allowed me to feel more at ease. Thus, she was allowed to walk around ships at an earlier age than she would have in a city hotel environment.
You need to talk to your daughter and friend ahead of time about curfews; what to do if they do not feel comfortable in a situation; not going in other people's ship or hotel rooms; etc. When my daughter was a tween, we gave her a walkie talkie to communicate with us on the cruise ships. (Cell phone usage is extremely expensive while at sea.) This provided comfort for me.
I always stressed to my daughter that the more resopnsible she was with her new freedom, the more she'll get in the future. So far, it has worked out beautifully.
Obviously, two tweens and teens exploring together adds more comfort than one solo.
Eventually, our children will go to college or move out of our house to spread their wings. The greatest gift we can give them is to slowly allow them to spread those wings in environments that we feel and hope are safe.
For every time I travel with my kids, they come back more mature, having had a life experience along the way that they may not have had while at home.
Teen Travel Whisperer
Posted On 2009-09-22 11:03:54