Q&A: What to Do With Teens Reluctant to Participate in Family Outings


What do families with TEENS do when they do not want to participate in family outings or summer vacations? Do you force them along? Let them stay at home? Find outings that appeal to them? Bring along a friend?

  • Glenda Spurling writes, “We always (usually always) have her go, memories are being made, and always let her bring a friend. Usually the same friend will go, our family members know her friend (by this point) and have made their own personal relationships with our daughters friend. ‘The more the merrier'”
  • Megan Rubiner Zinn writes, “All of the above.”
  • Amanda Saklad writes, “We have a ‘tween’ (age 11 1/2) and he is CONSTANTLY complaining about going places with his younger siblings (ages 6 and 9). I force him to come along and he usually ends up enjoying himself. I TRY to find stuff that appeals to such a wide age range, but tend to go with the younger stuff. When he is a little older, I’d probably let him stay home for certain outings. I find that OUTDOOR places work best for the age spread.”
  • Kara Kitchen writes, “My parents let me bring a one friend-only consolation…”
  • Jo Duran writes, “Lesson Learned: If I could do over, I would have forced my oldest to go. Bring a friend too if there is one to bring. Feel like things would have been a lot different had we done so. As parents, we are compelled to want to give our kids everything we didn’t have as kids. Not always a good idea. Besides, look how good we turned out. :)”
  • Sue Lowery writes, “Bringing a friend makes so much sense – they have someone to relate to during the trip, and you have much less pouting! I have never regretted having my kids bring a friend. That said, I am talking about driving vacations, not plane tickets. But I think the same thing would hold true.”

[Photo credit: (ccl) Ed Yourdon]

One Comment on “Q&A: What to Do With Teens Reluctant to Participate in Family Outings

  1. I so agree. By letting them opt out (until 18) doesn’t expand their distance vision – but encourages them to stew in short-sighted vision/wisdom. As parents, we see the big picture. It is our responsibility to take them places they do not want to go – to expand their vision and knowledge. I took my boys blueberry picking today. They didn’t want to go, but I know they gained something intrinsic to their internal development by trudging through it.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: