Taking an "Adult" Child on Vacation? Yes, No, They Help Pay???

Updated on August 08, 2012
3.B. asks from Tampa, FL
29 answers

Long story short we have shared parenting of my oldest. But he spends most time there as we have rules and expectations here and he doesn't like that lol But I do NOT want to get into that in this post.....
Anyways, we start planning vacation a year ahead to ensure our accomodations and to know what we need to budget for everything.
Usually as I said my oldest chooses not be here much. Which as a teenager I get that for the most part. But naturally anytime something "fun" is going on...dinner out, a waterpark,anything out of the ordinary etc he chooses to come here. He has accompanied us on our previous vacations. He is turning 18 soon, and despite our efforts to get him to be responisble in anyway it is NOT enforced there and there's nothing we can do what goes on in their home. BUT it does spill over into our home from time to time obviously......
Okay, so my "dilema" is this. We have of course always paid for everything on our vacations. Thats not really an issue. BUT the last few years my oldest COMPLAINS the entire trip. About what we are doing, what we're not doing. About the two little ones needing naps, getting crabby, wanting to leave the beach for the pool, the pool for the beach, crying during the drive down there, being sunburnt, being bored.....you get the picture??? So this past year we let him bring a friend. Told his mom(the friend) all he needed was spending money, we'd cover the rest. We rented a much bigger place, private w/ a pool. They had their own space to hang out away from the little ones. We told them they could come and go as they wanted (within reason of course)
Well ALL they did was play video games, sleep in till noon, and eat. Which would be fine BUT they'd wake up and be annoyed that my youngest was napping..."What are we goona do all day?" We'd tell them go to the beach, go walk around, go swim.... nopeThey'd wait until we could go, or aren't we eating out today??. Never good enough. It cost us quite a bit in food just to feed them, my sons friend never pulled a penny out of his pocket for anything, and they BOTH griped the ENTIRE trip. Their bedroom was too small, the pool was too cold, why aren't we all at the beach more? To be honest, it REALLY put a damper on MY vacation which I look forward to ALL year. It IS hard w/ little ones, but I tried to accomodate him as mcuh as possible...
So for NEXT year I feel like either A)It's made clear he is old enough to entertain himself when we go B)If a friend comes, we are NOT footing the entire bill OR... C) He doesn't come.
I feel awful in some ways. But at the same time he is old enough to start getting it! I am tired of feeling like he only wants to be part of this family when it's "fun time" and he can take advantage of us. Otherwise we aren't a second thought. At 18 he should be able to be considerate enough and THANKFUL enough not to B*TCH the entire time he is on all expense paid trip!?
How should we handle this upcoming trip? Please answer THIS question, I do not want lectured on why the situation is the way it is!! We tried previously to have custody 100% here, but after 12 years old he could choose where he wanted to live. And he chose. End of story there
And for the record.....if came along acted like he ENJOYED himself, did not b*tch and complain the ENTIRE trip, it wouldn't be an issue. I WANT him to be part of this family, and enjoy our vacations. If that were the case, Id happily continue to bring him along and not bat an eye. But to bring him and have him be ungrateful and complain the whole trip......????

What can I do next?

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answers from Hartford on

He'll be an adult next year. That's more than old enough for him to decide if he even wants to go. Give him the choice... and not one of those guilt-ridden choices, an actual choice. He likely has behaved the way he does because he has felt forced to go and hasn't had any input in the location of the vacation. Families often decide together where they're going to vacation.

And if he does choose to go with you, lay down some gentle ground rules. His behavior has been ultra-disrespectful. Set boundaries and be kind and gentle about it. Don't pay for him to go on next year's trip or any year that he's still in school and attending college. After that he can pay his own way.

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answers from Boston on

I do not bring my two oldest on my vacations. They are very welcome to come, but they have to pay their own way. I would make this his last paid for trip. Let him know if he wants to come next year to start saving his money.

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answers from Austin on

Communication is a great thing.

My mom never minced words. If we had acted like your son did last year, we would have had a very serious conversation when we got back.

She would have said something like.. "You know what? I really did not appreciate your attitude on our vacation. "

"I worked hard to earn the money for us to all go and have a good time and instead you whined the entire time."

"We were all putting effort into having fun, and you were the only one who acted the way you did (give the list of behaviors)."

"Next time, I am thinking since you do not seem to be able to behave and be grateful, you will not be included. "

And then it would have been up to us, to come up with a solution, and she would not have prompted or helped us come up with a solution. There would have been silence unless we spoke up.

It is time to let him know he is no longer a child and whining, crying, pouting etc.. Is unbecoming for an adult.

IF you include him and expect him to pay his way, he should be included in some of the planning.

If he is your guest, then He needs to suck it up and act like a man, not a spoiled child.

Time to start the expectations that it is up to him how he will be treated. Adults that act like children are treated as such.. Children that act mature are treated and respected for this.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Pittsburgh on

Well, I for one am PROUD of you!

You're correct: he does not respect or appreciate the family. He is completely selfish. People tend to be this way until they have reason not to. In other words, if you continue to allow him to take you for a ride, he will. There's NO way he can appreciate how generous you have been until he is a contributing part of the family unit.

I think your options are reasonable and age-appropriate. My only point of hesitation is this: does he have any idea how offensive and self-absorbed his actions were? Did a conversation take place after that vacation in which either you and/or dad expressed disappointment and took a stand against that attitude? If not, this could be blindsiding, you know?

Either way, according to Dr. Kevin Lehman, this one needs to have the rug pulled out to get his attention. Couple that w/some "Vitamin N" (for NO) unless he agrees not only to your terms but a complete attitude adjustment. A trial period wouldn't hurt, either.

I know it may seem extreme, but I consider his selfishness extreme. I'm amazed at how thoughtful and generous you were in accommodating him. Now that you see that it isn't really doing him any favors (in his mind) it's time to change the plan.

Good luck to you and ENJOY your vacation!!

9 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I would not bring him if he's going to whine and complain. At 18, he's plenty old enough to entertain himself without needing to bring a friend along. I am not in your situation (and hope not to experience this), but can tell you what my SIL said to my BIL (her younger brother) after living with her "cost free" for 4 years and all he did was complain about it... "Then get the F___ out!" If you knew my SIL, you would know that using that language is so unlike her that it prompted him to pack his things... and move in with us for a year.

My point here is that he's not a child. He's not entitled to an all expense paid vacation. It's a treat and something you invite him to do. He doesn't seem to enjoy it and I would tell him exactly that.

"Son, for the last three years you have seemed to dislike going on vacation with us. I have tried everything, including allowing you to bring a friend, to help you enjoy the time at the beach. I give up. If you do not want to go, please just say so."

Go from there. If he says that he doesn't enjoy going on vacation with the two younger ones, then thank him for his honesty and see if you can swing a "mother-son weekend" sometime during the year. If he says that he wants to go, then let him know that he is welcome to join you with the following understandings (making these up):
1. No friend to accompany him. That didn't work before, so no need to shell-out the cash and try again.
2. He must spend at least 5 hours with the family each day (does not have to be consecutive). He's not spending the whole time playing video games.
3. No complaining about ANYTHING.
4. If he violates any of the above, he's on the next flight/train/bus back to his father's house.

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answers from Boston on

He's not a part of your family and he knows it. He knows he chose the other situation, and he's making you the bad guy by complaining, essentially, that you are not a good parent to him because you don't do everything he wants. He's also justifying his decision to live elsewhere by making it clear that the little kids have all the choices made in their favor (in his mind). ("See, my mom loves her new family more than she loves me.") Some of what he's doing is also testing - how rude and miserable can he be and still have you love him?

It's also likely that he is not being raised with any manners. He's also a teen and they do whiny stuff a lot, and they are hard to please. It's hard enough when they live under your roof and you have some leverage, but in your case that's not the situation.

I don't know how much you see him, and whether you pay child support. If you have shared custody, then there's probably no CS. So he may be thinking (or possibly have been told?), "Your mother doesn't pay anything to support you, so she can at least give you a good vacation and pay for your friend."

I wouldn't take him on this sort of vacation because he clearly doesn't enjoy it. I don't think you have to rub it in his face that you're going away and he's not - just go. If he asks, I think you can say it wasn't his sort of trip since he was so miserable last year. However, you have to be gentle about planning something you know he won't like and doing it anyway.

I would try to work with him to find some things he DOES want to do with you, and then try to do just some mom/son activities. Leave the little kids at home with their father and do something with just you and your son. Or leave the little ones with Grandma or someone else, and just do a few adult activities. He's not going to want you to go to a rock concert with him, but maybe a beach day or a science museum, whatever his interests are, and a nice dinner out. If he's miserable and rude, you can ask, "Would you rather not be here? Would you rather go back?" And then take him back. But try it again in another month or two. Don't give up. And DO make these outings your treat at least in the beginning, because part of him still feels like a kid and thinks the parent should be paying. I wouldn't accept a lot of disrespect, believe me, but I'd just end the outing sooner and try not to fight endlessly about it. Maybe if he participates in the planning, he'll be more positive. But if he's rude, you can say "Gee, I thought you would like this since you chose it. We won't do it again but maybe we can find something else."

He could be scared about being 18 and what that means - a lot of kids don't feel prepared for jobs and college and so on. So it's possible he regresses a bit. But still, it would really be nice to have a conversation with him about what he's doing, what he enjoys, without having little kids to deal with.

Try to stay in his life, but don't be a pushover either. He can't learn that it's okay to treat people that way, and it's not okay to treat women that way.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I think the way you're describing him could maybe apply to a LOT of teens. That's the way they are. He may be 18 but it's not completely realistic to expect him to have a global view yet.
Do you and your husband DO things with him separately? Age appropriate things HE likes to do? Maybe golf, tennis, fish?
It's unrealistic to expect an 18 year d to "enjoy" a vacation that revved completely around toddlers.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

Our cutoff was graduating college. However, I think that at this point he's only in it for what it's in it for him so you can say, "You're 18 now and last summer when you complained the entire time was the last family vacation we are paying for. " My DH loves to have all his kids together...but that meant that last summer we dragged two people around the UK and Ireland that wanted to sleep in vs see the sights we spent so much money to get to. I could have done without them for most of the trip and even DH admits it was a last hurrah. SS has since graduated and got a job and our family trip this year is tacked onto moving SD to college so it will be much, much smaller. And that's fine. Not every year can be a plane trip or rent a big house at the lake thing. Frankly, in Dublin we left them behind and had a great 3 hour tour with the 3 yr old. So if he can't be appreciative, then he can't go. Why ruin your time?

As for the friend, if you didn't spell out what you expected him to pay for, then he didn't know. You told his parents spending money, so maybe that's why he didn't pay for anything.

We have taken the kids and their friends with us to the lake. Every year we ate out once where everyone had to dress nicely. One time we told everybody reservations were at 6 and anybody not in the van by 5:45 was eating leftovers. SS was running late and his friend said, "They are LEAVING!" and SS ran out in his socks, shoes in hand. We were going to leave him, too. At 18 or whatever age he was then, he could get his act together or not go. So in the future, lay out the schedule and if they're ready, they go. If they're not, they stay home.

With the age gap, we also sometimes split up the agenda. DH will take the teens on a man made whitewater rafting course and DD and I will go look at bugs at the nature center.

Teenagers are why some animals eat their young. Really. I think the larger issue is he's almost 18 so why can't he treat you more like family than a cruise director? And that is a bigger issue than the size of the room.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

When I read the question title - I said, "Heck yeh! Bring him and pay." After reading the question, I say leave him home.

I would say that he is extremely ungrateful and unappreciative. I WOULD LOVE to go on a vacation like that but can't afford it.

Tell your son that the only way he is coming is if he spends part of his own money to come. Make him pony up @ 25% of the total cost for him, If the plane ticket is $400, he needs to contribute $100. If the rental is $5000, he pays $250. (I picked those numbers just because I could do the math on them...)

If he has to pay, he may appreciate the value of this experience and try to make the best of it.

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answers from Boca Raton on

Really, really good advice from Diane B. . . .

I, too, have an 18 year old from my first marriage (though he is with us most of the time, thank God). You are in a TOUGH spot that's not easily resolved. You love him, but you're tired of being the bad guy. The only thing I can say is to try to stay focused on what is best for HIM. What would you do with his attitude if you and his dad were still married? You probably wouldn't tolerate it as much.

But from his perspective, he probably does feel replaced by your husband and your little ones. So he's angry (rightfully so in some respects) and this is how he shows it (which is not right). He sounds like he's hurting and doesn't know how to cope with his feelings (he probably isn't even aware of how much he hurts).

Here at 18, what to do? I do not think you should tolerate that behavior from another adult. And it's hard for me to say that, because I have an 18 year old son of my own, and I would lay down my life for him. But I am to the point, myself, that I am going to stop over-compensating (which is very common in divorce). Luckily my son is an extremely good kid, and very responsible in most respects. But I still over-compensate.

I would seek some counseling to help me figure out the most effective way to interact with him going forward. Never, ever stop loving him (obviously you do or this wouldn't be so agonizing for you). But on the other hand, I think it's OK to set some boundaries, just like you would if you were still married to his dad.

Good luck - my heart goes out to you. This is so tough. Will pray for you Mama. Just keep loving him, and praying for him, every day - even if it's from afar. He's your first born and a precious gift. Never let him forget that. But don't be a door mat either.


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answers from Washington DC on

my grown sons often have the option of coming with us (they're going to do so next year for our big family reunion in bermuda.) if they choose not to, they have thus far opted to staycation and take care of the farm for the ol' man and me. (that might change since the younger is moving out in a couple of weeks to move in with the older.....sniffle.)
what we do is let them know in advance what we're covering and what they're responsible for. we've offered to pay for the lodgings and at-home meals in Bda, but want them to cover their plane tickets, scooter rentals and mad money. the younger will be a starving college student so might need a little more help, but the older should be able to manage that.
in your situation i'd tell him he's welcome to come but outline in advance what the parameters will be, ie what you're paying for and what he needs to cover, and what activities you'll be doing and that if he doesn't like that he can opt out. no friend option since that was unpleasant last time.
good luck!

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answers from Cleveland on

teens have a weird way of showing that they want your attention.

the hanging around until you could go to the beach with him sounds normal.It sounds like he thought it was a family vaca and he was part of the family, unless i'm reading that wrong,
so i guess i would say i don't feel he is old enough to entertain himself-

I think in theory it would be reasonable to ask the friend to pay or for your son to pay for the friend up front. I know it's tacky but did you ask the friend if he could kick in?? he might have needed the prompting to fork over what his parents had sent.

i think if no one wants him there, and his actions are showing that he is unhappy being with you then, it seems logical that he not come. As a kid though, I would be very hurt that my family didn't want me. That could either be the wake up call he needs, or it could destroy what is left of the relationship.

the whining and complaining do not.

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answers from Lansing on

I think you have every right to include him BUT lay down your expectations from him. In fact maybe you should have said something at the end of your trip last year.

For the most part I think he's just being a typical teenager, but that doesn't mean you need to allow him to ruin your vacation.

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answers from Chicago on

Well to be honest why the heck did you let his behavior go on so long? There is absolutely nothing wrong with telling him to shut the heck up if he's going to whine or be bratty.

I would flat out tell him "Listen Johnny you are making us all miserable with your whining and brattiness. You whine more than the little kids. So this is your one and only warning that I will not tolerate this anymore. This is my vacation that is costing me a lot of money and took a lot of time to plan this out and it will not be ruined. Also if you want to bring a friend, fine, but we will get separate bills when we are out to eat, I would like you to tell him in front of me so I know that he knows."

Also it's typical for a kid to choose the house with less rules, so I would not have even thought less of you for this situation. But you really need to put your foot down with his whining.

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answers from Eugene on

Most 18 year olds don't know how to act. They are just figuring it out. So help your 18 yo by telling him what you expect.

Make sure to start by telling him how much you want him to be a part of your family and to enjoy your vacations. Then briefly tell him what he can expect on the vacation (naps by younger siblings) and what you expect from him on vacation - participation in activities and remembering to say thank you.

I have struggled with similar conflicts with my children. But in my house, they don't complain and I expect them to show gratitude when I do things for them. Sometimes I have to remind them. They might want to roll their eyes but they know I'll call them on that,too so they humor me and say thanks. It may seem grudging at the time, but they get the message. And I try to balance it by noticing when they do something nice, no matter how small.

Take courage. He's still a teen and teens are difficult. And even tho he is 18, there is still a child in there. He needs to know he is wanted, needs your limits and with some work will grow up to be a mature, grateful human being.

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answers from Chicago on

I wouldn't make him pay, but you need to make your expectations clear before the trip. If he doesn't follow through he is no longer welcome on the vacations. We do this with my kids. If they act up at the park they will not come back until they can prove they can behave.

He is old enough to understand consequences of his actions.

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answers from Chicago on

Consequences for behavior like that, for sure. Would your parents have allowed you to act like that on a vacation? No way. He sounds like a teenage boy, who since he doesn't live with you, has no idea what it's like to be around little ones that need naps, etc.

I think you guys need to make it very clear to him that if he is going on another vacation with you, there will be certain expectations. You need to lay down the rules before the trip is booked. Does he even realize that you were upset with the way he acted? Was anything said to him? IF nothing was said to him, it would make complete sense that the behavior would continue.

Flip side. Do the little ones call all of the shots? I get that they are little and need naps. I'm not talking about that. But, if they want to go to the pool but he wants to go to the beach, who usually gets their way? Do the little ones get their own way all of the time? If he wants to just hang at the pool but the little ones want to go to the beach, do you let the little ones be the deciding factor? I'm not judging. We have all given in to our little ones because, let's face it, it's just easier sometimes. But, if he is constantly seeing the little one dictating his vacation, it could be a reason for his bitterness. If he is waiting for you, when it comes to beach or pool time, that should be a clear sign that he WANTS to be with you guys. If he didn't care, he would be gone, especially since he has a friend to be with. It could be worse. He could be on vacation with you guys and be gone the entire time, doing his own thing,with his friends. Think about how you would feel about paying for a family trip and he was never with you guys.

As far as paying for his own way; does he have a job? How would he pay for this? Do kids appreciate things more when they have to pay for them themselves? I think so. But a family vacation? I would worry that would make him feel unwanted. I get that he is 18, but is he still in school? Is he going off to college? Is making him pay for the trip really what you want to do? I would talk to him about the expectations for the next trip. Give him one more chance to enjoy being with you as a family.

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answers from Tallahassee on

I say leave him home this year and enjoy yourselves. If you ask him to pay for himself at the last minute he'll probably just ask dad for some money and he still won't appreciate it.

Let him know that if he wants to go with you next year that he needs to start saving now so he can pay his own way. Also, let him know that if he wants to join you next year that you expect him to have a better attitude and not complain or he is not welcome.

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answers from Oklahoma City on

I have mixed feelings so I won't be of much help I fear.

This is what I have going around in my head. I'd make sure he understood he was supposed to pay most of his own stuff. If he wants to go out to eat he can do that. If he wants to go to the beach and hang out all day he is old enough to understand the consequences of not putting on sunscreen. If he is bored he needs to find something to do.

I would not bring a friend unless that friend's parents supply him with his own money to spend on eating out and such. Just tell the parents that the boys have mentioned they plan on eating out and going to do stuff all day and that you are planning on cooking in, that if they want to eat out they need to pay for their own stuff. If the parents can afford it then the friend could come.

It's vacation after all so why not play games all night and sleep all day> Sounds like a nice vacation to me. That is irrelevant to me but if it interferes with the little kiddos it is a big deal.

All in all, I'd say tell him you are eating in every meal, no eating out, no excursions to the beach, there is a pool at the condo, no extra stuff at all. Just sitting at the condo and relaxing. That there is no money for anything else this year. See if he wants to come then. Make it sound like it's the most boring thing ever. If he still wants to come then maybe, just a maybe, he wants to spend time with his family. It's not likely but just maybe.

If he still wants to come I'd let him come because this is it. The last time he'll be going anywhere as a "kid". After this he's an adult and it's off to college or work, life in general. This is the last summer to go off with family.

That is why I'd bend over backwards to treat him like a toddler who wants mommy's or daddy's attention the whole time. I'd entertain him, hang out with him playing games on the computer, maybe go with him to the beach, give him a lot of individual attention, etc...this is the last chance to make any memories as a family together because next year he's not coming along.

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answers from Chicago on

I haven't had a chance to read all of the responses but my suggestion is you tell him where you're going, what your plans are; ask him not only if he wants to go but if there are things he'd like to do. Tell him you know in the past he didn't seem to happy and you'd like for him to have a good time. Maybe plan a day or two where you two do something on your own. He's 18 but maybe still needs 'mommy' time to feel connected.
Also tell him your plans for eating - maybe you're going to eat out a couple of days and cook the other - if he doesn't want to 'eat in' those nights he can purchase his food for those nights.

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answers from Dallas on

My 20 yr old and I travelled for a wedding last weekend. I expected to pay for everything. After all, I'm the mom. But she didn't let me. She insisted on helping. She pulled her weight with driving time too. I'm so blessed! But, there was the element of her being bored and unhappy (and a little judgey) At that point, I was glad she helped pay. I don't want to pay for someone else to ruin my trip! But, I'm really glad we went together and there were some great moments where we got to really talk to each other.

Now to my point..... I don't think there is much of a cure for teenagers being dark and brooding. That's par for the course. But, even though they don't show it, they are making memories too. They will look back on the trips and remember them completely differant than what you are seeing. If you don't take him, or ask him to pay, he will be bitter and resentful. If you do, once he matures, he will look back with gratitude and fondness on these vacations.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I think if you invite your son to come, you pay for him. And I think that if you allow him to invite a friend, you pay for the friend too.

I also think that when you invite him on the trip, you let him know that you don't want to hear any whining over things you can't control - like the size of the room, babies napping, etc.

I also think that every now and then you should make the effort to let him make suggestions on what to do for the day - even as simple as let him choose the place for dinner a few nights, so that you are not always catering to the little kids.

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answers from Phoenix on

Does he get any say in outings or activities for the vacation? Does he get any one on one time with you during the vacation? Sounds like he's resentful that the vacation seems to center around the little ones 24/7. That may have something to do with it. That, and, he's an emo teenager, of course.

That being said, I'd say he could ONLY come if he will be an active participant and have a good attitude. I think I'd lean towards leaving him, though. Teens can be pretty bad at following through on promises, sometimes.

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answers from Philadelphia on

I have much younger siblings as well. My parents left me and my brother (then 17 & 14) home by ourselves while they took our younger siblings to Disney for a week. They didn't ask us if we wanted to go or stay, they just told us we were staying home. At that point, they'd take us all on day trips, but I think they realized it wasn't going to work out too well. (I had a job at that point and the 14 year old brother had sports practices, etc) Any vacations after that were the same way. We never felt slighted.

I would plan to go without him. I wouldn't even include him in your plans. He's old enough to be going into college! If you don't have custody of him, why does he even need to know you're going? If he says "Why wasn't I included?" I would say "Well, last year you were completely miserable, so I assumed you didn't want to go." Or... "You're an adult now, you can take your own vacation." Or... "Next year I'll let you know what we're doing, and you can decide if you want to get your own place to stay where we're at." Or... "We didn't think it would be very much fun for you." Or, all of the above!

In many ways... 18 year olds are sooooo immature. And let's face it... unless you have small children, its hard to understand the importance of their schedule. Even now, my Mom and 33 year old sister don't 100% understand why we HAVE to put the little one down for a nap when we come for visits. They just roll their eyes. When we're on vacation, I wish we didn't have to be on such a rigid schedule too...

Don't feel bad. I think this is just the way it is as kids get older. My MIL tells me how it was when my husband (her only child) got "too old" for their weekly vacation. He was 14. She was sad, but realized it wasn't worth it. Now we take her with us and the kids! So at some point your son will probably mature and you can all take family vacations again. You can look forward to that.

Good luck!

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answers from Los Angeles on

You are right. The time to tell yiou about the parenting that lead to this behavior was several years ago. At least you know how NOT to raise the rest of your kids.

If you haven't had the talk with him about his whining and complaining not being appropriate for a 17 year old, its not too late. AND since 18 years old is the age of adulthood you expect hin to start acting like an adult. Then give him a printed/typed list of what you expect him to do. Then the more he does, the greater of your next vacation you will pay for. The remainder he has to pay for.

If he wants a friend to come along, then the friend pays for the transportation, extra food, entertainment, etc. Then tell him what chores you expect him to do while he is on vacation.

What do you want him to do? What grades do you expect? Do you expect him to do his hiomework and turn it in? Do you expect him to have a part time job to prepare for college? Do you expect him to take certain classes? The more of these this he does, the more of his "fun" you are willing to pay for. Example: If he gets straight A's, you will pay for a friend. If he gets C's you won't pay anything for a friend. If he gets less than C's the friend cannot come along.

Good luck to you and yours.

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answers from San Francisco on

Our vacations got a lot less fun once our kids hit the teen years so I hear ya! They are hormonal and obnoxious much of the time for sure :(
I think I would sit down and talk to him about it. I'd say, you know we REALLY want you to be a part of this special trip, but it doesn't seem like you enjoy it at all. Do you actually want to come or would you rather stay with a friend that week?
Talk it through, and let him know how much his attitude affects the rest of the family. Give him the choice to go or not, and if he wants to go, try to enjoy it because soon enough he won't be joining you anymore and you will probably miss him, bad attitude and all.

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answers from Pittsburgh on

I would tell him that if he wants to join in that he is now old enough and should foot his part of the bill. This would mean that you divide costs up by the amount of people going and he would then pay his portion of food/hotel/gas plane ticket depending on how your getting there.

My dad takes my family camping a few times through out the summer. He does not pay for everything nor would I allow him. At the moment he pays for the site and I pay and bring all the food, drinks, and whatever snacks that he or my kids want.

I don't know the whole situation and like you said thats for another post, but by the it sounds he has no responsibility and only joins you doing the fun times. If he has to pay I would bet that he would not join. Your vacation should be fun for you and having to listen to a teen complain and moan the whole time is not fun.........its time for him to become an adult.


answers from Dover on

You said he will be 18 soon...meaning he is not yet an adult. Is he still in school? If the answer is yes, to me it is obvious...he's still a child both by age and student status. You invite him to come along, you pay his way (just as you would if he lived w/ you half or full time). He can bring a friend but the friend has to pay his own way for everything (you can always decide to by a meal for him or treat him if you choose) but the transportation and lodging (cause you covered that already). The rules for all parties is 1. this is everyone's vacation...no griping because we all get to enjoy it; 2. there are some things that we HAVE to do as a family (spell out those things dinner? lunch? certain outings?), there are certain things that you will be doing w/ the younger ones and the older ones can come or not (but no complaining), and there are some things that you can do for the older ones and the little ones get to tag alone (again...no complaining); 3. establish "quiet hours" for all like 11 pm - 7 am (they don't have to be asleep during those hours or awake before/after but they can expect not to be awakened by noise during those times).

I have a 20 year old full time student and a 5 year old. I pay for both with no question. Now the 20 year old does tend to have some of his own spending money (he works too) so he can get some things without asking me. If I go in a shop, I offer to get him a shirt or something. Once he's done w/ college, I may fee differently. For now, he's an adult but still my child and his job is not to pay his own way yet but rather be a student.


answers from Dallas on

Wen I read your title, my opinion was why would you not pay for an 18 yr old child.

My thoughts overall are that Yes, I would pay for my child and I have footed 100% of a friend's portion taken a best friend of my daughter's to come along with us on vacations to Disney as well as 4 Spring Break trips to San Destin.

That said.... although teens can get bitchy and whiney, at no time did what happened to you happened to us at the extent you mention.

I can see where you would be frustrated with your 18 yr old if nothing is going right,, etc in his mind. I would also be second guessing what to do if my past experience was 100% complaining, whining and no appreciation. If the teen approaches you and wants to go, sit down and discuss options... let him know you are undecided if he should go at all because nothing seems to be ok when he is there with you plus disrupts the entire family dynamic. If he does decide to go, maybe he can put a little of his money toward the trip so he sees that it does take money to have nice vacations.

When we've had trips, we've allowed the teens to be independent (within reason) on the trips and we've had meals together as well as on our own.

As to your last sentence.. it is ok that he made his choice to live where he does. However, I wonder if he is actually trying to have more attention from you or seeing this as an opportunity to use you.

Good luck.

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