Originally Posted by tin.can.twinkies
I love making memories with them! They are camping in the exact same camper I camped in when I was a baby! These are pictures from this weekend. They loved it, and just didn't want to miss anything. They didn't take a nap all day Saturday. That's when we had the problems.... to much to see and do and they didn't want to miss a moment! I just can't wait till they are slightly older, listen a little better, and I don't have to be on top of them 24/7!!
The energy level of young kids is amazing, and once they get over-stimulated it is very hard to get them to calm down - so it's really important to have a planned activity they know about in advance and look forward to for the first evening. Pick something that slows down the pace. A campfire and story telling and s'mores (for the sugar coma) is one way to go. Any kind of nature book can be really interesting to children. Butterfly or bird watching is great, especially if you READ to them so that they know more about the birds they've seen is good, slowing down to listen to something interesting is the key to the yawn.
As for not having to supervise them so closely - teenagers. Reality check! Supervising them NOW is simple, you have to loosen the reins while simultaneously helping them avoid horrible decisions when they reach the "tween" and teen years. That's one area where my mom actually shined - and it's so much worse now.... Children need to know ALL about sexting and internet predators LONG before we think they do. (8 or 9 years old seriously).
Protagonist's story is something else. I've seen a lot of similar things myself. That problem didn't start with a teenager, it started with a three year old whose parents were afraid of dealing with the tantrums. At some point you have to TEACH children to choose other ways to express their feelings - and to deal with frustration of not always getting their way, and it's a lot easier when they weigh 40 lbs. and can be put in the naughty corner. Getting them to think "what will you differently the next time" or "what else can you do besides.........." is where everyone ends up happiest.
I do have an employee whose teenager got suspended from the school bus for bad behavior for two weeks. She asked to go on part time for those two weeks. During that time she MARCHED the child to and from school every day. NO, you are NOT going to get chauffered to school for being a _____________. And when he refused to wear a raincoat when it threatened to rain mom didn't share her umbrella on the way home. He got SOAKED, and got no comfort but a towel. "You CHOSE not to wear a raincoat, how is your being cold and miserable MY fault?" was mom's line. Watching the bus drive by while had to walk with MOM was embarassing, and he hated her. Response again: "You chose to behave so badly you got thrown off the bus SO... how is this my fault?"
It's easy to forget that almost everything is a "first time" experience for a young child; and that a child often mis-behaves because he or she doesn't know what's expected. Complimenting a child who does well is MOST important. Kids will get attention even if it's negative, but they love positive attention.