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Anne

My brother is 10 years older than me so I was sort of like an only child and I think my mum and dad had these same thoughts. Only thing was my dad was a teacher at my school and we ended up going on holiday with my maths teacher and her daughter who was sort of in the same position. I don't even think my dad liked them and I was MISERABLE. So I think the lessons there are don't do it for the sake of it, and pick your companions well. Being a parent now I've had these thoughts too so will be interested to see what kind of feedback you get. I think it's a good idea in theory but amn't sure I can face the reality.

davidcoe...

Our kids are grown up now - you'll find there are different stages as far as holidays go - rather than sharing with families I'd just focus on oferring to take different friends of Arthur's away with you?

The dynamic is always interesting and you get to behave badly in front of a whole different group of people who then go back to their parents and spill the beans on just how bizarre you are...

Anne

Thanks for these. I can only imagine the horror of having to holiday with my maths teacher's family. Much better to have been miserable but alone I would imagine.

I love the idea of freaking out Arthur's friends in future years. They think we're odd enough already, the amount we talk about fried food, but making them endure a classic British holiday with us, possibley in a tent, opens up whole new avenues of weirdness.

patty weightman

We have gone with friends that have WAY different parenting styles than ours. While Emma was sitting at the table eating eggs, bacon and fruit for breakfast, their child was on the couch with a bag of potato chips. Choose friends that have the same level of discipline as you!
This makes me want to come over and see you guys....maybe next year! XOX

Mark

Anne

I defintely remember being fed up with my family on holiday to the point where I actually left in the middle of one trip to Spain (having said that, I was your average stroppy teen at the time, not a 5 or 6 year old).

Being a parent, I would be more interested in holidaying with those members of my larger family who have kids the same age as mine. Personally, I would have to know someone (non-family) really well to go on holiday with them because its the only period when we really control our time and I'd be a little jealous of sharing that with someone else.

Anne

That's a good point, about not wanting to share your time. Say it all goes wrong? That's it, your holiday gone. Too scary.

John G

We've regularly holidayed with other families - for long weekends and mini holidays it has proved fun and useful to mob together children of a similar age who then look after each other or only need 1 or at most 2 adults to take them to places leaving the other adults to bunk off and do dull things like eat cream teas. For exactly the same reason when we got to an annual music/arts festival we mob up because the adult company is great and it takes the pressure off childcare. The kids are of course the first to complain when they fall out with each other that they weren't consulted.

But for major holidays we have from time to time taken a joint holiday with other families - one's we knew pretty well where the age difference between the children wasn't too great. I think the value particular in the teenage years (which we're only just entering as a family) is that the presence of another family unit is a valuable way of reducing the pressure cooker of many families on holiday who have predictable scripts and confrontational patterns - the stroppiest teenager may enjoy spending time with kids and even adults in preference to their parents. I think the main rule is both parties being free to take whole days off to have family time - without the other family feeling hurt or offended. As long as you can carve out space and time for yourselves when you want it - it has a lot to commend it. Taking their friends with you is of course another variation but it makes you a surrogate parent and if they fall out (as they will) then you have to keep the visitor company much to the outrage and injury of the child concerned who feels excluded. Worse for girls than boys!

Anne

That's sometimes what I feel, about having another family there to ease the pressure cooker of one's own family. Sometimes anyway. Plus, that thing of having your own family plan and sticking to it. We're going to do such and such today. Join us if you want to. That kind of thing.

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