I know how hard it can be to have a teenager/ teenagers that just wont get into the spirit. I’m speaking from the teens perspective! Note the HAPPY expression of the teen in this picture.
Frankly I have never been that way, but my brother has! So here are some tips from a teen that may make your trip a bit more enjoyable!
1. Teens get tired of being told to ride what they will ride based on what their parents or little siblings want to ride. You have to involve the whole family. Ask THEM what they want to do. They should have a say in the vacation too, even if they act annoyed that they even have to go on it.
2. Personally, whenever I was feeling kind of bored, I go on “It’s a Small World” because whenever I’m on that ride that song will NOT get out of my head, and I can’t help but laugh! Sometimes doing something cheesy like this can re-energize your teen, but it has to be their idea. (Be careful with that ride though because some teens will just get SO annoyed, and start to get worse.)
3. If your teen has a cell phone, try your best not to take it or tell them to turn it off; they will get in a bad mood, and normally their friends keep them happy. That’s a good thing. If you need to, ask them nicely to limit their texting and calling to a minimum so you can spend more time with them. Or ask them to use their cell phone in a productive way like checking wait times for rides on from touringplans.com, looking up trivia to quiz everybody on while waiting in line, finding hidden mickey locations, etc.
4. Parents, consider your teens feelings. If you have a younger child, don’t make it the whole trip about them because that makes your teenager feel left out and in worse case scenario, they might feel it best to just leave. Depending on their personality, they might actually do it. So keep it an equal lovin’! Budget Diva gave LOTS of good ideas in her article “Walt Disney World When you’ve got an older child and a younger child” I suggest you read. Remember, just because they look like they’re not having a good time doesn’t mean they aren’t!
5. If you feel comfortable, let your teen go on their own for a little bit. (Just make them PROMISE they will answer their phone if they’re not on a ride or as soon as they see they have a missed call). It will give them a bit of alone time and it’s peaceful to take a break from younger, or even older, siblings that just sometimes bug you until you have gone completely MAD!
6. Teens love to eat so if they’re getting cranky, get them something to eat. Sometimes its even good to just take them to eat. Maybe even a smoothie from Shmoozies in California Adventure would help get a smile across their face. Don’t forget that in school we are REQUIRED to sit still for almost 8 hours a day, we’re not accustomed to the amount of walking required at Disney, so don’t run us too hard or we will REALLY go into MELTDOWN
7. If you’re staying on Disney property its a good idea to let them sleep in and meet you in the park one or two days. Remember that teens have different sleep cycles than adults and children and most of us prefer to sleep in the morning. If you’ve had a particularly rough day with your teen make sure you give them the next morning off. If you don’t feel comfortable having them find their way around park transportation just tell them you’ll meet them back at the resort mid-day for your rest time and you can all go back into the parks together in the evening.
8. As the Disney Diva always recommends… TAKE A MID DAY BREAK!!!. Most teens are perfectly content to lay around the hotel/ resort to take a swim and to take a break from the crowds and long lines at Disneyland/ Disney World. Standing around in the hot sun waiting to get on a ride isn’t as exciting as it used to be to them. They don’t want to wait, they just want to be on the ride. Even taking some handheld games like electronic Yahtzee or even Ispy can make things more tolerable. If your teen is creative you could even make duct tape roses while you wait. Or get them on Pinterest and have THEM be responsible for things to do while you all wait, gives them responsibility AND they’re more likely to participate in something that is their idea.
I hope your trip is filled with happy and excited teens and I hope this helped you! If you’ve got any questions about how to deal with your teens COMMENT HERE and Teen Diva and I will do our best to give you some ideas!