Do a little planning before you head out. Decide what makes sense for your family and let your kids know the plan from the start; involve them in the planning if you can.
One corn dog, the works or somewhere in between? Decide now so that your kids don’t have to beg and you don’t have to argue.
What’s your spending limit? Are you paying for everything or will the kids need to use their allowance for games and souvenirs?This will make yes and no much easier in the heat of the moment.
How many are allowed? Which ones are off limits? Who is paying for them? How long are you willing to stand in line for that roller coaster anyway?
Let the kids know the time you are leaving, give them a warning and then stick to what you say. If you know that you will cave when your kids beg to stay, just decide to stay without setting the limit – match your words and your actions. If you know that your kids will melt down at a certain time, GO HOME before then, please.
Too Rich For My Blood
There are often good money-saving deals to be had on tickets to grounds,, but if a trip is beyond your budget, choose other activities around the city that fit. Rather than saying, “We can’t afford it,” which may leave your kids wondering whether you can pay for groceries, say, “We’re choosing to spend our money differently this year.”
Ask your kids what they would do if they got lost. Don’t just tell them what to do, be sure that they can tell you. They need to know (or have with them) your contact info.
Teens on Their Own?
If you are worried about your kids being at Stampede on their own, go together and set short times for them to go off and meet back at a prearranged place and time. This will help them to learn responsibility and you to determine whether they are ready for more freedom next year.
Pick a curfew that makes sense for your child and your family. Discuss how the children will get home and what they can do if they run into a problem. When setting curfews, always discuss the consequence as well as the expectation. “When you are home on time, you are showing me that I can trust your word. If you are not home on time, you will not have the freedom to head out again until you have built up the trust again.”