Now that kids are going to be on vacation and many of the college kids are home for the holiday it’s a good time to plan a short trip with your daughter. My favorite places are Tahoe, Napa and Carmel. These are great places to spend one night to strengthen the ties between mothers and daughters. From the Bay Area these destinations offer a wonderful road trip with opportunity to play good music and connect.
A few years ago I showed up at a polo tournament with my usual entourage. A tangle of teenage girls. One of my friends asked, “How do you get your girls to go everywhere with you?” She went on to tell me she asked her daughters to come to this event and they said no. I can’t imagine that happening, so I wanted to share my strategies for getting my kids to come along.
My older daughter Paris and I were in Tahoe last weekend. We went to Gar Woods and had lunch overlooking the lake. We also watched a ton of movies and had a few heart to heart conversations. Since she turned 21 we’ve had fun going to Napa. It’s a favorite day trip, and offers so much in terms of bonding. I always feel so grateful to have this beautiful place close by with so many wineries to explore and the beauty of the miles of vineyards and rolling hills full of grapes and yellow mustard seeds. The mustard is grown between the vines to prevent erosion and provide a habitats for beneficial insects. But, there are so many other wonderful places to take your daughter.
Here are a few tips:
1) Pay for everything
2) Bring snacks
3) Let them play their own music
4) Don’t talk too much or ask too many questions
5) Don’t tell them the same stories over and over
6) Let them bring a friend
Now that the girls are older they want to go to further flung places like Russia and Italy. And, they want to bring their boyfriends.
The rules above still apply, but now that they are older the one thing I don’t pay for is alcohol, but I do feel obligated to pick up the tab for the food bill.
Other, less obvious tips for traveling with daughters is don’t be too opinionated. This is an opportunity for you to listen and grow from their knowledge. Not all parents have entree to this arsenal to add to their own wisdom. I already know what I think about most things, but I remain open to be convinced otherwise, and learn from the generation beneath me.
In essence, I give my opinion when asked and I always like to keep the conversation flowing in the direction of ideas. I’m interested in topics that pertain to culture, the arts, and politics. At home we have a two minute timer, so we can take turns talking as these conversations can get quite rampuctious. This was especially true during the elections.
The old adage that being interested in others makes you interesting is never more true then in family discussions. These conversations are a goldmine for me in terms of understanding my daughters, their generation and the wider world around me.
Over the summer I took a ten hour car trip with my daughters and they introduced me to their favorite conspiracy theory pod cast. We listened to hours of two Canadian brothers theorize on aliens and September 11th. We would stop the audio and discuss the theories. It may be a little nerdy, but I found it great fun to dive into the underworld of aliens and conspiracies.
Do I believe in aliens? No. Was 911 a conspiracy? It likely was not. My daughters, however, have lively opinions on both topics and so much more.
A trip into the Stop and Shop on such trips is always a good idea. Purchasing things like corn nuts and M&Ms and Doritos never disappoints.
Love and blessings to all.