One of the greatest reasons to travel with your kids is the time you get to spend knowing them. One of the worst reasons to travel with your kids is the time you get to spend knowing them! For the good and the bad of it, there is an adventure in finding out what is on your kid’s mind. And one thing for sure: teenagers rarely tell you what you don’t want to hear.
There is a subtle way around information gathering — and I’m not talking about dogging your teens on SnapChat, Instagram or Twitter. Give them a camera. When we traveled the world, I created a ‘road’ school class of photo journaling. Each boy had to take some pictures every day, post their “favorite” to their Tumbler account each night, and write 3 full sentences or a paragraph describing the photo(age length). It was a challenge but worth while. Here’s what we discovered:
Tyler has a good eye for photography. Even in dense smog he pulled out a great Taj Mahal photo. And he patiently waited for evening light to grab one more photo. (The key to being a good photographer is patience!)
Despite how my sign language, hugs, and rough attempt to speak to everyone seemed to drive my sons crazy, down deep they didn’t actually mind it at all.
Parenting lesson #1: “Teach a good lesson even if you don’t talk.” We all became better huggers after this world trip! Take THAT to the diplomatic table!
Food prep in other countries will bring home a touch of reality to any American kitchen. Trenton’s photos of this kitchen in India, spoke volumes about his heart. We hoped this photo would be a gentle reminder each time he or either of his brothers opened our refrigerator at home to say: “We have nothing to eat in this house!”
This is a shot Colton took but that’s another…
And finally one of my personal favorites which pretty much explained how each of us felt from time-to-time on our trip. Of course, you can pretty much correct anything in Photoshop if you know the problem.
And you can pretty much correct anything in the training ground of hands-on parenting, if you are willing to see the problem! If you don’t have a clue where to start, give your kid a camera!
You will discover a whole other side to your child’s vision of his world.