Iden Aren and Erysse at Orlando Train Station

We’ve always joked that our kids are six, going on sixteen, or eight, going on eighteen. But this year, it actually happens. Our oldest becomes a tween.

Our son, Aren, turns 11 on May 23rd.

What do we do now?

We were finally getting the groove on with this traveling with kids thing. And now this! Aren has to go become a tween, that twilight zone of childhood that we can never hope to understand.

Will we have to plan separate activities, worry about things seeming too babyish, or — gasp! — let him do his own thing? I remember having quite a bit more freedom as a kid, but today I’ve morphed into a more conservative parent. Especially when sending my kids off alone to play.

And what about kids camp at the resorts? You know, so the parents can have a date night. Last time, at the Kids Camp at the Holiday Inn Resort Wrightville Beach, Aren was the oldest kid by four years, not including his siblings. He was a good sport and showed the little kids how to bowl on the wii.

But that doesn’t sound like a tween’s ideal night out. He thought the morning sandcastle making was much cooler.

Of all our children, Aren has always been the most creative, independent and self-motivated. I fully expect him to shoot a full-length documentary chronicling his tween years. Or to create a photo diary. Probably both.

And I worry that by tailoring our travels to the younger siblings we may be holding him back.

How should we plan our travels differently now that we have a tween in the family? Would you do anything differently?

Does having a tween change the way you travel?

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