A Family's Vacation Rules
"Last summer we decided that we and our four children (nine, eight, four and two) would go to the Canadian National Exhibition, a huge annual event in Toronto. We live nearby, but the decision was made somewhat reluctantly because my husband, Dave, and I didn't know whether we really wanted to face up to thousands of people, four tired children, attractions to spend lots of money, whining, etc. But we decided to sit down the day before with the oldest three to lay out our concerns and to problem solve.
We got out everyone's needs as far as what each one wanted to see and do at the exhibition and how we would handle temptations to overspend. We all decided on a specific amount of money per person for the day for food, rides, and souvenirs. Each person could decide for himself how he wanted to spend his own money. (For example, if a child chose to spend it all on rides and forget meals for the day, it was OK.) Lisa (nine) and Jennifer (eight) carried their own money and looked after it themselves; Dave and I helped the younger two manage their money. Much to our amazement and delight, we spent eleven hours there (plus an hour of travel each way) and did not have one fight or one hassle! Everyone saw and did what he had expressed an interest in during problem-solving, we stayed longer than we would have predicted, and we all enjoyed being there, together. Great!"
*Excerpt from Dr. Thomas Gordon's F.E.T. Adult Resource Book