| Parent Tip | Great Adventure

Going on a Segway tour isn’t cheap. Unless I could locate a coupon for more than 10% off, the Segway activity I had planned for my husband's birthday wasn't going to happen. I secretly attained the coupon and planned the event only doling out bits of necessary information to those attending. The element of surprise absolutely slayed our children who must know everything about what we are doing, where we are going, what is involved, and how long it will take. Uninviting them would have been easier.
I have learned that when making plans outside the box of a trip to the mall or Costco I will be forced to endure the influx of question asking that can bring anyone to the point of curling up into the fetal position and weeping uncontrollably.
When we began driving toward the ocean, the question asking became relentless. “Are we going on a boat? I do not want to go on a boat. Are we going whale watching? Bike riding? On a glass bottom boat tour? Are we going snorkeling? I am not getting wet. I don’t like whales. This is so touristy.” I vehemently ignored all of what they were saying knowing that no one wanted to experience anything new, different, the same, or ordinary, and continued driving.

Because my sarcasm runs deep, and has thick woven bands that don’t easily fray, I began making up scenarios hoping they would leave me alone and let me drive. “Okay, I’ll tell you what we are doing. We are going roller skating on the pier and then after we cruise in a boat and see the celebrity homes we are going to have a seashell collection contest.” They finally stopped asking.

When we pulled up into the parking lot, they immediately realized we were going on a Segway tour around the beach. They were slightly hesitant but succumbed to curiosity and adventure. Since I was an experienced Segway rider I didn’t need the mandatory lessons, but they all did. I purposefully ran loops around them accompanied with sudden stops and backwards driving. Impressing them wasn’t my intent, I wanted them to all realize how much better I was then they were and that they should cower at my superior skills.

The complete tour lasted 2 hours and when it was nearing the end, everyone was very sad. The weather was perfect, the fun facts were interesting, the birthday surprise was perfectly planned, and the discount was applied.

When there is an unknown, kids will often resort to fear. This is true in social situations, adventures, change, and trying something that they have never tried before. When you know best, and you trust the plan, stick to your plan. Push through, keep moving forward, reassure them, and don’t give up.

Mixing things up and experiencing something different is great for kids. Change builds character as long as you can overcome the ruthless questions, and ceaseless complaining.

After our tour, the kids apologized for complaining and told us that they had a great time. They asked if we could do it again for another birthday and I quickly responded, “As long as I have a coupon, we can do almost anything.”