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How watersports can help you and your teenagers find common ground (or perhaps water)!


Teenagers, common ground and parents aren't words you often hear used simultaneously. And as your offspring grow up, you may not be considered the coolest of holiday companions. However, we think we have the answer to keep your teens checking in with you year after year. It's all about opting for a holiday that offers that ever-important family bonding time, whilst also providing freedom for your teens to meet new friends and do their own thing.

Tempt your teens off the sun lounger and away from technology with the promise of a whole new world of exhilarating watersports on a Neilson Beachclub holiday. Push out of your comfort zones by learning something together and you could even find yourselves with a new joint passion.

Getting out of your comfort zones

As a parent, it's tempting to give in to those adolescent bids for freedom (anything for a peaceful life) but it's well worth pushing yourself and your teens to try something new together. Sports such as dinghy sailing or wakeboarding put you and your teenager in the same boat—proverbially and literally!

Heading out on the water together, away from the usual day-to-day routine, gives you the opportunity to hang out, laugh and learn together. When you're mastering the ropes on your dinghy, determining the wind direction, shouting moral support to each other as you attempt to stand up on water skis for the first time or figuring out your tack from your gybe, any usual day-to-day debates are a world away.

A beachclub holiday will provide you and your teenagers with the opportunity to experience the thrill of learning something new together, to enjoy that “I did it” feeling and give you the chance to revel in that achievement together.


Building communications between you

As children hit their teenage years, it can often feel as though they start to speak a different language and this can lead to a bit of a barrier when it comes to communication. However, when it comes to learning a new activity on the water together, communication is vital. Clear verbal exchanges are key when you're determining the course your boat should take to stay on track, rather than you both ending up in the water. Mind you, righting a capsized dinghy also requires a good degree of teamwork!  Explore coastlines together on a SUP board or kayak and enjoy a far more relaxed pace of life in each other’s company. Unless of course your competitive spirit kicks in and it becomes a race for the beach!

A healthy dose of moral support for each other, as you learn new skills on the water, goes a long way in the parent/child relationship stakes. And you'll discover a newfound respect for each other as you push your personal boundaries, at the same time as having a lot of laughs together.


Taking a step back, adjusting your ‘parent’ role

When you're learning a new watersport on holiday together, it's likely there'll be a shift in authority as you and your teenager(s) will be learning together rather than you being the teacher. Let your Neilson instructors take control and embrace the fact you'll be on an even keel when it comes to listening, learning and achieving.  Take advantage of being ‘equal’ to your teenager rather than having to take the authoritative position all the time. The Neilson team of instructors and guides have an unparalleled enthusiasm for their chosen sport and this enthusiasm is infectious.

Learning has never been so much fun as when you're out on the water, under balmy Mediterranean skies, a million miles away from the office/homework/mortgage. Enjoy being able to chat and laugh over experiences you can both relate to. Happy days!

Dinghy sailing, windsurfing, kayaking, SUP boarding and water skiing are inclusive activities on Neilson's beachclub holidays across Croatia, Greece and Sardinia.


Sharing fun memories and stories together

Learning a new watersport with your teen can help pave the way to shared experiences in more ways than one. On holiday, you'll have both used up a good amount of energy out on the water and be ready to relax, unwind, eat, drink and chill together by the pool. Perhaps you'll chat over what you'd like to try next, discuss taking your chosen sport to the next level or decide to try something completely different (windsurfing maybe?). The world of watersports is your oyster.

Half the fun of learning something new is re-living the days’ or holidays’ antics and achievements. The bloopers, the “I did it” moments, the laughs and accomplishments are the gifts that keep on giving... for years to come. Learning a new activity together—and having a lot of fun along the way—is something you'll always remember.

And, because life is always about striking a balance, when you're each ready for a little space... the Neilson Wave Riders and TAG team will be waiting. These Neilson-run clubs for teens provide access to a holiday jam-packed with new experiences, new activities and the chance to share it all with others their own age (when they're not too busy sharing it with you of course!).