I think the universe is trying to tell us something: France, skiing... Although we don't have teenagers yet, thank goodness.
Teenagers are at the age where they like to go off and do their own thing, without the embarrassment of parents hanging around and holding them back. It can be difficult to reconcile this attitude with keeping things safe on a family skiing holiday, but it is still possible for everyone to have a good time, without unnecessary annoyance for the teen members of the party, or worry for the old folks.
Larger ski resorts, like Alpe D'Huez in France, may be your best bet for a successful skiing holiday with teenagers. Not only do they have the resources to provide teen friendly activities both on and off the slopes, the size of the resort means teenagers have a better chance of making friends their own age.
The teenage years can be an awkward, in between stage, in which your children feel as if they don't belong anywhere. Too old to hang out with younger children on the nursery slopes, but too young to enjoy a full day in exclusively adult company, they may also, if they have been skiing since childhood, be starting to ski faster and better than their parents can, thanks to their youthful energy and enthusiasm.
Get kitted out
Teens wouldn’t be seen in anything but the coolest ski wear. Shopping for new gear is a great opportunity for some bonding time. Parents who are pro skiers (or there about) can share wisdom about what garments they should buy and why. This might also give parents peace of mind that the kids have all the safety equipment needed on the slopes. Of course, the choice of colours, patterns and accessories should probably be left to the young ones: they know better.
Tutors for teens
Some ski resorts will run special teenager only sessions, geared to youngsters who want to try new things in the company of people their own age. Expect young, passionate guides who can act as a mentor, and just the right combination of freedom and safety regulations. If you are concerned that your offspring might ditch the uncool protective helmet and clothing as soon as your back is turned, a guide is likely to insist on protection, as well as giving an explanation of why it's necessary that is bound to sound more convincing from a ski expert than it would from mum or dad.
Entertaining teens in the evening can also be a problem. If you are staying in a chalet, they may well be content to entertain themselves with the TV, a portable games console, or even a good book, but few will want to be cooped up in a hotel room when the world awaits outside. Some hotels and resorts will have facilities either designed for teenagers or suitable for them, such as a swimming pool, bowling alley, or cinema.
Do yourself a favour these holidays and book somewhere the whole family will love, even those hard to please teenages. Bonjour!
Julie Kerwan is - first and foremost- a mum of two beautiful teenage girls and owner of three beauty salons. She spends her hard-to-find time off skiing, dining and shopping.