I put myself in the category between a helicopter parent and totally hands off parent, with the exception that I talk to my kids about EVERYTHING. I've observed throughout my years of parenting other parents who make assumptions about who their kids are and what they're doing without really knowing their kid because they don't effectively communicate with him/her. Those are the kids that my kids come home and tell me are doing drugs, drinking, having sexual relations with more than one partner, failing at school, etc. But their parents seem utterly clueless! How hard is it to just casually talk to your kid and slip in a warning or admonishment about right/wrong without seeming overly preachy?

Granted, I'm a younger parent (had them in my early 20s) but I just make it a point to know what my kids are doing at school, who they're friends with and what their interests are. I'm amazed that more people don't know they CAN be friends with their kids and be a disciplinarian. Works for me and I'm a a divorced, single mom. You just have to have consistent and clear boundaries for them and don't waver. I've read countless parenting books and that's usually the overall message I get from them.

Implementing those same rules on cruise ships, there shouldn't be problems. Thats why I like idea of a contract, even for teens. But I do worry about drinking when we're cruising, especially if they are gone from me all day with no check ins other than dinner. Good kids like to experiment, too. I know because I was one of them! So I made DS meet me for lunch on our last cruise even if it interfered with a planned activity at Circle C. DD didn't make an effort to join Club O2 activities after the first night and hung out with me. I needed to see him more than just at dinner, especially because he didn't have a phone to text me his whereabouts.


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**CRUISING COOL MOM**

RCCL Sovereign of the Seas 7/2001
**Wedding Cruise**
~Nassau, Bahamas/CocoCay, Bahamas~
RCCL Monarch of the Seas Western Caribbean 7/2002
**Anniversary Cruise**
~Key West, FL/Cozumel, Mexico~

Disney Wonder Western Caribbean 9/2004
**30th Birthday Cruise**
~Cozumel, Mexico~
RCCL Explorer of the Seas Eastern Caribbean 6/2007
~ San Juan, Puerto Rico/Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas/Samana, Dominican Republic/Labadee, Haiti~

Carnival Dream Western Caribbean 8/2013
~Cozumel, Mexico/Belize City, Belize/Roatan, Honduras/Costa Maya, Mexico~
Disney Magic Western Caribbean 11/2013
**Thanksgiving Cruise**
~Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands/Cozumel, Mexico~

Carnival Breeze Western Caribbean 6/2014
**DS Birthday/DD HS Graduation Cruise**
~Key West, FL/Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands/Cozumel, Mexico~
Caribbean Princess Bahamas Getaway 9/2014
**40th Birthday Cruise**
~Princess Cays~

Carnival Sunshine Southern Caribbean 6/2015
**DS Birthday Cruise**
~Aruba/Curaçao/Grand Turk, Turks & Caicos~