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Terrible Teens: The ungrateful vacation

Ellen Coy is a mom to three teens and wife to a husband of many, many years, but she married young so she still thinks she's pretty hip. She's written a lot of things for a lot of places but she can't tell you where or what. Terrible Tee...

How teenagers can suck the fun out of family vacations

Ungrateful. That's a word I've used lately to describe my teenagers. And it sucks. Big time. Because I don't want to raise ungrateful kids. Who does? But when kids are teenagers, all they think about are themselves mostly, right? And food. Please tell me I'm right so I don't think I'm really the only parent raising ungrateful teenagers.

We've just returned from what I'd like to think was a pretty amazing two-week vacation. Being at home during the summer is pretty darn dismal. Everyone goes away; there's not much for the kids to do. So we ventured to the beach. The beach! It's an amazing place, don’t you think so?

Did my teens have fun? Eh. A little bit. A portion of my kids might have rated the vacation a six out of 10. The person who rated it a six may have been the daughter who left the boyfriend behind and moped about how much she missed him. The other kids had a good time but I wouldn’t say they were overly enthusiastic about the terrific vacation they got to take.

More: Teenagers — how to stay involved in their life

The kids got to boogie board and swim; they went ziplining and hung out with close friends on the boardwalk; they slept in and stayed up late. They got to be one with the ocean. I mean, does it not get any better than that?! They also got whatever crap food they wanted at any minute's notice.

"Can we have money to get ice cream?"

"Sure!"

"Can we go grab some food down at the boardwalk?"

"How much money do you need?"

It was yes, yes, yes all the time, time, time!

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And all I felt the whole trip was a nagging feeling that we were spending money left and right and that we were unappreciated by some ungrateful children that may have just been happier at home in their own bedrooms watching the new season of Orange is the New Black or South Park or whatever the series of the month is on Netflix.

Parenting. It's a no-win, no-win during these teenage years. I'm waiting for that light bulb to click on in their heads when they realize, "Hey, we had it awesome as kids and we'd better get around to thanking our incredible parents," because I actually remember a couple of family trips I took where I was a pretty ungrateful teen too.

More: Are teenagers naturally lazy?

I'd better call my parents and thank them for that amazing trip to Hawaii in ninth grade where all I did was play video games and ask for money to go eat at Burger King.

Because that's truly all I remember doing on my trip to Hawaii when I was a teenager.

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