When he’s a teenager.
We’re still here enjoying the Maltese sunshine for the last couple of days before that bitter-sweet return home. The comfort of familiarity tempered by the shadows of the boring old grown up stuff that starts looming again.
We’ve visited several of the fabulous attractions here – no complaints at all. Not about the content or service anyway…
Actually it’s not a complaint about Maltese attractions, or specifically attractions any where in the world. It’s a rant about paying full rate for kids you’re still economically responsible for.
I understand that at 16 Boy One could theoretically go off and get a job, start paying his way, you know. But he doesn’t.
On many (OK, a few) levels teenagers are wonderful. They’re funny and kind and clever and great fun to be around.
But they aren’t cheap.
It’s not just that they wear man-sized clothes and eat huge amounts of everything, they have pricey coffee habits and invariably need urgently some piece of kit or another. But that’s not what’s got my goat, it’s that once they hit the teens they become adult when it comes to buying tickets, entrance fees and the like.
Often we find that the Panther of News and I are paying for four adults – ourselves plus a 16 and a 14 year old. Only seven-year-old Boy Three still routinely counts as a child. I really don’t see how this is even slightly fair.
Unless you’re feeding them, a teenager takes no greater resource at a visitor attraction than their younger siblings. The extra wear and tear on a museum floor or cinema seat is hardly significant.
It’s tough enough on parents of teens without being penalised by entrance fee too. Surely, we should be encouraged to take our big children with us on outings rather than punished for it. I’m sure there are lots of studies showing how important hanging out with the Olds is to young adults. Why then do we have to pay through the nose for the privilege?
Why not charge extra for under fives – normally allowed in for free? I’ll wager that they couldn’t give a hoot about the archeology museum or the ruined castle as they would be just as happy with a visit to the supermarket, swimming pool or the recycling centre.
That’ll clear the way for reduced charges for bigger children visiting with their parents. It really isn’t fair that we have to pay more for the pleasure of a day out with our offspring.