Family vacation is fun for many, but there are others that would rather avoid the stress and chaos. Whether you enjoy family vacations or not using these tips can help make them more pleasant and fun.
Change is Difficult for Most Children
Going on vacation is a change of environment. Whether you are going away for a few days or a week. A new place, new routines and the unknown can be enough to send some children into temper tantrum mode.
- Expect to give them some time to settle in. Some children will need more time to adjust.
- Bring things from home that will provide comfort and familiarity. Pillows, blankets, toys and favourite cups and snacks.
- Try to have some routine in place.
- Give your children a heads up of what to expect each day, even if it’s a temporary plan, just be ready for an upset child (especially the children who do not like change)
Ask for Your Children’s Input
Children are always being told what to do. When there are some options give them an opportunity to choose. Being told we are going to the beach is different than: “Would you prefer going to the beach or the park this morning?”
Be prepared, don’t expect miracles. Leave extra time for delays. Be realistic with how much your children can handle. A full day at an amusement park may not work for all the children. Maybe one adult can take the youngest for a nap or quiet time while the older children do something else. Each child will have different needs. We can’t accommodate everything, but it’s important to consider them. For example: being over stimulated, needing more breaks, anxious children, over active children. How will you handle these needs without sacrificing a day?
Praise Good Behaviour
Notice when they do well. Pay attention when they listen right away, or get along with their sibling. Be clear with what you are praising. ” I like how you are playing together.” “You got ready to go right away with no reminders, amazing job!” Reward their behaviour with praise, extra stickers or maybe a some speacial time with you.
Family vacations should be a time of relaxation, new experiences and family connections. Put the work in and it will be worth the effort.