Travel and connect with your family
Travel gives us time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Families have full plates! We work, clean the house, shop for food, shuttle kids to and from, pay the bills, earn money, take care of the yard, get the car’s oil changed, exercise, plan dentist appointments and well visits, arrange daycare, get dogs to the vet, pick up the dry cleaning, and on and on and on.
Travel presses the pause button!
Travel adventures with extra time together is the perfect opportunity to connect with your children and family members. Sometimes the day to day nitty gritty of dinner time and soccer practice and ball games and grocery shopping get in the way of bonding time. How many times have you said, “Uh, huh” or “Sure thing” to your child who then pointed out that your response made no sense because you weren’t really 100% listening?
Travel and get off the merry go round!
Travel and Family Connections: How to use travel to connect with your family and loved ones.
Travel and Family Connections: Listen
The single most important thing you can do is listen.
How do you get them talking? Try a catchphrase: “What do you know that’s good?” is the one my dad used and the one I use with my kids. It is an open invitation to talk about anything.
Listening is your opportunity to see the world from your child’s perspective, which will allow you to make better decisions on how to guide them.
Listening is really an active process – “we make sense of, assess, and respond to what we hear”. We need to really listen to kids.
Travel and Family Connections: Talk
Tell short stories about things that happened to you when you were kiddos age. Now is the time to tell the embarrassing stuff – it will let kiddo know they are not alone in feeling less than perfect.
From the American Academy of Pediatrics:
“Most importantly, (during busy scheduled regular life) parents lose the opportunity for perhaps the highest-quality time with their children. Some of the best interactions occur during downtime—just talking…”
Travel and Family Connections: Be open minded
Don’t judge! Some of what comes out of the kiddos mouth is just being tried on for size. Perhaps even said to judge your reaction. Do your best to just listen.
A fantastic quote from C. Wallace:
Listen earnestly to the things your children tell you no matter what. If you don’t listen eagerly to the little stuff when they are little, they won’t tell you the big stuff when they are big…
because to them all of it has always been big stuff.
Read more about the benefits of travel to your health in these related posts:
Protect Against Heart Disease with Family Holidays and Vacations
Don’t Die From Heart Disease: How Vacations Prevent
Benefit Your Health with Vacations and Holidays
Plan a family vacation and get away from it all! If you need or want help you are in the right place!
The Educational Tourist has partnered up with the Pixie Dust Queen for all things Disney! If you want help with the Disney Details call! Disney Planning is FREE of charge!
Happy travels and lots of big stuff,
Natalie, The Educational Tourist
So true! One of the reasons I love travelling with my kids the most is because we have time together away from the routines and schedules and work and school commitments. I definitely need to try and do this more during the day-to-day however. Good reminder 🙂
Katja, We all try every day don’t we? But like you said…it is nice to have the extra relaxed time without rushing to finish homework before rushing to soccer, before more rushing. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!
I like the last one. I don’t have kids but I teach in a preschool. It is true, for them everything is big and everything matters and if you listen to them, they will appreciate it big time. I usually give my 2-3year old kids time to share what they did the day before even if its just one word, that’s how they learn. Kids also want to feel important and that they have a say ( choice ) in decision making even if it is just as simple as “5 minutes or 10 minutes?”
I bet they just love that time!! You make them feel so important. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts. You make a difference in their lives!
Great Post Natalie!!
I remember when I was a child how hard was to talk with my mum about the little big things that happen in school, with friend, my doubts and fears. But she always supported me and let me express myself. Now as adult I´m confident, and I can stand for my myself and I can express my feeling. This make life whole easier. Can´t no the thankful enough to her for all the talking and listening we had as a kid!
All the best,
How sweet! Thanks for sharing your story.
Some sound (and I must say sweet) tips in that little post. 🙂
Thank you for commenting. 🙂
I have so many absolutely fantastic memories of our family travel adventures when I was a kid…my parents took us on at least one road trip a year and I remember feeling so important to them as we took those journeys!
Feeling important to them….what an incredibly sweet memory. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I am hoping that when I have kids I can take them on some more unique travels for sure
Kimberly, I’m sure they will have your travel bug! Thanks for stopping by!
Both our kids and our nieces and nephews love stories of when we were young- their age. They never seem to get tired of the hearing the same stories. The dinner table is a good place to make this time at home.
Perfect time! It is a routine they cherish, I’m sure. Thanks for stopping by!
What a lovely post. I love the last tip! Always listen to the small things, because to the little’uns, even the small things seem really big. I’m not a mum yet, but I will commit this to memory for when the time comes :).
And please don’t constantly moan at them in public. It’s tough for others to sit and listen to (she says having never had a kid to deal with!)
Sometimes public moaning is necessary but we feel your pain!! Thanks for stopping by!
Great advice! Particularly love the quote as it is so true. We don’t have children of our own but nieces and nephews and this is a great post for us to reflect on and learn from.
We often travel with much loved extended family members! Your nieces and nephews can learn so much from you! Thanks for stopping by! 🙂
I am not a mum yet but will keep these in mind! I have been an English teacher for kids all over South America and most of the points you have highlighted are very true! I am kind of confused with what they say that kids never lie tho. I don’t think that’s the case here in South America so sometimes, I really get impatient and only listen to ‘some’ things they say.
It is not at all true that kids don’t lie, but it is the motivation that is different. Sometimes ‘lies’ or ‘huge exaggerations’ are ways to get attention or even ways to work through an issue. Say for example, a child was embarrassed by something that happened and wished he had reacted differently. Sometimes he will retell the story in a way that he reacted the way he wished it had happened. Again, one of the most valuable things we can do for children is listen. Their little brains work differently that ours do and being validated can mean so much. Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate your comment. 🙂