April 29, 2016
The Importance of Family Holidays
You have decided to book a big family trip. Typically this consists of a few hours of driving, multiple bathroom breaks, the occasional whining in the background, and a little voice constantly asking, “Are we there yet?” So is it all really worth it? The answer is – definitely.
Travelling with your children is one of the most important things you can do with your kids. Not only does it provide a great bonding experience and create lasting memories; by going somewhere that is not part of the normal routine you are confronted with a myriad of unpredictable teaching moments.
One of the key attributes of bringing your kid along is teaching them to interact with different kinds of people. No matter where you decide to travel you will inevitably come across people you’ve never met, maybe from a different region or different country. These provide excellent teaching opportunities as a parent to show your kids that differences do exist in the world, and that these are to be celebrated and explored, not feared. Teach them to be wary but to be curious and open to learning. Maybe they’ll come across language barriers and learn that even though they don’t share the same language, they can still take part in the common joy of a shared game or an interesting sight.
Perhaps the most important thing to value when travelling with your kids, is that it teaches them how important they are to you. By travelling with your kids you’re showing them that you are willing to sacrifice your most valuable currency – your time. You’re showing your kids that when you take a break from work you want to spend quality time with them and experience new things together.
So how can you prepare to give your kids the best travel experience? Think back to your own childhood – where did your parents take you? What were your favourite experiences? Your least favourite?
Kids tend to get bored easily, so bring along lots of books and games and think of some ways to occupy their minds if there is lots of distance between you and your destination. A fun way to get your kids involved is to do some research and reading of where you’re going beforehand. Get them excited to see a national park, a zoo, or a beautiful place. Giving your kids a stake in the decision making process will make them feel they’ve really contributed to any experience you have as a family.
At the end of it all, you’ve shown your kids a new culture, different kinds of people, a new and interesting place and you’ve had novel chances to teach your kids important values.
Everyone deserves a break. It can take you away from the humdrum of your daily routine and give you a chance to take in new sights and sounds. Most of all, it helps you realise how much you miss home. For your children this is always a great lesson to inspire, “there’s no place like home!”