Relationship and connection
The summer holidays are something many families really look forward to but they can end up being very stressful. If you are working it is difficult to organise extra child care and make sure the kids are occupied. If you have booked to go away, there can be considerable added pressure to ensure that (having taken time off and spending money on the holiday) you are ‘really enjoying ‘yourselves.
The reality is that holidays often don’t go as planned. If you are travelling with young children, you may find they behave better and are much easier to handle when they are at home in familiar surroundings, following their usual routine. All the late nights and excitement triggered by a holiday, need to have an outlet. Teens can also be difficult if they prefer to stay glued to their screens, seem disengaged with the family and complain they are bored and want to be with their friends. Social media has of course now added another dimension to the holiday. You and your children may feel pressure to post photos of what a wonderful time you are having and all the fascinating places you are visiting.
Don’t get me wrong, I love family holidays and don’t want to paint a depressing picture. However, I’m just trying to be realistic! Making the most of your time together, means that you have to consciously plan to be mindful and truly be in the moment. The truth is that whatever you are doing or wherever you are going is not what really matters to your child. They don’t need to be going to Disney land or Vietnam to enjoy themselves. These kind of holidays with very packed schedules, racing around trying to see everything can result in everybody being in a bad mood. I have experienced this myself with my family!!
From when your child is born till they officially become an adult is only 18 summers and they speed by at a rapid rate. Focus on spending meaningful time with your family creating memorable moments, not with a focus on activity but a focus on connection. Children love holidays because parents are usually more fun, relaxed and emotionally available. You just need to be together in a good mood. Favourite memories could be free and simple, like playing a made up game or lying on the beach at night staring at the stars. A family could spend thousands of pounds on an exotic holiday but the family who are hanging out in the local park may be ‘happier’. Being happy is far more closely linked to good relationships than money.
Kids and adults need downtime just to snuggle and do whatever relaxes them. Take advantage to spend uninterrupted time with each child every day so you can really connect. What your child of any age needs most is to feel loved, heard and truly understood.