- Vacations are Not mandatory – Talk with your family about it. Explain age appropriately that this year you are not going. Maybe plan camping out in the back yard this year or day trips instead.
- Is it more important for you and your partner to get away and reconnect than to have a family vacation? Remember when things are good with you and your partner then things with kids are easier.
- Do not feel bad for not bringing the kids. We all work hard, maybe they can go next year.
- Plan your vacations with the age of your children in mind.
- Many times infants have a hard time sleeping somewhere new. If you are going to use a pack in play, start practicing sleeping in it now. Bring your sheets for it so it smells the same.
- Remain calm because babies feed off of our stress. Have an agreement with your family, spouse, in-laws, that if things aren’t going well you will go back to the room.
- Don’t plan late dinners if your kids normally at 6. Plan to wait in lines. Have snacks, toys etc. to help with the wait.
- Remember the basics – Children are cranky when hungry, tired or have dirty diapers. Most older children have the same issues minus the dirty diapers.
- Monitor their fun and encourage children to take good care of themselves. Eat well, drink plenty of water, and use sun screen.
- Ask them, “do you need to take good care of yourself, what does that look like?”
- We are responsible for the basics especially with babies. Think of that when booking trips. Am I willing to go sit in the room for 2 hours for Little Jacob to take a nap everyday if necessary?
- Older kids should not require lots of money while on vacation. Plan the fun things you will do and talk about it ahead of time. No surprises when you say no to things.
- When planning your outings talk about the behavior expectations before going. Don’t set then up to fail and bring them to wait at a restaurant, all dressed up after they haven’t had a nap and or eaten much all day.
- Same rules at home and in public and on vacation. They don’t get away with ugly talk, being rude, running in restaurants, etc.
About Kary Valdes
Kary Valdes, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker in Tennessee and Louisiana. She is a “Becoming a Love and Logic Parent” independent facilitator. She’s a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the Association for Play Therapy. Kary received her formal education at Tulane University in New Orleans, LA.
Kary has been working with troubled and at-risk children, teenagers and their families, and various capacities, for more than 20 years. She has worked extensively with children and a wide variety of settings including outpatient mental health clinics, residential treatment centers, and hospitals.
Kary maintains a private practice in the Green Hills area of Nashville, specializing in the mental health treatment of children and adolescents.