Traveling in general can be an ordeal. Add kids to the mix and it can become a huge headache. But there is a way to make it better, and even enjoyable. It’s all about your perspective.
One of the biggest problems parents face when traveling with kids is meltdowns at the most inopportune time. These happen no matter the child’s age.
As all parents know, kids can have meltdowns for a variety of reasons.
- being overtired or over-stimulated
- having a dirty diaper or some other form of discomfort.
So how do you avoid the meltdown while traveling?
Do this one thing.
Change your perspective on traveling.
Instead of the plane or car ride being a means to an end, think of the traveling as a way of spending quality time with your family. Your kids always want your attention and always want to spend time with you (ok, maybe not teenagers). So whether you’re stuck in an airport, on a plane, or in a car for hours on end, you can make it intentional family time.
If you can shift the focus away from any frustrations that often accompany traveling (think delayed flight, or the annoying person next to you in the tight confines of an airplane, or the monotonous hours in the car), and instead have a positive mindset that embraces this time of travel as an adventure with family, your trip will be more enjoyable.
It’s so tempting to give the kids a device and hope they’ll be content. But even devices lose their magic after a little while.
So instead of expecting the kids to just deal with the situation and get through it on their own while the adults put on headphones or bury their nose in a book, I encourage you to do this one thing.
Change your perspective about traveling, and be present with your kids. Have conversations with them, sing songs, play games, read books aloud to them, etc…
This helps you avoid meltdowns in two ways.
- If you are hanging out with the kiddos, you will notice signs of hunger or discomfort immediately and can do something about it before it becomes a full-blown issue.
- It keeps the kid(s) from getting bored. No matter our age, our brains need to be engaged or we get bored…and cranky. But age appropriate games and stories (even for just part of the trip) can stave this off.
You get the added bonus of having spent quality time with your family.
Wishing you pleasant travels.