Our kids can only handle so much.
As parents, we want to give as many opportunities as possible to succeed. We place them in structured activities, enroll them in after school classes and extracurriculars, and take them to new places to gain new experiences. Despite our good intentions, we can go overboard and it’s only a matter of time until our kids finally reach a breaking point.
Similar to adults having burnout, child burnout is the product of continuous, unmanaged stress. They may be overscheduled with too many activities and not enough rest in between. Or they just might be overloaded from people, directions, and physical exertion. Burnout affects their ability to process and reflect on their day, that then snowballs into anxiety and overwhelm. Their motivation and interest in even their favorite things can drop.
Little ones have a lot to say; they just don’t know how to say it. They may babble and talk in gibberish to you, or demand your attention by yelling or pulling at you. They may request “juice,” but mean cookie.
Although children begin utilizing 2–3-word phrases between 2-3 years of age, it doesn’t mean they know what or how to verbally express themselves clearly. This guessing game can easily turn into an onslaught of tears, tantrums, and frustration for both parents and child.
Family vacations can be a gift or a curse. In our last post, we shared how a trip with the kids can prove to be equally a gift and a hassle, especially if you’re not prepared and basing expectations on a previous double-income-no-kids lifestyle.
But, please don’t be discouraged. Family vacations are definitely worth the investment. We’re planning a family beach trip later this summer, and it’s already created a positive shift around the house.
Research shows that family vacations provide so many benefits for both you and your kids. Let’s break it down.
After my Worst Day Ever, I am very familiar with when a family vacation is more of a gauntlet.
One of my close friends even imparted that if you are traveling with kids, it’s a trip; not a vacation. The element of “relaxation” that we take vacations for can be non-existent.
Being a frequent traveler since I was a child, it was very important to me to expose the girls to new places from an early age. Being comfortable on a plane, trying new foods, seeing nature in its different forms; it’s a big priority for us. We’ve taken the girls on a handful of big trips since they were born, but honestly, none of them have been relaxing.
Beach trips, road trips, family trips; while they all are an escape from our professional jobs, it’s really just 24/7 parenting in a new location.
So here are some things to keep in mind to help you prepare for the additional turbulence that comes with little kids on vacation.
Our first summer blogging, we did a post about getting kids outside for the summer. We mentioned a project called 1,000 Hours Outside, a movement that challenges families to match their kids’ screen time with time outside.