Successful Family Spring Vacations
Photo Courtesy of Dr. Keith Kanner
In a matter of weeks the kids go on spring break and some Carmel Valley families will decide to go on vacation. But, anyone who has kids knows that if you really don’t know what makes them “tick” and keep their interests, then any well-intended trip will likely fall flat on its face and one or both parents than later slump on the idea of family vacations, and that’s a shame. You’re only a parent once and your kids grow up way to fast, so why not enjoy it. If you miss out, you will regret it later for sure. But, to do that, you have to be smarter than a 5th grader and do your homework on what makes family vacations successful, because if they are structured the right way, everyone wins and it was well worth the misery of traveling these days (whether it’s inflated gas prices or having to deal with TSA in the airport). If the family has fun, then it’s all good. Below are the five ways to make your spring family vacation in San Diego or elsewhere, a success.
- Be sure the vacation spot was chosen by the family together, not just the parents. Kids have opinions and especially when comes to having fun. Ask them for help in the planning. You will be glad you did. The best vacation spots have something for everyone. If your Carmel Valley kids are under 12, then picking a venue that has a kids program if you are not planning on spending every moment with your kids.
- Be sure that the hotel or vacation rooms allow for privacy, especially if you have teenagers. Once kids recognize the opposite sex, parents need to be aware that seeing too much is too much for most kids. If you’re on a camping trip, just make some rules about changing in private, to lessen any potential anxiety.
- Bring your bag of tricks. All parents know what their kids like to play, and you can always ask them to help, but having your SOS toy kit for your child is an important as food. Toys, games, and old “Fido” the stuffed puppy, help calm kids down and are tools for the travel with kids trade. Just in case you miss that movie, you can always break out the old “Uno” cards and play a family game.
- If you have a teenager, consider letting them bring a friend. Being different and unique from parents is the motto of the growing teenager. Otherwise, they never leave home. Most teens balk at traveling with their parents and siblings but if you have things for them to do, including maybe allowing them to bring a friend, they may actually be nice to you.
- Every Carmel Valley parent or parents need a little time to recover from traveling with kids, even if it’s taking a 20 -min nap or getting in a workout, parents need to refuel when on vacation with their kids. If you have a partner, you can take turns and allow for the other to have a break. But, if you have a happy teen with you, he or she may be your house babysitter so maybe mom and dad can have some privacy too.
Carmel Valley family vacations can be fun as long as you think ahead and plan with your kids.
Dr. Keith Kanner
Dr. Kanner is a certified and licensed child, adolescent and adult psychoanalyst with a private practice in Rancho Santa Fe. In addition, he is the host of Ws Radio’s award winning show Your Family Matters, which airs weekly on WSRADIO.COM. He is also the Mental Health Expert for NBC’s California NON-STOP News and is also a “Life Changer” EXTRA TV where he is among the “Top 25 American Doctors” giving advice to a national audience. In addiition, he is a Syndicated Author and a Professor of Psychiatry @ The University of California, San Diego. His book, Your Family Matters, Solutions to Common Parental Dilemmas, is available on Amazon.com.