With summer finally here, many families will travel and endure the road mileage from point A to point B and back. Where there’s children and mileage, the infamous “are we there yet?” plays like a broken record from their bored faces. One too many can bring chills down the spine.
What you have is situation where the driving parent looks at the road sign and cringes when it reads another so many hundred miles until destination, and begins to doubt if the trip was a good idea or will things turn out for the better.
Prior to leaving home, make sure everyone starts out comfortable. It will make the whole trip little bit smoother. Here are some obvious, but often overlooked suggestions:
- Make sure to start travel with an empty gall bladder and colon
- Wear loose or comfortable clothing
- Adjust the cabin temperature for comfort (not too hot or cold)
- If the traveling weather is hot and sunny, apply sunscreen
- Ensure every passenger has sunglasses or a sun hat
- Bring plenty of water and snacks
- Share the music sound waves and bring the Barney CD or other children’s favorite music
The above are just starters. When boredom and impatience set in, it’s a recipe for sighs, gripes, bickers, and sibling fights. How does a parent help neutralize the unpleasant situation?
If the attitudes are caused by lack of sleep, turn on soothing music to help induce a nice afternoon nap. However, sometimes too much excitement and stubbornness can foil the napping plan and the play button quickly comes to mind.
As tempting and easy it may be to turn on the DVD entertainment system, be aware that too much TV is not a good thing for the developing minds of children. This common knowledge can easily get brushed aside when frustration and impatience sets in.
Instead, resist the temptation and fill up the passing miles with interactive questions about the past school year, what they like or didn’t, what do they want to be when they grow up, or what would they like to do for fun on vacation?
Playing trivia games based on the age and skill level of the passengers can quickly pass the time and enrich their knowledge.
One overlooked tactic is to stop and take more frequent breaks. It changes the scene a bit and helps rejuvenate the body.
If things aren’t smelling rosy, suck up the adult pride and ego, and press play again on the Barney CD. It is a good time to really focus on the skill of selective hearing.
After all, a family vacation isn’t just about going from point A to point B and back. The in-between points and details contribute greatly to the popular phrase “stop and smell the roses”.