Connecting on Family Vacations
Family vacations are one of the best ways to Bring your family closer and build tight unbreakable bonds.
From the minute you start packing the whole family is focused on the same thing. Let’s Go! Communication is open and everyone is moving in the same direction, gathering what you need so you can hit the road or head to the airport. What to bring, what to wear, and of course… what we’ll need to leave behind. Packing is really preparation for letting go of distractions. What I put in my suitcase is meant to help me enjoy where I’m going and whom I’m going with. Snorkels, buckets, shovels, card games, hiking boots, books, (lingerie?)… Don’t miss this: What’s really important is what you are leaving behind!
Leave behind the distractions of your busy life.
It is so easy allow distractions (emails, phone calls, social media) to encroach on your family vacation. Parents, we set the tone for the trip! Do you want your kids to be available and present or glassy eyed from screen time? We all know that resentful look we get when we tell them to turn it off. But it is a two way street. If you decide to eliminate distractions for yourself, and really be present and available to your spouse and kids, they will follow. You will not be disappointed! Do you really think you’ll look back and wish you had spent more time on your computer?
Create space to just be.
Once you are away and enjoying your vacation, relax into each other. Leave space in the agenda to just be together. We all spend our lives getting things done and getting where we need to be. We live in an extremely task oriented society. If we sit still for even a moment with our coffee it seems extravagant and lazy. You should be scanning the news, returning a text, planning a meeting, or at the very least reading a book! This is the standard for our kids also. From the minute they wake up they are getting ready for school, feeding the dog, eating breakfast, packing their backpack, and how dare you stop and play???? We will be late!Once you are away and enjoying your vacation, relax into each other. Leave space in the agenda to just be together. Click To Tweet
In my house the sweetest times for me are when I’m tucking my kids in to bed. It is our only down time to just be and talk. When I’m sitting on the side of my child’s bed, with nowhere to be and no task I’m demanding them to finish, they finally have a window to open up and really talk. They share something they’re proud of, or scared of, or even how they’re feelings have been hurt. Kids are waiting for the chance to talk to you. You are the one they really want to share their heart with. You are the only one they will ask the deep questions of. But you have to be available. When you are on your family vacation, intentionally leave room in the schedule of your trip to be available. Walk on the beach together, lie on the deck looking at the stars for hours, float in a canoe, and sit at a café with no planned time to leave.
Make shared memories a part of your family’s foundation.
Looking back together at shared memories creates a lasting bond. We all know what it’s like with our friends. When we share an amazing experience it bonds us together like nothing else. The same is true with your family. Memories from our family trips come up in our house all the time. “Remember that apartment in Stuttgart Germany that was so small and mommy’s makeup fell in the toilet?” Lots of laughter! “Remember when we jumped off that huge cruise ship dock in St. Croix? That was crazy!” We all remember and we all have emotions associated with the memories. The bonds these shared experiences create last forever.
No longer must we be a society of disconnected families. Make your family vacation a time to connect and draw closer. Remember these 3 Steps: Leave behind the distractions of your busy life. Create space to just be. Make shared memories a part of your family’s foundation.