WHY FAMILY VACATIONS HAVE AN IMPACT ON KIDS’ HAPPINESS
For many families, a quick check of their calendars show a lot of similarities: not many free days to be found. Between busy work schedules, school, sports and other after-school activities, many parents are hard-pressed to find any time to set aside just to have fun and enjoy being a happy family.
It turns out, those crammed calendars are exactly why it’s so important to get away from it all. Family vacations are not only good for adults, they are great for kids. Trips with family have a long-lasting impact on kids’ happiness. They are not only opportunities to make memories and have family bonding time, but they are a source of stress relief. Vacations help teach children to adapt to new situations, build their confidence and give them a broader perspective on the world.
Let’s take a look at the many benefits that come with planning and taking a family vacation.
It Can Reduce Stress for the Entire Family
Adults know that finding time to relax and unwind is a hallmark of a good vacation. But the benefits can run more deeply through your family tree. A U.S. Travel Association survey found that 75% of children said their parents brought work home with them, and six out of seven said their mothers and fathers hauled work stress home with them, too. What does this mean for kids? The more stressed parents feel, the less supportive they can be when it comes to handling their children’s negative emotions. If a child is having a rough day, a stressed-out parent might not have the capacity to recognize it and help the way they might if they were in a better frame of mind. Vacations are a great antidote to this anxiety. Taking time off work and dedicating those hours to relaxation and your family can really help lower your stress, and that of your children.
Travel Gives Kids New Perspectives
Children are naturally curious and vacations are an excellent way to open up their view of the world. With each trip and every new place explored, kids’ idea of the world around them gets a little bigger. Travel gives children of any age hands-on experiences that they can’t get sitting in a classroom. The farther from home they go, the bigger the opportunities there are for learning, whether that is experiencing a new language, customs or way of life. Something as simple as trying new foods or even eating them differently like with chopsticks can give them a taste for more adventure. Traveling internationally gives children the chance to immerse themselves in another culture, if only for a little while.
Travel Promotes Family Bonding
When families are not bound to their normal daily schedule of work, school and activities, there’s a lot of extra time to spend relaxing and having adventures together. Travel provides this opportunity. Vacationing with children can offer a deeper level of family bonding when parents let their children help plan a part of the trip. A little planning beforehand and some simple website searches can produce a list of fun spots in your destination. Giving kids some choices and letting them pick their favorites to visit will make those family bonds even stronger.
Vacations Teach Children to Be Adaptable
Travel is all about getting away from the daily grind. By taking kids out of their typical routines of school, activities and friend groups, family vacations offer them the opportunity to learn how to go with the flow – a valuable life skill. Traveling away from home shows children that things can be unpredictable. There can be missed airline flights, busses and trains that take you somewhere unexpected, and long lines at certain attractions that might take extra patience, or prompt a change in plans. Children watch how their parents react to these types of situations and learn to be flexible themselves.
Travel Grows Kids’ Self Confidence
New foods to try, new activities to experience, maybe even an unfamiliar language reaching their ears. Trying new things and traveling to new environments is a good way for children to learn what they like, and even what they don’t. As they explore a new place on the map, they have the chance to grow their self-confidence each day. To get them ready for their trip, have them help with the packing. Even small children can lend a hand getting their clothes and favorite things together. To make travel easier, pack convenient items like Amway’s Satinique™ 2 in 1 Shampoo and Conditioner and Glister™ Multi-Action Fluoride Toothpaste, which comes in travel-size packs.
Family Vacations Provide Memories that Last A Lifetime
Memories hold such an important place in families. They are the emotional ties that bind, and are often passed down to younger generations through stories and photographs. Vacations are great memory-makers. Many parents know their children will remember trips taken together and experiences shared much more than a tangible item bought and gift-wrapped. Memories made on family vacations become part of kids’ identities and can help shape how they see the world.
With all these benefits on the horizon, make sure you find the time to plan your next family getaway. While it might be just the kind of stress relief your busy life needs, you will also be choosing to make your kids happy by giving them the gift of your time and attention. The return on your investment will not only be amazing memories but children who are better prepared for the future because their travel adventures have taught them new skills and perspective. They are adaptable and confident when faced with new situations.
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