As I write this, I am doing the happy dance, jumping up and down and throwing my hands in the air. You’re probably wondering, why? Well, that is because we had a wonderful weekend traveling with our daughter to see family in New Jersey.
Our daughter is a little over 3 years old and we all know how traveling with a toddler can be. I am just so happy on how well she acted and behaved. She’s a very sweet, sassy and funny little girl, who of course, has the normal tantrums and meltdowns. We did something different for this mini vacation and that is we COMMUNICATED with her prior to leaving.
We geared up our communication with her the weeks and days leading up to traveling. We talked every night about what we were going to do on vacation, how we were going to behave, interact with our cousin and family. We talked about expectations we had for her and the expectations she has for us (she wanted to sleep in our bed!) I have to say it helped us tremendously. She understood going into the trip that she was to ask us for help before she had a tantrum, that she was going to listen to us by the pool and that in return we were going to be so proud of her and let loose! Of course, we told her slip ups happen, it’s OK to cry, be upset and frustrated, and want quiet time. However, what we emphasized was how she acted from having a feeling. She understood behaviors from emotions can have negative consequences. When she was upset, we told her to have some alone time or that we would give her a big hug and talk about her feelings. Seems like a no brainer, but it really did work for us.
Between her excellent behavior this past weekend, coupled with us growing some more patience and understanding of a three year old’s feelings, I say it was a success. Traveling with little kids gets easier, the more then grow, the more they understand and comprehend the world around them. She was a doll, like she always is for the most part, and we really enjoyed our time away with her.
How do you prepare your kids for traveling? Do you give them a “pep talk.”