Make It a Package for Kids–-Travel-Fun-Learn : We can find a lot of checklists, to-dos and don’ts on Travelling with Kids and they look easy and manageable. But this article has a little different approach on travelling with kids. I feel it’s the best opportunity to watch over your children’s various skills, like:
Decision Making Skills
Conflict Resolution Skills
and many more.
I know it feels like an MBA course outline while I am jotting down these skills, but these skills need to be build up not in the MBA classes, but in our children’s day-to-day activities, and travel time is the best time to initiate, build-up and even polish such skills in our children. There could be lots and lots of things/actions/activities to relate with each skill. Let’s have a look at a few:
Make them feel independent and responsible most of the times while travelling –
Let them handle their bags and personal belongings.
Let them experiment –
With food, new languages, new people.
Don’t instruct them all the time –
Let them brainstorm, fail and learn.
Give them the freedom to decide –
Buy things from a grocery store. How much to buy? Is it affordable? Is it necessary?
Be watchful, but don’t get on their nerves –
Help them to manage things but don’t give solutions all the time.
Let them talk to strangers –
A few embarrassing moments can act as confident boosters later.
Difference of opinion between siblings often happens. Let them figure out the best solution –
Which place to visit or not/preference/choice etc.
Let the siblings learn from each other
I have been travelling a lot with 2 boys which in itself is a big achievement, more than travelling the World. But, Yes, I have seen them evolving which I feel is the important part of travelling experience as a whole. My younger one, who is 8 years old now, takes initiative of handling his own bag at the airport, on the escalators and everywhere else. This has made him more responsible and takes care of it well.
He has been watching his elder brother ordering food, inquiring for tickets, helping dad at the check-in and baggage counters, doing chores, talking to strangers who speak different languages, managing to buy things in a foreign country and much more. This made the younger one try to do the same on our recent trip to Europe. He began with buying water bottles to order Pasta Bolognese and Pizzas in European restaurants; accompanied his brother in inquiring for a boat cruise in Amsterdam and more.
This has brought a significant change in his confidence level, and his skills are emerging to be sharpened.
Not only at the time we are travelling, we must encourage our kids to do the pre-work and pre-exploration of the places we plan to visit. Internet, in this matter is a boon, and helps a lot to find, explore and decide on things we really are interested in.
I was amazed to know while I enjoying a can of beer in the flight that the alcohol affects twice as normal when you have a drink in the air and this is because of the lower level of Oxygen in the blood. My 11 Year old told me that he found out this fact when he was watching some Aircraft facts and searching out details of an A380 aircraft, we were boarding for Austria. The little one got me surprised when he uttered all correct names of the bridges we saw in Venice. Before we knew he was aware of the names of the bridges like, Rialto Bridge, Bridge of Sighs and others. They did their homework well, not the holiday homework, but homework for a holiday!
The major take-away is that kids can learn and enjoy together and travel can make a good start for it.
Happy Parenting with Budding Star