Friday, July 22, 2011

How to handle family holidays

The school holidays have arrived and it’s time for many of us to start packing the whole family off on that long-awaited summer holiday. But family breaks don’t always go as smoothly as imagined. The strains of travelling,hot weather and general family disputes can make these trips almost as stressful as work! However, there are a number of tricks to keep tension to a minimum. Here are a few things that should keep everyone peaceful and happy for the duration, ensuring a more pleasant holiday is had by you all…

Indulge yourselves

At home you get used to denying your kids the things they ask for – chocolate, electrical gadgets and anything else you might deem either damaging or too expensive. On holiday it’s time to loosen the purse strings and for once indulge and spoil them. Reward them for their year’s achievements that you may have overlooked before now – getting so far in the local tennis tournament, for example, or showing strong potential in their school’s psychometric test. Meeting everyone’s demands, being less strict and generally indulging yourselves will make the trip much more special, memorable and free from arguments.

Give each other space

If you all have busy working lives, this holiday will be the longest, most intense period of time you’ll have spent together as a family for a while. For this reason you’re bound to get on each other’s nerves at some point. To reduce the risk of this, share the time looking after the kids with your partner so that you both get some time on your own. Also, arrange days where you split into two groups. Space and relaxation are vitally important for keeping a peaceful holiday household.

Be flexible

If you have already thought of a lot of things to do on your holiday and made a detailed day-by-day plan, this won’t make you very popular. Holidays are about doing what you feel like, when you feel like it and without feeling pressured into anything. If you have certain things you want to fit in, just make them flexible and don’t force anyone to go with you when they don’t want to.

Encourage physical activity

Try to do as many activities as you can – water sports, walks and so on – whatever you can fit in (still observe the rule that you don’t want to force anyone to do anything, though). This will not only be a great bonding exercise, but will put you all in a fantastic mood – as only the satisfaction of deserved exhaustion can. Plus, this will mean the kids are so knackered they’ll happily go off for an early night, leaving you and your partner a bit of well-earned alone time. If you’re lucky, you’ll enjoy the most romantic nights you’ve had together since you met – whether that was through friends or on free online dating sites in UK cities.

Bring distractions

Be prepared for the deadly enemy of every family: boredom. This can strike at any point – on the plane, on the beach, in the evenings – and can lead to a lot of tension. So pack the cards, board games, books, DVDs and colouring pencils – pack everything it takes. Audiobooks are particularly good for long car journeys and will keep you all entertained.
Wherever you’re jetting off to this summer, make sure you leave tension and squabbles back home!


Melinda Dunne October 14, 2012 at 12:02 PM  

I love this post! The holidays are approaching fast and these are great reminders. It seems every year it becomes more and more is great to be reminded to take time out!

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