Let me briefly summarize 4 basics to staying sane this summer!
1 – Routine: Although we might be traveling far away and we might encounter time differences try to keep some structure. Especially true for younger kids (from 0-5 years) is to let them know that what is coming is predictable. Try to keep the same habits even if the timings differ from the regular day to day. So make sure to keep some order, most importantly early in the day and at the end of the day- that way we might limit or avoid typical tantrums. For example, if every night before bed your kids are in the habit of getting their bath, brushing their teeth, share a story or sing a good song do the same if you travel to Spain, Venezuela, Argentina or anywhere else.
2 – Prediction: Predicting what comes next helps children to feel safe and also inspires enthusiasm. So for example, before you travel you can help prepare by creating charts i.e. vacation Countdown chart, packing chart, etc. Prediction can also be used while traveling, it is great for long trips…telling kids about what we have planned for the vacation weeks, itinerary of the places where we will go and what activities are planned. They will love the stories and the flight time or car time will feel less painful :)
3 – Sleep: Sleeping is important at all times, but especially for young children (from – to 5) Do not forget about sleeping habits during vacation time, you might think that because it is summer they can get away with less sleep but it is not that great for them and for you. Sleeping makes them be more relaxed and behave better.It is also very important to their development. Children up to 3 years should sleep for at least 12 hours and 3-5 at least 10.
4 – Oxygen: Speaking of sleep, let’s talk about oxygen for us, moms! Grown ups should sleep between 6-8 hours a day, if we lack sleep we lack energy and probably will not be able to care for our families. Lina shared with us a great and very concrete example: When you are on a plane, the flight attendant indicates that “if changes in pressure in the aircraft occur then oxygen masks must be placed on us first and then later on our children!”
So remember, some structure, prediction, sleep and oxygen!
I hope this very short overview was useful and that you can join us on their next visit.
I leave you with a comic by Maitena (Argentine illustrator and humorist – if you are really interested in a translation let me know!) And just my message to all,
ENJOY YOUR VACATIONS HOWEVER YOU CAN! …. KIDS GROW UP too FAST AND WE WILL eventually have TIME TO COMPLETELY RELAX!