Before You Begin
by Laurel Smith
Prepare Yourself for Your Family Road
Traveling with children by
car can be a real challenge for any parent. You can endure it, or you can
try to enjoy it.
Consider this -- You have
something special on a long car journey that is difficult to find anywhere
else. What you have is time -- lots of it. This is time to spend
together without all the distractions of everyday life. It's time
to talk, sing, read to each other and play games. There are no dirty dishes,
laundry, housework, homework, school, or jobs to steal the moments away
from you. It's just you, your family and the open road. What you have is
time for the important process of “making memories.” It’s precious time,
so don’t waste it. Before long, precious moments like these will
be fleeting, and you’ll be asking yourself where it all went.
there really can be half the fun, if you’re prepared. Plan ahead with some
engaging activities for the road so you can help keep boredom at bay. I
cannot stress this enough. You must have some activities prepared in advance!
What you plan will depend on the ages of your children, their energy levels,
their interests and yours. Keep in mind that it’s not about you entertaining
them. It’s about everyone having fun – together – even the driver.
If you travel by car frequently,
I recommend starting your own “box of tricks” which is simply a collection
of items needed for the activities and games that your family enjoys. Use
a small bin that will fit easily under the seat, or even just a canvas
bag. When you are not traveling, keep this box of car game items stored
away and do not let the children play with the items except while you are
on a trip. This way they will be new all over again each time you hit the
road. It also amplifies the wonder of every item in this special
box, and they are all the more appreciated when they have access to it.
Instead of dreading the hours in the car, they will anticipate playing
with the items in this box.
Prepare yourself mentally
as well. It might not always seem like a picnic, but your attitude will
set the tone for the rest of your passengers. Realize that your vacation
begins in your driveway, not at your final destination. The minute you
all get into the car is when the adventure with your family starts.
It’s not unusual to have
many activities going at once. Some activities are on-going and may last
the entire trip (like Slug Bug, or counting cows). Some may just be fun
ways to pass the time (string figures,
singing). Others will be shorter lived, competitive, and have a clear winner
(games). It’s all part of the memory making journey, and preparation is
Plan well, and bring along
whatever else you think you might need, but above all -- bring your sense
of humor and an open mind.
~ ..· ´¨¨))
..·´ Road Trip Mom -:¦:-
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