Supergranny’s tips for stress-free family holidays
You may remember a while ago I had a visit from Supergranny – aka Andalene Salvesen – a modern day Mary Poppins who travels the world helping families restore order in the home (check out how it went down in my feature). Toddler tantrums, fussy eating and general bad behaviour, Supergranny deals with it all in that old-fashioned/no nonsense but not at all scary kinda way. Within minutes of her arriving in our home, the whole family (husband and I included) had been put in ‘time-out’ – okay, not quite – but she taught us all how to make sure that we eliminated shouting and had family life ticking along as it should. Needless to say, after a couple of months some of our bad habits returned so when Supergranny suggested a follow-up visit we booked it pronto. The kids were less than delighted (yes, I’d let them get away with all sorts) but it was just what was needed
My main concern is that I’m travelling alone, and with my three causing havoc, the prospect of trying to control them on the plane, in the airport and then at the various places we’re staying, where I really want them to be on best behaviour, was slightly daunting to say the least. With a little refresher course and a few tellings off (mainly directed at me for giving into my children’s every demand), things were back on track. And Supergranny gave me a few fab pointers to make sure that the peace is kept over the hols:
Gather fresh ideas from Pinterest and other mothers.
Whether for the journey itself or at your holiday destination, be prepared and make a plan! From snacks/wipes/water to age appropriate activities, always have something up your sleeve.
Or in other words, be assertive, decide on the rules and consequences and let your kids know what they are. If you’re staying with grandparents and there are things that mustn’t be touched or areas that aren’t safe for little ones, then tell them so from the beginning. Kids aren’t mind readers – they don’t inherently know what’s expected of them so keep re-enforcing what the rules are and tell them what the consequences will be if they’re broken (time out, no TV time, special privileges removed etc).
Stick to the rules while traveling, otherwise the kiddos will keep testing the boundaries! Predictability makes children feel safe and secure.
When things don’t work out as planned, be ready with a plan B and keep smiling!
BREATHE – regularly! Travelling can be stressful; living out of a suitcase isn’t always easy and many of us stay with family or friends where space is limited. With the children out of school, there’ll be a lot more pressure on you to fill their days and keep them busy and occupied, but that’s okay if you take it slowly. Stressed mamas make for stressed kids.
The school holidays offer plenty of opportunity for you to enjoy each moment with your kids, with limited technology to distract you (put down that phone, mamas!) and lots of quality time. Even if you have work to do, set aside time each day for that one-on-one time they all love so much.
Be an example
Kids will copy your body language, tone of voice and mannerisms so behave in the way you’d expect from them. Yes, there’ll be times when you might lose your cool, but afterwards make sure you tell them that it was wrong and explain why it happened.
Be well rested and eat healthily
The 80/20 rule applies with treats and junk food otherwise their behaviour (and yours) will be affected. Everybody still needs their sleep, even on holiday!
To your spouse, your kids, family members and the people you meet. It all comes back to setting an example.
Be FUN to be with
Lighten up and laugh A LOT! Enjoy your holidays, mamas!
Featured image via Pinterest