Family Vacations Count!
Laura Santomauro LMFT
Ask yourself how to improve any relationship and you’ll find TIME a part of the answer. Spending time together is the essential ingredient in building stronger bonds. Take an opportunity to build those bonds on your next family vacation. If you are not planning on going away, utilize these concepts in special activities you do during Spring Break!
Time away together creates a “family ritual”. Families and children thrive on rituals. The predictability and security in knowing what will happen, being able to count on specific “certains” – these things create boundaries around family units that bind them together. Being able to get away from daily routine, becomes a ritual in itself, where families can interact apart & separate from the pressures of work, school, sports and friends.
Take this opportunity to get reacquainted with who each individual is. Carve out time to do something special and new. Explore thoughts and beliefs about your vacation experience. Increasing meaningful dialogue will give you insight into your child, and knowing your child better will foster a better relationship through increased understanding, connection and give your child a sense of value knowing that you are interested and take the time to be so!
2. Know Yourself, Know Your Family
First, you should strive to be fully you when you are freed from many of your daily household duties and activities that are work-related. On a vacation, you should let those in your family who mean something to you see who you really want to be. Then, in the coming year, strive to continue expressing that person in daily.
3. Let Go!
Vacation is a time to let go! Our daily lives are scheduled with so many deadlines and timelines, this is an opportunity to loosen up some of those restrictions. Allow yourself to indulge in going to bed late one night, extra dessert nights, even a movie out! Enjoy the time together without having to worry about getting up for school the next morning, getting the laundry done, fixing the next meal….
4. Creating Meaningful History
Document the activities that your family does. Create a photo album, video, or a picture journal that the family can display and view with regularity. Documenting the fun that you have together is a great way to keep those feelings fresh when vacation is long past. Loving and fun memories build a positive foundation that families can reference which in turn, continue to draw boundaries around a strong unit.
5. Have Fun
Fun creates bonds. These bonds improve relationships. When you have fun with someone you are less likely to jump to conclusions of ill-intention, you are faster to forgive, and you look past small imperfections. This carries over into having an increased understanding of another, higher likelihood of being respectful and polite to one another – and can carry families through the tougher times.