Preschoolers and traveling are not friends. The loud noises, strange people, and unknown environment can shake their small world. This often ends in frustration, tears, or tantrums. But incorporating a few practices can cause the things we can control to go smoother while the things we can’t control spin around us.
Your state of calmness will impact your child. When traveling, we cannot predict the random changes. The weather, the airline schedule, flat tires, bad directions, and rude guides can all add to our own sense of frustration. But when these moments make us spin and lose control, our children see it. And, as a result, they often lose control, too. It never fails that at the moment the flight is delayed, and you run out of gummy bears, your child begins throwing a tantrum. During the trip, before you even feel a meltdown coming for yourself, take five. Leave the kids with your spouse or helper and go several steps away from them. Set a timer for a few minutes. And breathe deep. Taking the time to care for your own well-being before things spin out will give you control over chaos.
Children thrive on your attention. Traveling away from the familiar has disrupted their world. You are their only familiar security. But when schedules and tasks demand your attention, they begin to feel isolated and often respond in the typical tantrum. Children need structure; so, before the tantrum comes, intentionally focus on your child. Imagine what the world is like for them right now. For five minutes, look them in the eye, hold on to them, and talk to them. What do they see and hear? What are they enjoying? Schedule attention time. Setting a timer for five minutes every half hour during an intense day of travel can make a world of difference in your child’s temperament. Include an item in the schedule called “(child’s name) Time” Every hour on the hour call out, “(child’s name) Time” and then focus on them until your timer goes off. They may ask several times, “Is it “Bobby Time yet” reinforcing your full attention is essential for their state of calm. Having a structured schedule will assure them of their importance to you.
Want to learn more about Kids ‘R’ Kids Learning Academy of Greatwood located in Richmond, Texas? Our mission is to provide secure, nurturing, and educational environments for children ages 6 weeks – 12 years. We help children to bloom into responsible, considerate, and contributing members of society. For more information, give us a call or stop by for a tour! We’d love to get to know you and your family.