Tip #4: Help things go right and keep it positive.
If I only interact with my kids when commotion arises from the back seat, then bummer for everyone. But it happens, right? I hope I’m not the only one who just wants to check-out for a bit!
It helps so much if I am mindful and notice what’s going well before the chaos breaks out. When things do get tense, acknowledge the emotional state of the child, and help them walk through it.
It might sound like:
- “I know, you are so sick of this car. It’s hard to be so close to everyone. Do you need to punch this pillow?
- “Looks like you’re sick of this ride? How about some deep breaths til we can stop?”
- “Sounds like you need a break, wanna take a walk?”
- “You guys sick of each other? I can sit between you for a bit.”
- “You sound frustrated. Can I hold your hand or tell you a story?”
Don’t be afraid to sit with them in the yuck, and remember it won’t last forever.
Tip #5: Tell your family story.
Everyone loves to hear stories about themselves. Funny ones are the best to start with and capture everyone’s attention. My childhood favorite, “Remember the time, you stuffed your comforter in the fridge and we found it at breakfast….” True story!
If your brain is like mine, it can’t always access these fun stories on the spot. Try flipping through old photos before leaving and come ready with a few memories to share. Not only is it a nice break from electronics, it also helps me remember how much I love these traveling companions!
Tip #6: Give yourself permission to take a break.
- Get out of the car until the crazy stops.
- Put in your earbuds.
- Do some deep breathing.
- Listen to some music.
- Go to the bathroom and don’t come out for a few minutes.
Whatever you do, create some space until you, and they, are ready to be nice again.
It is unlikely that your road trip will be flawless. You should actually count on tired kids and parents, maybe a few tears, and at least one moment of melt- down (not promising it will be the child that does the melting).
If we accept the rough spots as part of the experience, we can enjoy the ride, move from one moment to the next, and create connection along the way.
Now, if you’re ready for some of my favorite ideas to get the “stuff” ready, click this big red button. I’ll send you my 10 favorite things to bring or do that will help you rock your family road trip!
Happy travels to you!