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Tips for travelling with kids these holidays

How to spare you, and those around you, undue stress

Travelling with kids can be a dream come true. Or an unexpected nightmare. 


But while much depends on the nature of the child, there is plenty a parent can do to ease the transition from home to hotel life for their family. 


With one of the biggest sources of discomfort for children being a change in their schedule - like a change in meal and bed times - the most basic thing mum or dad can do is practice good communication. 



According to Daniel Bagner, director of the Early Childhood Behavior Lab and a professor in Florida International University’s Center for Children and Families, communication can help prepare a child for what to expect of a trip as well as what is expected of them.


“Giving a child a schedule can help,” Mr Bagner said. 


“Parents also should communicate to their children what behaviors are appropriate and inappropriate.”  


Bagner also suggests parents “come up with a rewards system that works”, such as giving children the option of picking the first activity of a trip or choosing a program to watch or game to play. 


Positive feedback is also encouraged, especially when children are behaving well. 


“That’s how kids learn. They learn by feedback,” he said. 


“Parents really need to be specific about the behaviors they want to encourage. 


“They should say ‘I like the way you’re sitting so nicely,’ or ‘Great job playing gently with your toy’ or ‘Thank you for speaking softly.’”


To help get through lengthy travel delays, parents should ensure electronic devices are charged, and also have books and toys on hand.


Carrying food is another way to stave off boredom, and hunger, not to mention a nasty temper tantrum. 


What do you do to help your family holiday?


Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 17 December 2018

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