One of my fondest memories of vacationing as a child is when we went on our family camping trips. My father was a computer engineer and spent most of his time sitting on his computer, even when he was home. My mother was a house wife and spend her time cleaning and cooking for our family of five. They were both busy people no matter how much time they tried to put aside for us. but when we went on family camping trips, all of that was put to the side. Mom didn’t have to cook or clean or do laundry and Dad didn’t have to program and do whatever he did on his computer. In fact they both made sure not to bring work with them. We would go tent camping but your family camping vacations could be different. Here are just a couple things that children want from family time whether it is family camping trips or some other kind of vacation.
Kids want to know that their parents are paying attention to them. Think back to when you were a child. There’s nothing worse than trying to talk to your parents and knowing that they are not listening. It’s sad but it’s understandable that during our day to day lives, we can get too busy to really pay attention to what our kids are saying. This shouldn’t be but it does happen. However, during vacations you should make a concerted effort to prioritize your kids. There shouldn’t be anything keeping your attention more than them during that time. Here are a few suggestions for things you can do with your kids during family camping trips:
- Games: This could be board games or physical games. On camping trips playing card games or games like Uno and I Spy are always a good idea. Of course, there’s the ever fun ‘Going Camping’ game where you go through the alphabet one by one and name all the things you are bringing camping and the first one to remember them all wins. Games like this may seem simple but it’s a great way to spend time with your kids.
- Adventures: Taking your kids exploring through the woods or kayaking on the lake will give them memories that they’ll never forget. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant and should never be something that they’re afraid of or don’t want to do. There will be other times for helping them get over their fears.
You may be seeing the trend here: the things your child wants from you during vacation are also the things he or she would want from every day life. However, if you find it difficult to find time to do this during your regular life, a vacation might be just what you need to get into better habits with your children. Here are some ways that you can show them love during your vacation:
- Physical affection: Hugs and kisses are always a good way to express love but some children aren’t into that so make sure you let them show you when they want hugs and kisses and when they don’t. Tickle wars and things like that are always fun as well but again, pay attention to when they are done with the game as tickling can be torture after awhile!
- Affirmation: Letting your child know that you are proud of them or that they are behaving very well or telling them something that you like about them is a great way to show them that you love them.
More than anything, kids love to have fun. Let them lead the way when it comes to fun. This could be through activities, games, reading, exploring, watching a movie or something else entirely. Adults tend to forget about having fun and having kids around is a great way to remind yourself that you need to enjoy life and have fun just as much as they do.
We could stand to learn some things from our kids in this arena. Taking some time out to go on vacation and let them show you what it means to enjoy life is a great way to connect with them and bond again, even if you have not done a good job of it previously.