Bins overflowing with abandoned toys? Whatever happened to the Hatchimal your child just HAD to have at Christmas time? About this time of year, parents lament the hundreds of dollars spent on last holiday's toys, and for good reason. Sometimes those toys just don't deliver lasting value. But, vacations are another thing. One parents should provide more often.
"They need to reinforce the value of leisure," says Patrick A. Coleman of Fatherly. "They need to show children that taking time to explore and experience is just as important as hard work. Because it is."
And, at least one leading child psychologist says a family vacation provides a lot more of what you want for your family.
Oliver James, psychologist and author of numerous books including Love Bombing: Reset Your Child's Emotional Thermostat, cautions parents against spending an extraordinary amount of money on toys that children don't want. Instead, James says "love bomb" your family with a vacation that will provide a lot more lasting meaning for your kids.
Attachment Play Vital for Bonding
Kids love prolonged periods of fun with their parents a lot more than they do solo play time. But in daily work-week lives, parents live and function in stress-filled worlds. Kids grind out over-scheduled activities in addition to tough testing regimens at school. Taking a vacation together puts the daily grind on hold, allowing everyone to relax and enjoy being together. When families get away together, Mom and Dad can unwind to build sandcastles or take a hike with the kids, engaging in "attachment play," which is vital for bonding. On vacation, instead of sending kids the busy work-week message, "I'm too busy for you," they send the, "I enjoy being with you. I enjoy you" message. That's gold for kids.
Size of Vacation Doesn't Matter
Want to build some meaningful family time for your family? Get on it! You don't have to get elaborate about it, though if budget's an issue. Plan a camping trip or a weekend in Chattanooga. Or, start saving now in order to plant a big love bomb on the next big holiday (airline tickets)!
TOP DESTINATIONS FOR BIG FAMILY VACATIONS
Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge, Florida • Hilton Waikoloa Village, Hawaii • Tanque Verde Ranch, Arizona • Snowbird Ski and Summer Resort • Atlantis Resort • Tyler Place Family Resort • Vista Verde, Steamboat Springs • Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa, Gainey Ranch • The Hotel Hershey