Mighty Parenting Tackles The Stress-Free Family Vacation | Sandy Fowler | Episode 80
Every parent dreams of a stress-free family vacation but frequently that’s not what we get. We encounter bickering children, surly teenagers, and melt downs. We deal with bad directions, no restaurants when you need them, and lost luggage. We can find ourselves frustrated and come home feeling like we need a vacation to recover from our vacation. While these are common issues, there are some simple steps we can take to prevent them and stop them from ruining our family vacation. Mighty Parenting podcast co-founder Sandy Fowler hosts this episode of the Mighty Parenting podcast, drawing on her expertise as a stress-relief and emotional wellness coach to enlighten parents about common mistakes that create problems. She’s sharing tips and strategies that help create the stress-free family vacation every parent desires.
When kids are involved in the vacation planning and understand what to expect they won’t create fairy-tale scenarios in their mind which leave them angry and irritable when they don’t happen.
High Points of Creating a Stress-Free Family Vacation:
Expectations can get us into trouble in life, including creating stress for our stress-free family vacation. The thoughts we have about how wonderful the trip is going to be may sabotage us from the get go.
We organize a family vacation thinking we’ll have fun and togetherness but we end up with frustration, fighting, boredom, or tension. Then we come home feeling exhausted and drained—and so do our kids. Most people will say that they need a vacation to recover from their vacation.
There are a few things that leave us exhausted. First, all of that prepping and packing leaves us tired before we even begin our vacation. Second is when the kids are being difficult. Third is our own efforts to maximize every moment of the trip. Last is when we come home and have to jump back into life full steam.
There are some simple steps you can take to avoid those family vacation pitfalls including planning the trip as a family, sharing your vacation budget (or aspects of it) with your teenager, and creating some time before and after your trip to deal with details.
When you plan the vacation together you can:
Bring your teen in on the planning process
Think carefully about what you want from this vacation: family togetherness, quiet, activity, relaxation, adventure, etc
Ask your teen (actually, everyone going on the trip) what they want
Talk to each other and come to an agreement about the focus of the vacation
When our kids ask to do something that doesn’t fit our vacation budget we often just say no. This can leave our teen frustrated. If we share the reason for the no and invite them to come up with alternatives then they feel heard and respected. The process of brainstorming solutions and planning the trip with us gives them skin in the game. This leaves them happier about all aspects of the trip and more accepting of things they don’t really care for.
Vacation time is a wonderful time of year so we want to maximize it, using every day available to us. However, if we come home late on Sunday and everyone has to hit the ground running Monday morning, that means we’re rushing around unpacking, doing laundry and grocery shopping and prepping for the morning. If we simply come home earlier, leaving a day or two to sort out life, we can enjoy the fruit of our stress-free family vacation.
Sandy Fowler helps people take back their lives. She works with women, parents and small business owners, teaching them how to make powerful choices that let them leave stress behind and live a joy-filled life. At Mighty Parenting she helps parents make powerful choices that reduce stress while improving parenting and emotional wellness. At DASIUM, she guides parents and organizations in preventing depression, addiction, and suicide in teens and young adults.
She has been quoted on Lifetimemoms.com and SheKnows.com, featured in a cover story in the Detroit Free Press Twist Magazine, published in Mompreneur magazine and the Clarkston News. Sandy is a co-creator of The Keys to Getting What You Want: 4 Little Known Communication Secrets, and the creator of the Calendar Magic coaching program. She authored two books that use her principles to guide moms through the holiday season. She is a co-host of the Mighty Parenting podcast. Sandy loves to spend her free time camping, hiking, reading, or playing games with her husband and daughters. You can connect with her at SandyFowler.com.
Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler are entrepreneurs who help people live better lives. After creating DASIUM they realized they could help parents avoid the challenges and pain they experienced. Mighty Parenting is what families need to get real, relevant information about raising teens and parenting young adults in today's world.
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