Do you love traveling with your children but don’t love it when they are grumpy, sad, or uncomfortable away from home? If so, know that you’re not alone. It can be difficult for kids to adjust to new environments in such a short period of time, vacations and moves included. Here are a few ideas you can try to help your children to feel more comfortable in a new and unfamiliar space.
Keep Some Familiarity
One way to help your child to adjust to an unfamiliar setting is to keep some familiar things in the new experience. This will help them to relax, as they realize that not everything about the new space is foreign or scary. For example, if you notice that your child has a hard time sleeping away from home, try using a special pillowcase, blanket, or stuffed animal that they can bring with them on their trips. These familiar objects will help them to sleep more peacefully.
Talk About What to Expect
Children are very resilient, but talking to them about what the trip or move will be like is a great way to set them at ease, as On the Move points out. If you are moving, talk to your children about the new neighborhood and school that they’ll be able to enjoy. You could even show them pictures of the new home to help them to anticipate the move. If you’re going on a trip, try to go through your itinerary and explain the different fun activities that you’ll be participating in. If you anticipate that there might be some situations that your child could struggle with, like going on a plan, take some time to walk them through the situation and talk about how to make it enjoyable.
Stay with Their Routine
It can be difficult to stay on a normal schedule while you’re on vacation but do your best to keep some parts of your children’s routine in place. For example, try to keep your children’s bedtime or naptime around the same time so they don’t get too exhausted or grumpy from the lack of sleep. If your child has a pretty organized schedule for mealtimes and snack times, try to keep your vacation meals as close to those times as possible. The familiar schedule will help your child to cope with the new situations around them.
Even though having new and unfamiliar experiences with your children can be a challenge, there is nothing more rewarding. As you look forward to your next move or trip, keep these ideas in mind and try to implement them as much as possible. The more help you give your child in adjusting to new circumstances, the more enjoyable your time together will be.
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