Tuesday, November 22, 2005
Parent to Parent: Travel With Kids
If you thought holidays with the family were hectic, traveling with your kids in toe is downright draining. This week, more than 37 million people will be driving and flying for thanksgiving dinner. But in tonight's Parent to Parent, we found taking the children can actually be trouble free.
WSVN--Just a car ride around the block takes some planning for the Valdes family. But this Thanksgiving, the entire unit, including 3-year-old Juancho and 1-year-old Maggie, are planning to embark on their first cross country adventure.
Tina Kindelan Valdes: "Where are you going? We're going to Phoenix to visit my sister and the whole family's going out there and it's going to be the first time flying, so we're real excited."
Their trip will not only take them by plane from Florida to Arizona.
Lynn Martinez: "Is it going to be a long ride on the airplane?"
Juancho Valdes: "Yes, because Phoenix is far, far away."
Lynn Martinez: "Phoenix is far far away."
But while they're there, they'll be hitting the road as well.
Tina Kindelan Valdes: "So maybe envision yourself surrounded by screaming people and you're there crying perhaps. Yes, a lot of us screaming, not just the kids."
But traveling with your kids doesn't have to drive you in circles.
7 Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg says the key to a successful trip is planning and participation.
Seven Parenting Expert Dr. Sally Goldberg: "One key to why driving trips drive parents crazy is that they don't tell their children ahead of time how long the trip is going to be."
Start by asking your children what they would like to visit during the trip... Like the zoo or a museum.
Tina Kindelan Valdes: "This is where Nana lives in Phoenix right there."
Then, read together about your destination and how'll you'll get there.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Take out books from the library about that location and talk about where you're going to be going."
Also have your kids help with the packing. You should have a separate bag filled with plenty of books and games to keep them busy.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "Have a set of toys already set aside that is just for travel, so they're going to be new for that child, when it's time to take that trip."
Plus you may want to buy a clipboard, so your child has a hard surface to write on. For older children, an I-pod or a CD player are entertaining. And parents, don't forget the snacks. As for the day of the trip, explain to your child how long you will be travelling. Once you are on the road, dads this one is for you, plan to stop and take breaks. And if your child behaves, use the trip to reward them.
Dr. Sally Goldberg: "In fifteen minutes, we're going to get to a play area, and you're going to be able to run around."
And if all else fails, there's always the DVD player. The Valdes family has one of those. They are hoping this will be the start of many happy returns.
Tina Kindelan Valdes: "So hopefully your trip will be? A beautiful family event with a lot of screaming. Along the way, just like at home, just like at home. (kid screams)"
Try to stick to your child's eating and sleeping schedule...Or even better, travel at night when they are sleepy. That plus a little flexibility can go a long way to avoiding travel headaches.
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