The Parenting Post: Summer Vacations + Behavior Expectations

Do you have a parenting hurdle you’re working through? If so, “The Parenting Post” is for you! One of our writers, Albiona, has been answering all of YOUR parenting questions over on IG, and we’ve turned her series into blog posts on our website as well. We just can’t get enough of her helpful advice, and we thought you’d appreciate it, too!

Her videos cover a wide variety of parenting questions–honestly, anything and everything! If it’s something you’re wondering, there’s a really good chance that another parent in our community is struggling with it, too. And Albiona is here to help!

This week, she’s focusing on what to do during summer vacations when routines are changed, schedules are disrupted, and your kids start to act a little bit more whiny. Or, maybe they’re overly excited and overly stimulated, and you just aren’t sure how to respond. What’s the best thing for a parent to do so that they can also enjoy the vacation?

Start by adjusting your own expectations.

This is the first thing you need to do. Brené Brown tells the story of how they were taking their kids to Disney World and she’s packing and throwing seven books into her suitcase and her husband looks at her and he says, “What do you think you’re going to be doing at Disneyland? Why are you bringing all these books?” And she really had to make an adjustment, like, “Oh, that’s true. I’m probably not going to have time to do these things.” She had to completely shift and understand that her expectation in this situation really mattered. So, think about the type of vacation you’re about to take, and set a realistic expectation for it.

Stick to a routine as much as you’re able to.

If you know your kids are really reliant on a routine and/or a certain structure–and you know they do better that way–do your best to stick to it while enjoying these summer vacations. There may be times when parents with children who are a little bit younger could say, “Hey, we’re not going to do a later dinner with everyone today. We’re going to head out at six and we’re going to go back so we can put the kids to sleep.” And that’s fair. So you might want to stick to the schedule that’s going to be more optimal for you and your family!

Learn to let some things go.

As far as kids being overly excited–let it go. That’s the fun in vacation! Everything’s sort of shiny and new, and you’re in a new place. A lot of times we try to put our disciplinarian hat on in that moment, when our kids are overly excited or perhaps acting out a bit because of it, but it’s not really necessary. Just let it go.

If it feels like things are getting on your nerves, give yourself the space to calm down and get yourself regulated. But they are kids in a new environment, really excited and having fun. Don’t forget that! And, if that seems to be too much for you still (where they’re always asking for something or wanting something), you can reframe that before the vacation even starts and get ahead of that.

What does this look like?

You can say, “Hey, I know when we go on vacation you guys are going to be so pumped and you’re going to be excited to do this and that and whatever. But here’s the thing, we’ve already planned a lot of those things out. But we’re going to give you guys a budget. Grandpa gave you this much money. You can use that to buy the things that you really want. So think about how you want to spend that throughout the week.” There are a lot of ways we can just alleviate that from the get go, so that you’re not in a constant battle with them throughout the vacation.

Overall, at the end of the day, just remember to relax. You’re not home. You’re on vacation! Recognize that the routine is going to look a little bit different, and just be okay with that. Set reasonable expectations for these summer vacations and try to enjoy them–you and your whole family deserve it!

Sometimes in relationships, we don’t always see things the same way our partner does. Our previous Parenting Post shares tips for what to do when you disagree with your partner about a situation.

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Whitney Cornelli
Whitney lives in Rochester Hills with her hard-working husband, their three daughters, and their German Shepherd. She is an MSU grad (Go Green!) who taught elementary school before trading in her classroom to become a SAHM. At naptime, you can find her editing blog content for Detroit Mom and running the community groups on Facebook. She loves to find new places to take her kids to, and one of these days she will figure out how to get out the door in a timely fashion. She enjoys connecting with other moms and sharing the triumphs and struggles of motherhood with them!


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