Sometimes, you just want to do something as a couple. Now more than ever, parents need a break. If you had vacation plans that included your annual 2-day getaway, its not going to happen. Covid canceled a lot of vacations. Hopefully, you got a refund because your travel agent may not even be in business anymore.
You have been working from home if you are lucky enough to still be working. The kids are likely home doing school over a computer. You hardly get a moment to yourself, let alone quality time with your spouse. The pressure isn’t letting up. Cruising toward Winter, the US is seeing record high infection rates. Entertainment options are limited. The largest theater chain says they will be out of money by the end of the Year. It is actually hard to find a place to eat in NYC.
Clearly, something has to give. You need a little time away. But there are even bigger reasons why your getaway should include your kids:
Your Kids Need to Get Away, Too
Your kids have been going through the madness just like you. They don’t want a sitter. They need something that feels like normal. They can’t spend time with their friends. At this point, they have played all the games and watched all the shows. Nothing at home feels like home.
It’s time to take the family out to Mt. Rainier. Before you do, take the SUV to an auto body repair in Washington so that your family can feel like they are going first class. This trip is important. Don’t let that crack in the windshield ruin the view of one of the most scenic drives in the country. Make your kids feel special. Don’t make them feel like a fifth wheel.
Your Kids Are Scared
You are not the only one who gets stressed on a road trip. Your kids are also stressed. It is important to find ways to reduce stress for everyone. That said, your kids are not just stressed. They are afraid. Their world has come apart in a way that only happens in movies. And they don’t have the life experience to contextualize any of it.
They also don’t have the nuance to express themselves. They might act out their fear in ways that come across as willful. They might argue or fight or be unusually annoying. They will often push you to your last nerve without understanding why they are behaving that way. What they need is something that feels like the before time. And they need to know that the one thing in their world they can depend on is still there no matter what.
They Need Physical Activity
Corona stress is effecting kids all over the world. Lockdown is bad for adults. But it might be even worse for kids. That is because in addition to mental stimulation, kids need more physical activity. They cannot get it indoors.
They need to get out into the world in wide open spaces. They need to run and play and explore and become exhausted. If you have a chance to get out in the world, it is vitally important that you take your kids with you.
They Need to Know That the World Is Right Where They Left It
According to experts, we gain object permanence somewhere between 4 and 7 months. We know that things don’t go away just because we are no longer looking at them. But that doesn’t stop even adults from wondering what things are like out there. When you don’t see something for a long time, it helps to just be reassured that it is all still there.
Kids haven’t seen their friends in person in a long time. They haven’t seen their school. They haven’t seen much beyond their neighborhood. There is still beauty, and adventure, and joy, and hope in the world. Wildlife is still there. National parks are still there. The river where you used to fish is still there. They need to know that it will all be ready and waiting when the crisis is over.
It is understandable that parents want and need a break. We all do. But Your kids also need a break. They are also afraid. They desperately need physical activity. And they need to know that the world they once took for granted has not gone anywhere.