On a flight to Florida, I sat beside a seven-year-old child who was traveling with his mother to Disney World. We were on a flight for about two and a half hours. It became clear that this was a child who was working hard to do his best to please his mom. Yet his mom did not recognize his efforts. In fact, her responses were like many parents who travel with their children. She was actually using her parenting power to make things worse…rather than making things better. The focus of this article is on key mistakes that undermine peaceful traveling with kids. Please keep in mind, that these same principles apply for your travels from home to school, as well as from home to Disney World.
The Three Mistakes You Don’t Want To Make!
1. Don’t invest energy in what you don’t want!When sitting on this flight, it became clear that mom was very concerned about her son behaving properly. Her intentions were very positive, as she wanted to make certain that her son was not disturbing me. In an effort to catch her son to respect boundaries, she became a constant nag. For every minute action that violated her expectations of him, she corrected him. Here are a few examples of what she said:
- Put your feet down.
- Lean over this way.
- Sit up straight.
- Stop staring.
- Why don’t you look this way.
- Sit still.
- Stop asking me that.
- Why do you have to do that all the time.
- Listen to me!
- Will you please just sit still?
- And the list goes on.