"Kids would you just stop it" dad breaths turns back only to return fire 10 secs later "right that is it, no ice cream for you two this afternoon". Dad retreats to his sun lounge feeling guilty of his outburst and wondering why do they do it.
Where do you start when the kids are driving you nuts?
Do you know the real reason to why everyone is having a meltdown? Well, it could be because you have all forgotten how to connect as a family. Our current fast pace way of life has a way of disconnecting the way we should be connecting with our family.
So finding ways to reconnect with the kids becomes beneficial for everyone while on family holiday with teenagers or small children.
A challenge when on vacation with the kids is finding the right balance between you and them. So to help you out and find some ways to enjoy your time away, here are five things to consider to find the balance, so you don't lose the plot.
Set some time, say its 30mins to 60mins just to catch up. Plan an activity just to catch up to do something new together. Or just spend some time chatting about what was good about your day.
Your children deserve some of your attention, and you will find they will want to spend time with you. If you have two or more children and find it difficult to manage their expectations. I would suggest creating a time that allows for one on one with each of the kids.
When to use this tip: If you are staying at a resort where there are kids clubs or activities for the children. You are a parent that is just happy to see the kids at dinner time, and your time by the pool is far too valuable.
Do something different, find something extraordinary. Holidays with kids should be fun, try to do something else and find something that creates excitement for everyone. We recently experienced a Bedouin campsite on a desert safari in Dubai and drove through the desert in retro open-topped 1950's land rovers. The kids and parents loved the experience - it was something different and provided a unique and extraordinary experience for everyone.
Something we enjoy is sharing the holiday family photos with friends. So if you have any friends genuinely interested in your holiday, invite them over for a quick slide night. It's a great way to show your kids the importance of your time together and celebrate your family holiday with friends and relatives. When you return home use a product like the chatbooks.com which is an easy way to create a vacation photo book.
I find this utterly sad, but so many families go on holidays with kids only to spend their time looking into a screen. Yes, I'm guilty myself. However, it's time for the world to get off the screens on vacation, especially around meal times which should be quality time with everyone. Screens have a time and place, but when you are all sitting together in paradise on a beach, I don't think so. Consider finding a holiday destination that doesn't come with an internet connection. Consider a Wifi free holidays with kids!
Finally, as a parent, I know how important it is to be in the moment with your kids. Just think back to when you were a child yourself what memories do you have your holidays with your parents? Jump in have a laugh and be a kid yourself; your children will love the moment.
Finally, if you know, it's going to be a holiday where there is no connection possible. I think you should be asking "should we be taking holidays with kids in tow"? You might find it a better experience just going on your own.
Want to share your family travel tips and advice? Got questions about travelling with kids? Visit the FB private community forum to ask questions, get answers, meet other parents, and share your tips for taking holidays with kids!
James is the founder of Little Nomads a family-focused travel site where he shares his experiences about travelling with kids. You can have a conversation with James on twitter @littlenomads or via his Facebook page.