I read a study the other day that was pretty powerful. It just supported what I already knew… that vacations were better than gifts. Experiences better than toys.
There is a reason that our kids long for the beach like I do… and it’s not because we love the beach. It is because we love our time together. They love going biking with me early in the morning. They love building sand forts with my husband. They want to take a walk down to the lighthouse, “just the two of us” because these things create bonds with our kids… unbreakable bonds that only come from spending time together.
My husband and his family camped, a lot, when he was a child. He loved camping. He loved everything about it: playing cards with his family, cooking over a campfire, exploring the area.
My family went to the beach a few times a year. I love the beach. I love riding bikes, looking out onto the water, running on the beach (even though I loathe running), finding shells with our kids, finding coral that we can bring home to save as a reminder.
It doesn’t matter where you are going as long as you make it a fun, memorable experience. You can do that by being involved with your kids. Finding fun things to do, new exciting things to show them and creating a bond that will last a lifetime. Be present in the moment.
“Family holidays are valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterward in their memory,” psychologist and best-selling author Oliver James explained to The Telegraph. “It’s all about talking nonsense with your parents, sharing an ice cream and moments of time in which your interests are genuinely taken into account. So if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s pretty clear which option makes more sense.”
And get this: Traveling with your kids can also be beneficial to their brain development. “An enriched environment offers new experiences that are strong in combined social, physical, cognitive, and sensory interaction,” says child psychotherapist Dr. Margot Sunderland. “Think: family together in the pool, walking together through the forest, touching long tall grasses waving in the wind, toasting marshmallows on campfire, hanging out together under warm sun, feeling sand between the toes.
Research, of course, repeatedly indicates that, despite the fact that we go on buying more stuff, adults really regard experiences like travel as far more fulfilling. Children, says James, are no different. It’s just that they value different aspects of that travel. ~telegraph.co.uk
He goes onto say: “Dad or Mum, building sandcastles, playing badminton on the beach, jumping over waves. It seems like fun, but it’s also “attachment play”, and it’s vital for bonding. Attachment play also enhances self-esteem, sending a child the psychological message: “You have my full attention. I delight in you. I delight in being with you.”
You know, the toys that we give them are exciting and fun… the video games keep the busy. New movies will occupy their time, but you child will never remember their favorite day of TV.
During this one week challenge, I will send you one e-mail a day, with your daily challenge. The goal is to build the bond between you and your child… to build a home that our children will want to come home to.