You are looking forward to a romantic holiday with your hubby but your child starts wailing and insists that she wants to tag along. Dr Richard C. Woolfson offers ways to assuage your guilt.
Don’t be too ambitious Plan a short break of several days rather than one lasting a fortnight – those longer, more adventurous, couples-only holidays can wait until your child is much older and more independent.
You’ll probably start pining for your child the minute you wave goodbye to her, and spend most of the time talking about her while you are away.
A weekend or a midweek two-day break is adequate time for you and Hubby to enjoy yourselves without worrying about your sixyear-old, and for her to cope without you.
Arrange good-quality childcare Make sure she’ll be well looked after (perhaps by her grandparents) while you are both away, and that she has a fun-filled time. Plan her schedule as if it were part of your holiday – you don’t want to receive frantic calls while you are on the road simply because your child is bored and has nothing else to do.
Plan activities with her. Choose different excursions, and work out the details such as how to get there, and food for the activity.
Arrange a Whatsapp video call with your child, or ring her for a quick chat every day. This keeps you and her reassured.
Reassure your child that her turn will come Your six-year-old wants to tag along partly because she loves your company and partly because she wants to have a holiday.
You can hardly blame her for wanting to share in the fun – just like you, she enjoys staying at a hotel, having her meals served by wait staff and having access to the pool every day.
So tell her you’ll make sure everybody goes away together soon. Ask her to think about where she might like to go for a short trip.
Contact your child while you are away Naturally, you and your husband want peace and quiet when you are on holiday, without unnecessary interruptions.
However, make a point of keeping in touch with your kid. It is easy to arrange a Whatsapp video call with her, no matter where you are, or ring her for a chat.
A quick conversation with her, lasting a couple of minutes at the start or end of the day, will reassure her and you as well. Even though it can seem like an intrusion, it will be worth the effort.
Agree on a present for her Before leaving, talk about a gift she’d like you to buy her while you are away. It doesn’t need to be related to your holiday destination; it has to be something that she wants.
If you are lucky, she’ll ask for a present that you can buy before you go away (don’t tell her that!), so you don’t need to spend your precious break hunting for it.
If she starts to associate your holidays alone with receiving a wonderful present on your return, she’ll soon look forward to your next vacation without her.
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