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Vacations without your child

Vacations without your child

How do you prepare for a family vacation where parents will be away from their children? Here’s some thoughts from a psychologist.

from 9 months to 8 years

Wachanga psychologist Maria Miller has recommendations for parents - how to act in difficult situations and maintain a good relationship with your baby.

In the first year of a child’s life, being with them is entirely necessary, but in the future, parents can spend more and more time away from their baby. It’s important to pay attention to how they feel though, and not make it worse when you need to be absent: no child should feel abandoned.

A one-year-old baby learns a lot about the world and its dangers, and the absence of the closest people to them can provoke or intensify their fears. However, this does not mean that you should never be separated. They should be prepared and short-term times apart.

From 1 year to 4 years old

To start, understand that a long vacation from children (more than a week) is not the best idea. First of all, because you’ll probably get bored without your kid, and you’ll start to worry too much. On your first evening or weekend free from children, we wouldn’t recommend trying to relive any “wild days” you had before pregnancy. It’s probably best to do something more mellow.

Don’t tell your loved ones that you’re tired of them, especially children. It is important to understand why you want to get away. The ages of one to four are accompanied by several childhood crises, and this is all happening while you're fatigued, young parents. You probably want to run away most of all during this time, but when your baby is rebelling, or undergoing a difficult psychological period, it’s important to stay - separation from you may not be the way to go.

  • Warn your baby in advance.
  • Spend time together with their sitter or another person who will be with the child. Let your baby get used to a confidant in your life.
  • Keep in touch with the sitter. Take time to talk about your child, and about how the day went for them.
  • Your kid will feel better seeing you communicate about them and hearing you talk about them.
  • Don’t leave while your child’s asleep. This could be extra stressful for them.

How to part with your baby

  • Have a goodbye ritual. This could be something you whisper to them, or a kiss goodbye.
  • When planning a longer separation (for example, a vacation without a child), talk to your baby about where you’re going and when you will return. You can act out going away with their toys.
  • Immediately before separating, tell your kid about how the day or week will go without you, and what they’ll be doing while you’re gone.
  • Leave your child some personal items that remind them of you. When your baby misses you, they can always know a part of you is with them.
  • If your child is having a difficult time parting with you, prepare more time for parting. But be confident of yourself and show them there’s nothing scary about being apart - you will be back before they know it. Your baby shouldn’t see any fear, doubt or irritation on your face.
  • Tell your baby what you will do with them when you return.

From 4 to 7 years old

When your kid gets older, it usually gets easier for them to part with you. However, often children simply understand and accept how they should act, but deep down they experience the whole spectrum of emotions.

At the age of 4, it is usually already possible to go on vacation without your baby and promise to bring them souvenirs, but the rituals you did in their earlier years are still important. Tell them about where you’re going, how much you’ll miss them, how great it will be to come back.

For preschool children, in addition to the usual rituals, surprise notes that your relatives can help read, or cute gifts hidden in their toys or pockets will help soften the blow of your long absence. This will be another reminder that you are always there and are thinking of them.

Be attentive to your baby!

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