By Jodie Lynn
We are trying to save for our spring vacation now but are just not sure if we'll even be able to take one. Some of our children's friends are already talking about what their families have planned. What can we say to our nine- and ten-year-old kids now so that they won't be let down later if we do not get to follow through on our plans?
ANSWER FROM READER:
When we talked about our family taking a vacation to Disney World, we knew that there may be a possibility that we may not be able to go because the children's grandmother was quite ill. We told them upfront that if grandma got worse, we would need to postpone the trip for the following year. We talked to them early on and kept mentioning the fact that things may not work out. When we found out that she was going to need surgery, we had to reschedule the trip. They were disappointed. However, to help ease the situation, my husband and I turned it into a positive experience by sharing with the kids all the new activities, shows, etc., that was planned for families at the amusement park for the following year. This seemed to help and we had fun betting on which child would participate in which event. - Rob and Tootie J. in Madison, WI
It's hard to keep kids from getting excited about an upcoming trip. This age group is old enough to remember previous ones and the great family memories they created. The excitement grows the closer it gets to the trip. They want to share information with their friends, especially since other kids are talking about their own plans. If you already know that something may come up that would require rescheduling or even abandoning the vacation plans, be honest with your children and explain that while you are making them, plans sometimes can't be followed through on because of certain circumstances. Create and share a backup plan that would still be fun but would be more doable due to location or cost, in case the current one falls through. Give them a few choices and allow them to help choose an alternative vacation. In fact, it doesn't even have to be an elaborate trip to an exotic place. Talk about details pertaining to each one and get the kids included in the discussions. It might consist of a cluster of scenarios that are unusual and exciting. Stay positive and they will most likely do the same.
CAN YOU HELP?
My four-year-old daughter has been talking the past few days about getting a pet rabbit from her dad for Easter. I'm not sure if he is doing this to irritate me or not, since we are divorced. I don't want to be the bad guy in this scenario but do not know what to do. He hasn't mentioned it to me at all. How should I handle this?
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