Travel Troubles and Sibling Rivalry

Traveling this holiday season? Wishing you weren't? Maybe you love where you are going but the process of going there with young children can seem daunting, especially if a long car ride or plane ride is involved. Traveling can be hard enogh with just one child, but then if you had more than that to the mix, sibling rivalry may ensue. You know how it goes--the hitting, the pushing, the name-calling, the whining, the toy-stealing. By the time you get to your destination you feel like you need rehab. Heaven forbid if your destination is a hotel! You may feel like you have just been sentenced to your second prison after the car.

So, what do you do? How do you maintain he joy and harmony in your family--especially during this holiday season--if you have to travel. Check out the video below!

Dr. Phelan, author of 1-2-3 Magic offers some helpful ideas on how to manage traveling and sibling rivalry. The video above packages it in a nice, short 2-minute summary. I appreciate what he has to say about the timers and even letting the kids earn a little bit of money for good behavior. In his example, kids would earn 25 cents for every 15 minutes of peace and good behavior in their car ride. A knee-jerk instinct may be to feel like kids should not have to be paid to be good, but the truth of the matter is, they need some incentive. They haven't developed adult brains to weigh the instrinsic value of what you as a parent or asking the to do. This establishment of a routine and expectations is a beautiful thing because it also keeps you , the parent, happy and quiet, free of nagging. Phelan says, "Angry people make noise; happy people keep quiet." Of course, making some celebratory noise with praise is a good thing and recommended as another means of motivation. Bringing lots of activities and things to keep them busy is also important. Small gifts along the way is another tool. My sister-in-law has been known to wrap a number of small gifts for her two young girls and then give them out periodically on the drive. The girls love this and it contributes to a harmonious ride.

So, if you are traveling this year, don't be afraid to try some new things. It may end up being the most peaceful car ride yet!

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