Dr. K’s Corner
Ahoy! Welcome to Dr. K’s Corner, where each edition is written by our pediatric psychologist, Dr. Klitzman, and discusses current health topics and common questions. In this edition, Dr. Klitzman discusses how to help you travel with children.
We have a big trip coming up to visit relatives. How do I help my kids deal with the long drive?
This is a tough one, and my best recommendation is distraction. Bring many activities, especially new ones if you can, and pull them out one at a time. There are some fun printable games you can find online (https://www.tripsavvy.com/travel-games-for-family-road-trips-3265630), and a handful that don’t require any materials (http://www.parents.com/fun/vacation/ideas/8-fun-car-game-ideas/). Pack multiple healthy snacks that aren’t too messy to keep them full and busy. Finally, take breaks! Many kids do better when long trips are broken up. You can eat a meal at a restaurant, plan a fun/interesting pit stop on the route, or just let the kids run around for a few minutes at a rest stop.
My kids travel well, but we always have a hard time when we get to our relatives’ house.
Any change, especially sleeping somewhere new, can be difficult for children. Most importantly, maintain your routine from home as much as possible. This may not be easy when there are multiple other family members and activities, but try to have meals and sleep around the same times as the kids are used to. Also, bring games, comforting items (e.g., stuffed animal, parent’s shirt, blanket), and their special cup from home to help them feel more comfortable and calm.
Although trips might be a lot of work for parents, try to enjoy the adventures with your kids!
Page Klitzman, PhD