The other day, I read a study that was quite powerful. It only supported what I knew… that vacations were better than gifts. It became clear why you should spend more money on family holidays-it benefits the whole family. Children love to spend time with us, first of all. Studies show it more and more frequently.
My family went to the beach a few times a year. The beach is incredible. I love riding bikes, looking out onto the water, running on the beach, finding shells hidden in the sand, finding a seashell that we can bring home to save as a reminder.
It doesn’t matter where you are going as long as you make it a fun, enjoyable experience. You can do that by being active with your kids. Finding fun things to do, new and exciting things to show them and creating a bond that will last a lifetime. Be totally present in the moment.
“Family holidays are valued by children, both in the moment and for long afterward in their memory,” psychologist and best-selling author Oliver James explained to The Telegraph. “It’s all about talking nonsense with your parents, sharing an ice cream and moments of time in which your interests are genuinely taken into account. So if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s pretty clear which option makes more sense.”
And check this out: Traveling with your kids can also be beneficial to their cognitive development. “An enriched environment offers new experiences that are strong in combined social, physical, cognitive, and sensory interaction,” says child psychotherapist Dr. Margot Sunderland. “Think: family together in the pool, walking together through the forest, touching long tall grasses waving in the wind, toasting marshmallows on campfire, hanging out together under warm sun, feeling sand between the toes.
Research, of course, repeatedly shows that, despite the fact that we go on buying more physical items, adults really regard experiences like travel as far more rewarding. Children, says James, are no different. It’s just that they value different aspects of that travel.
He goes onto say: “Dad or Mum, building sandcastles, playing badminton on the beach, jumping over waves. It seems like fun, but it’s also “attachment play”, and it’s vital for bonding. Attachment play also enhances self-esteem, sending a child the psychological message: “You have my full attention. I delight in you. I delight in being with you.”