My children’s father is a busy man. He is seldom available in person for the kids and even more rarely mentally. I make sure that they value their father’s efforts and respect his passion but at the same time they need to share their childhood with him.
I also believe that he deserves to enjoy the mischief and innocence of his children before this phase is over. It is always entertaining and exciting for him when he hears about their naughty and hilarious doings and relaxing and soothing to be snuggled and hugged.
Since KS works 24/7 while in Karachi, a vacation is the most treasured family time that we all look forward to. Indeed, travelling is a great way of bonding and also stimulating the senses of both young and old alike.
Last week, just when we were looking for a short getaway, the Easter holiday arrived and we booked a random trip. North of Pakistan seemed to be the best choice for a short lazy trip but we didn’t know we were in for a spectacular surprise.
Although we had planned to trek up to Mushkpuri till we discovered snow, but to our pleasure it rained and hailed throughout the weekend even in Bhurban and Murree Kashmir Point. The mountains, the forests, the sights and the serenity were all absolutely exhilarating.
Here I share some travel advice from The Smart Parents Handbook that you can keep in mind when you plan your next bonding journey:
- Travelling does not have to be to a far flung area, it could also include a weekend stay at the farm, a rural village or a neighboring city. Include camping, cooking, fishing, trekking and any other available activity that would include planning, shopping, packing, covering a distance, shopping, exploring and overnight stays!
- A trip by plane, train or even a road trip can be a treasure house of learning for everyone.
- A train trip around the country can provide extreme stimulation if planned well with maps, camera and lots of stopovers.
- Talk to the children about the off routine aspects of the trip and take every opportunity to educate them.
- Take some time to prepare for the trip and make separate backpacks for children. Keep specific items for such activities as, swimming, trekking or cycling.
- Keep a supply of exploring materials, such as, a magnifying glass, binoculars, a note book, pencils, cap, measuring tape, rope, first aid items and maps.
- Give the children the opportunity to handle their stuff and documents occasionally and encourage them to ask questions and deal with the people at the stations and airports.
- Take the opportunity for family bonding, talk about your own childhood, tell stories and plan activities together.
- Try new and unique activities, locations, foods and languages.
- Discuss and explore environment, nature and weather and how we can contribute to the betterment of the earth.
- Take los of photographs and ask the children to label them. Let them show their album and describe the places and how they experienced them.
- Urge the children to discuss about their trip and if older, they can write a diary or make a scrap book of the memories of the trip or draw
their experience too.
- Consider saving for an international holiday to expose the children to a new country, language, race and culture.
As far as our family trip was concerned, the weather was so pleasant that we didn’t want to return and the kids have demanded to come back to the mountains soon. Hubby is not bothering to apply for the Schengen Visa and is planning to return to Pakistan this summer to explore further towards the Swat, Gilgit and Kashmir.