The best thing to bring family back together, is to spend time together. That family time can come in various forms. Here is a guest post from Leon Scott Baxter, the author of the newly released parenting book, Secrets of Safety-Net Parenting, and the founder of the website SafetyNetters.com on his recent family trip.
What is the effect of family vacations on family relationships?
Last Spring, my youngest daughter, Grace, won a contest and was awarded a family trip to Universal Studios, Orlando. Well, my family and I have just returned from said trip and we all would have to agree that it would definitely fall under the category of “Comedy of Errors.” On the bright side, even a disastrous family trip managed to bring family back together.
A Disastrous Family Trip
Sometimes travel with a family can be challenging. Here are some of the “highlights” of our family trip:
• Due to weather conditions, we missed our connecting flight resulting in this twenty-four hour route to our destination: Burbank to Vegas to JFK to Ft. Lauderdale to Orlando.
• The Blue Man Show box office lost our reservations (but still got us in at a different time).
• When we arrived, they’d given our seats away.
• My oldest daughter and I waited an hour for a “30-minute wait” ride only to get to the ride and have it shut down
• Due to the flight mishap coming to Orlando, we couldn’t access our boarding passes online for our return trip (apparently the airline’s system thought we were still at JFK).
• Asked the hotel to print my return flight itinerary, but they couldn’t because my email froze their printer.
• At Orlando ticket counter for our return flight, ticket agent neglects to give us the boarding passes for our second flight of the day.
• Because some mysterious substance was detected in my 12-year old’s carry-on luggage, my wife had the privilege of being on the receiving end of a very thorough, very public pat down.
Family Time Works To Bring Family Back Together
Now, that was just the tip of the iceberg; there were many more “pratfalls” in our comedy of errors. Yet, strangely enough, it was a wonderful trip! No joke. Believe me, we were stressed at times, but we were stressed together, as a family, and most of the time it worked to bring family back together instead of creating conflict among us. We had the same goals…to have a fun vacation. So, we didn’t argue or bicker (and when I say “we” I mean my 12- and 16-year old daughters).
It was incredible to watch our daughters reconnect. The little one just loves her big sister, but at home Big Sis is consumed with friends, sleepovers and her phone. She is at the stage where she just doesn’t seem to have time for the family in a way that we’d like. And, that goes double for time with her little sister.
But these two sisters were forced to be together in constant physical proximity for four days and it really served to bring family back together. They were connected emotionally as well, through all of our “lows” as well as the highs, and there were highs:
• We ended up getting the best seats at The Blue Man Show, and I ended up catching the mold of Jello they launched into the audience (which stained my hands a lovely shade of scarlet).
• Big Sis was brought into Little Sis’ world again remembering her Harry Potter years through Harry Potter’s Wizarding World (she even asked if she could borrow her little sister’s wand)
• We flew on a private trip on Goodyear’s newest airship, the girls in the back on their own, doing their own version of a photo shoot, as my wife and I sat up front.
• The girls rode rides together.
• They strolled together, ahead of Mom and Dad at Universal City Walk.
• They had to sleep in the same bed (and not once were there any complaints).
• The girls laughed together and reconnected as sisters.
Sure, we had our obstacles, but I’ll take them any day if they bring family back together, especially my girls. There are so many benefits of family time. What is the effect of family vacations on family relationships? Well, even a disastrous family vacation can bring family back together! What are your favorite family activities to bring family back together?