For parents of school-age children and teens, the summertime means family vacations – Roller coasters, bouncy houses, giant fuzzy mascots and all. It doesn’t take an expert to know that these getaways are important. Hours-long road trips allow for the kinds of conversations with your kids that just aren’t practical during the busy school and work week. Plus, spending quality, uninterrupted time in a new environment can help improve your relationship dynamic and make memories you’ll cherish forever.
In a Harris interactive poll of 2,400 adults and 1,200 kids, 62 percent of adults reported that they remember childhood family vacations more clearly than birthdays or school events. And, over half of the children participating in the pool said trips together help bring their family closer.
But while some consider it a controversial issue, there’s a strong case for parents to enjoy a separate, kid-free getaway, too. A recent survey by the US Travel Association found that 86 percent of respondents who travel as a couple believe that the romance is still alive in their relationships, compared to just 73 percent who don’t vacation together alone.
Here at Project SOS, we believe that while family vacations are of utmost importance, regular getaways as a couple are critical, too. Here’s why:
- Reconnect: Time away without the little ones in tow allow you to reconnect without interruption and to rekindle the feelings and closeness that you had back when your marriage was new.
- Recharge: Children are wonderful. They’re also exhausting. A bit of relaxation not only allows you the much-needed chance to recharge your batteries, so to speak, but also affords you the chance to reflect upon your home life in a new environment and, thus, from a new perspective. Is there a recurring family dynamic that’s been bugging you? Time away may be just the opportunity you need to see things anew and return home with workable solutions for a happier, healthier home life.
- Remember: Time away from your loving children also gives you a chance to miss them. And that’s a very good thing. You’ll return with a renewed mindset that will undoubtedly help improve your interactions with your children at home.
Still feeling a tinge of guilt? Keep in mind that your time away as a couple doesn’t benefit just the two of you – it also benefits your children. That’s because it gives them a chance to develop bonds with someone other than Mom and Dad. Exposure to new environments, new foods and new ways of thinking and doing things can help make your children more well-rounded and better able to adapt to unfamiliar situations.