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10 Reasons You Should Go Traveling with Your Kids

10 Reasons You Should Go Traveling with Your Kids

Traveling is life-changing. Getting out of the daily grind and being adventurous makes us come alive. My travels have been the best times of my life, and as a mother to three very young children, I can hardly wait to start traveling with them. Here’s why you should go traveling with your kids.

1. To show them that the world is huge.

“It’s a small world,” people say. And yes, at times, it seems the world is small, when you discover you went to the same college as someone or you have the same distant relative. But truth is, the world is enormous. Spending time far from home, where nobody knows you, forces you to realize the world is much bigger than your hometown. Whether your child is the star of the football team, or struggling making friends in school, getting away from life as we know it helps you realize you’re a tiny fish in a very large sea. There’s a huge world out there and a group for everyone, and showing this vast Earth to your children can really help them find their place in the world.

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2. To unplug and truly connect.

Today’s youth and adults are spending increasingly more time sitting in front of electronics. Many families are more connected to technology than each other; it is easy to become engrossed in social media, texting, and watching TV, and not talk to each other. Unplugging as a family will allow you to spend quality time together.

3. To learn about yourselves.

It’s hard to reflect when we’re amidst the daily chaos of busy family lives. Getting away from your job and your kids’ packed schedule of activities can help you learn about each other. Is your child a thrill-seeker or scared to try new things? What about you? Does your family like to follow a schedule or prefer to be spontaneous? What is your favorite part about traveling together? Where would you like to go on your next family trip?

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4. To notice the details.

Kids are observant, and they take time to appreciate the beauty of nature. Traveling with kids will force you to move at their pace; your pace will be slower and your children will point out details you likely would have overlooked without them.

5. To expand their world.

Traveling exposes us to unfamiliar foods, music, styles, cultures, and languages. Your children may discover new things they love.

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6. To rekindle your sense of adventure.

Little kids naturally have a sense of adventure; they love to explore their world. They soak up new experiences, excitedly absorbing each new sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. Exploring the world with your kids can renew your passion for adventure as you follow their lead and delight in your journeys.

7. To make memories.

Traveling together is a great way for families to build memories, and makes for awesome stories too.

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8. To show them the rewards of hard work.

Traveling can be expensive. Show your kids that working hard can result in amazing vacations. You can promote a strong work ethic and fiscal responsibility by educating them about saving and budgeting for traveling.

9. To teach them history.

The Egyptian Pyramids up close and personal? Yes, please. Seeing famous sights can make textbooks come to life. What better way to teach your child about history than to have them actually touch it?

10. To increase compassion.

Traveling will help your family be thankful for the blessings you have, and will make you realize the extent of what you take for granted—like shelter, safety, and food. Watching news stories isn’t the same as seeing firsthand the conditions many people live in. Developing a personal connection to people from other regions of the world will forever change your hearts.

Featured photo credit: Image from Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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