Why travel with your kids when it throws out the routine? Because it’s one of the best ways to help them build resilience, writes Renee Krosch.
There is so much focus on developing ‘the routine’ in children. But how much focus is there on building resilience early on?
How many books are there about establishing and sticking to routines, to provide a sense of predictability? The dreaded 5pm dinner, bath, bed ritual immediately springs to mind.
But I reckon breaking the routine is equally as important for small children, particularly once they reach the toddler stage.
Parenting expert Michael Grose thinks in Western countries, the world is very smoothed out, a very safe place for kids. Taking kids out of their comfort zone allows them to experience unpredictability.
“Unpredictability is good for a kid’s confidence and good for kids’ resilience,” he says.
Is it possible a child of three or four could be responsible for packing their own bag and managing a handful of possessions?
“I love seeing that. Yes, they are very capable of that. I think that’s a great experience that travel can give kids.”
“We often get timetabled in at home, and kids miss out on these opportunities. But when we remove ourselves from everyday domestic life, kids will often rise to the occasion, looking after themselves far more than they will at home.”
Michael Grose says “the job of parents is to make yourself redundant from the earliest possible age. Allowing them to do things for themselves.
“Raise your small family with a big family mindset,” is the notion.
And travelling allows for this.
“Of course you have a protective eye out, always ensuring safety, but there are moments when they do need to look out for themselves.”
“I’ve travelled with my own children and I’ve seen those times when you’ve got to organise things. Kids have to either tag along (you’re not entertaining them) or they just look after themselves in some way. They do get more freedom in different ways when they travel.”
Listen to the full interview with Michael Grose here.Renee Krosch is a mother of two and producer at 702 ABC Sydney.