Travelling out of town – sans kids

Taking an out of town break with the better half minus the child is a rarity. A family gathering in a different town presented this opportunity which we grabbed with both hands. Of course this would only be possible if one has the necessary support in the form of more than willing grandparents or other willing relatives who could baby sit while you were away and also, the child should feel comfortable in doing that.

So post convincing the wife that a two day break will be good and after having booked the tickets came the difficult part of breaking the news to my son. Luckily for us he accepted our decision of leaving him with his grandparents and the reasoning as to why he could not join us without much resistance or sulking. From there on constant reminder of the upcoming trip and the role we expected him to play in our absence only helped to negate and divert arguments on his not being part of the trip.

On the D- day there was a minor element of guilt in both of us but luckily for us farewells at the airport were warm and quick, though it came with a gentle reminder of the time since the last trip that he had taken and that we should plan a family trip together soon.

Crossing the chasm with the first solo trip sans child really set the platform for planning many more such trips thereafter. This primarily on account of the fun the child had minus the parents and gave the grandparents licence to over indulge their grandchild. Needless to say this also help deepen the relationship with the grandchild.

A guilt free trip without children also helps in rejuvenating the parents and gives them the much needed time with each other and an actual opportunity to really catch up and revisit pre-child days. Yes the calls back home to check if all is ok, will happen, but the break will really be worthwhile.

Using threats can be counter productive

 

Using threats to get children to follow instructions or be obedient is nothing less than assuming them to be robots. Threats in my experience are counterproductive, yet they continue to be a tool being deployed by parents wanting their children to finish a meal, behave in public or to complete their studies or homework quickly.

 

Some of the threats I have come across are, study or else a ghost will come, finish your food quickly or else a strange uncle will take you away, behave yourself or the police will come and catch you — possibly some of the most common ones doing the rounds.

 

If one were to step back and think, these threats are doing nothing but scarring the child for life. They are likely to develop fears and may also develop possible psychiatric issues, which may play out at a latent level or be witnessed through mannerism and behaviours. The kids are too young to rationalize the threat and will only react in fear.

 

A more practical approach, which requires patience and tact, could be to break the situation into questions and then answering the same to sensitize the child. This would be more impactful in making the child realize that what they are doing is wrong and hopefully set a precedence. For example if we were facing a situation wherein the child is not eating his or her food, some possible questions around how does the body get energy, what happens when the body is energy deprived, etc., would certainly help in the child understanding the importance of correct and timely nourishment.

 

So as parents, next time we decide to deploy threats to get what we want the child or children to do, remember, we are possibly creating a problem. Pause, and put yourself in the shoes of the child and think how you would react if someone with power were to pull the same threat on you.