The Civilized Minute

a minute of manners and musings

Holiday road


Spring Break is coming up fast – hallelujah! – so everyone is thinking about their great escape.  As you plan your getaway, remember these tidbits so you and yours…and the people around you…can enjoy some family time.

  • Vacations offer the perfect opportunity to let the kiddos practice what you preach.  Of course, they will need reminders, so be ready to coax those mighty manners out of those little bodies even as they are livin’ the high vacation life.  It may be a vacation from your town, but there is never a vacation from good behavior.  It’s very helpful to tell the kids where you are going and clearly explain what you expect of them. 
  • It can be really hard to keep an eye on the kids when you are in a new place, but it is also important that parents keep an eye on other people.  Pay attention to the ruckus your brood brings into a room or event.  Make sure your kids are not distracting for others in attendance.  Body language to notice:  glances in your direction that do not include a smile, someone cupping their ears in order to hear their companion, looks of compassion.
  • Keep a small bag handy to quickly and quietly discard any trash the kids generate.  Honestly, it’s amazing how fast a young person can create some piece of something that needs to go somewhere discreet.  Think tissues, wet wipes, cups, any piece of anything they pick up from who knows where, etc.
  • If you are staying in a hotel or condo, try to keep the noise level at night down to a dull roar.  At home ,we get accustomed to 3 TVs blaring at once, a video game in the background and the washing machine on high spin.  But, think about that nice retired couple you saw at check-in.  Did they really look like the type that would want to hear a Jake & Josh marathon?
  • Take your Bag of Tricks wherever you go….airport, restaurant, museum.  In your Bag should be all the things you would take to a desert island for one afternoon.  Snacks, wet wipes, games, pens, paper, bandaids and other age appropriate necessities.  Think about what you would need to avert the major meltdown that invariably happens when you least expect it.

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