Counselling psychologist Mandy Arnott advises parents sit their children down before their trip. Picture: Pixabay.
Counselling psychologist Mandy Arnott advises parents sit their children down before their trip. Picture: Pixabay.

Give your children the holiday talk before embarking on your Easter trip

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Apr 1, 2021

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The long Easter weekend can bring about much anxiety and stress, but travellers can beat the blues to enjoy a much-needed break.

Counselling psychologist Mandy Arnott cautions that children could become excessively anxious during this time. She said when preparing children for any event, the most crucial factor is the parents' attitude.

"Children learn from modelling their behaviour on that of their parents. If you are very anxious and stressed, then your children will also be stressed and anxious.

"Try to communicate clearly with the children before the journey. Choose an appropriate time and place where you can have a frank and factual conversation. Start by telling them that you are feeling excited and have some important news to tell them; that the family is finally able to go on holiday.

“Tell them where you are going and everything about the location and all the exciting things that you will be doing there. Then explain how you will be travelling there and how long it will take. Once the excitement dissipates, mention that there will be some rules such as wearing masks when they leave the car,” she explained.

The journey

AutoTrader CEO George Mienie said parents can reduce the anxiety and stress of travelling during a pandemic by being cautious. Mienie cautions motorists on visits to large petrol ports.

“They are likely to be busy. Right now, we still need to practise proper social distancing. It could be worth your while to take a five-minute detour to a smaller, less frequented coffee shop or petrol station for a comfort stop. Travel apps nowadays have suggested stops in the area, which will help guide you in unfamiliar places,” he said.

Mienie also suggests putting together a “restroom kit” containing your sanitisers, toilet paper, soap and paper towels and bring your own food where possible.

"Try to avoid jungle gyms and communal play areas. Yes, your children need to burn off that pent-up energy. Instead, take along a couple of toys for them to enjoy when you do stop – a ball or yo-yo, for instance," he said.

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