Top Tips for Happy Family Holidays from Barefoot Coaching
Holidays are a great opportunity to stop and have some well-deserved ‘me time’, but as parents we often get stuck in the habit of putting other people’s needs before our own. We asked Kim Morgan of Barefoot Coaching to share her secrets for successful family holidays and breaks.
If you've spent a lot of time thinking about everyone else before yourself, you may have lost sight of what you need and what really matters to you. Before you know it, people-pleasing behaviours can start to take over in all areas of your life. Here’s a quick people-pleaser check: how many of the below questions would you answer yes to?
• Do you often do you say ‘yes’ to something, when you really want to say ‘no’?
• Do you feel responsible for other people’s happiness? Or guilty about things over which you have no control?
• Do you apologise excessively?
• Do you avoid conflict at all costs?
• Do you find yourself answering “I don’t mind”, “You decide” or “It doesn’t matter to me” when you're trying to make plans with friends or family?
Parents often feel guilty for doing something entirely for themselves. But if you have young children, remember that they learn more from watching how you behave than they do from what you say to them. If you want to raise confident and assertive children with a sense of self-worth, you need to start by demonstrating that to them.
So, you've chose and booked the holiday, packed the bags, remembered the sun-cream, the first-aid kit, and the favourite toys and books, and driven to the hotel. Now YOUR holiday starts too. Here are some our top tips for ensuring that you too have a well-deserved rest and get some of your needs met.
• Give each member of your family (including you!) a day in the week on which they choose what the family does that day. When it's your day, make sure you choose something you really, really want to do.
• Learn to say ‘’no’. Set some limits and boundaries. Over-committing ourselves is one of the greatest contributors to holiday stress. Practice savouring moments with your family instead of rushing from one activity to the next.
• If possible, have a day all to yourself. Access the spa, go for a walk, cycle ride or swim, or just sit somewhere quietly without having to consider anyone else – just for one day!
• Make time as a family to really talk and listen to one another. Challenge yourselves to find out some new things about one another while you're away.
• Let other people take some of the load. Finding a family-friendly hotel that caters for all generations and truly makes you feel welcome with your children will help reduce tension and ensure that someone else is thinking about your needs too.
Kim Morgan is an expert coach with many years’ experience working with families and parents. She is Managing Director of Barefoot Coaching Ltd and creator of Barefoot Coaching Cards, packs of 50 coaching questions designed to help families and friends have more meaningful conversations and get to know each other better. The Coaching Cards for Children are a perfect activity for a happy family holiday.