Monday, October 10, 2005

Setting Expectations

Our family just got home from a trip to California. We drove a total of 4 days (there and back) and spent two days in San Diego and three more in Anaheim at Disneyland (which is the happiest place on earth). As any parent knows, family vactions can either be bliss or they can be the bane of your existence. One of the ways we prepared our kids for our vaction was to give them a list of expectations we had for them. For instance, "There will be no asking are we there yet? We are on an adventure and are to enjoy even the car ride." (loaded of course with new Leapster cartridges, books, crayons and even the occcasional movie) . "We will be kind to one another and stay in our own space with our hands to ourselves." " We will keep our voices quiet in the car so as not to upset the driver." It's so important to let you kids know ahead of time what you expect of them. I like to know what's expected of me and kids do to. All of these expectations need to be met with a "Yes, Mommy or Yes, Daddy". Sometimes you need to set daily expectations. Once we had spent a day in Disneyland we realized that each child needed different expectations. For Connor(7), "Keep your hands to yourself and don't frustrate your brother and sister." For Caileigh (4), "Stay with Mommy and Daddy, you don't want to become lost." and for Collin (4), " Do everything without whining and complaining, including rides that you haven't been on yet." Each child obeyed and I have to say we had a great time - including the drive. I would do again, soon! Well, not too soon, there's laundry to be done!

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