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4.18 Screamfree Vacation
May 18, 2016

Don’t take your kids on vacation

“In America there are two classes of travel: first, and with children.”
(Robert Benchley)

Hopefully, you’re in the planning stages of this summer’s time off and time away. Whether you call it “going on holiday” or “taking a vacation,” I hope you’re able to get away for a while. If so, here’s all I ask: Don’t take your kids. I know, I know. The “family vacation” is a rite of passage for almost every family during almost every summer. Here’s the problem, however:

There’s no such thing as a family vacation.

See, we can all take trips with our whole families, and there can be fun moments had on such trips. But that’s not a vacation. A vacation is you and your significant other on a beach, with no kids in sight. A vacation is a golf trip with your buddies, a tennis trip with your friends, or getting away with other adults you love to do anything other than parenting or work.

A week sweating in hour-long lines to get a princess’ signature is not a vacation. A day-long hourly ritual of chasing down your Nordic-skinned offspring with SPF 1000 spray is not a holiday.

Obviously, I’m not saying we shouldn’t take trips with the whole dang gang. We should and we all will. Just don’t expect to have a great time. Don’t expect it to be a vacation for you. Do your kids (and your spouse & everyone around you) the courtesy of releasing your expectations that this will be most relaxing week of the year. It won’t be. As Claire told Phil in Hawaii on Modern Family: “Phil, we’re here with our three school-aged kids; this is not a vacation—it’s a business trip.”

Peace begins with pause,

screamfree hal runkel


One thought on “Don’t take your kids on vacation

  1. We took my stepdaughters on the first vacation since the debacle of 2012 when I said never again would I take them. I wish I had stuck to my word…. At this point, given the past five solid years of nonsense, I’m beyond worrying too much about them (age 14 and 16)–and if they want to sit in the condo and eat junk food while I’m enjoying the ocean, so be it. But it made their father miserable, which helped neither of us really enjoy the time as fully as we should have.

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