Dear Ilana and Jess: Our family is going away for the first time this Thanksgiving. Normally, we have it at the house, but we thought we would try something different this year. The kids have had mixed emotions about it and we’re not sure how it’s going to go. How can we make this trip successful? — Roxanne
Dear Roxanne: A lot of factors make for a successful trip, but keep in mind that you can’t control everything. Since this is a first attempt, consider it experimental. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be good.
Because holidays are centered on tradition, you’ll probably want to preserve your own, despite the change in location. If you can, have the same Thanksgiving meal (the kids may have a harder time adjusting if that changes). Either way, you should also maintain some of the same holiday rituals. For example, if at home you decorate for the rest of the holiday season on or after Thanksgiving, bring a little bit of decor to your hotel. You might find a special ornament to commemorate the year you went to ______.
Prime your kids to keep an open mind by using hopeful language. For example, if the kids complain or dismiss the plans, teach them how to think differently: “Since we haven’t done this before, we want to give it a real try and be open to new experiences. Instead of saying, ‘I’m not going to like it,’ I want you to say; ‘I’m not sure if I’ll like it, but I won’t know until I try’”
Finally, lay out the basic expectations and plans before you go. If the kids know what’s likely to happen, there’s less room for disappointment. Making it clear in advance what will and will not occur will help them adjust to the changes.
Say This: “Since we haven’t done this before, we want to give it a real try and be open to new experiences. Instead of saying, ‘I’m not going to like it,’ I want you to say; ‘I’m not sure if I’ll like it, but I won’t know until I try’”
Not That: “You should just appreciate the fact that we get to go on a trip!”
Say This, Not That is based on the work of Cognition Builders: a global, educational company headed by Ilana Kukoff (Founder & CEO) and Jessica Yuppa Huddy (Chief Learning Officer). Everywhere from New York City to California to Shanghai to Zurich, the Cognition Builders team is called upon by A-list entertainers, politicians, CEOs, and CFOs to resolve the conflicts that upend everyday life. When their work is done, the families they serve are stronger than ever. With their new book, Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter Kukoff and Yuppa Huddy have selected the most common conversational mistakes parents make, and fixed them. For more information, please visit: https://cognitionbuilders.com. To purchase Say This, Not That To Your Teenage Daughter visit: http://publishing.andrewsmcmeel.com/books/detail?sku=9781449488055.
DISTRIBUTED BY ANDREWS MCMEEL SYNDICATION