Five Ways to Help Your Child With Anxiety
How to Help Your Child Cope With Culture Shock When Traveling
Stick to your usual routine as much as possible.The disruptions that come with traveling can be a major factor in causing your child’s culture shock. While some of these disruptions are inevitable, do your best to create a sense of normalcy by sticking to your routine when you can. For example:
- Eat meals or snacks at the same time you normally would.
- Maintain regular bedtimes.
- Follow any other traditions that are part of your routine, like a nap after lunch or quiet time at night.
Let your child bring some comfort items.A little piece of home, like a favorite toy, pillow, book, or game, can go a long way in easing the stress a child might feel when traveling. Let your child pick whatever item(s) they’d like to take with them so it feels special.
Bring some favorite snacks.Unfamiliar food can be another major cause of culture shock. To curb this, make sure to pack or purchase some familiar foods or snacks. Letting your child have some of their favorite cereal at breakfast instead of begging them to try something foreign off the menu can save some headache and stress.
- At the same time, gently encourage your child to try new foods when traveling. Just don’t force them!
Find familiar activities to try.New sights can be exciting when traveling, but can also be overwhelming. If you mix in some of your child’s favorite activities into the travel itinerary, however, you can make the foreign setting more appealing. For instance:
- If your child loves to ride their bike, look for a bike tour of the city.
- If your child loves the zoo back home, look for one to visit.
Keep in touch with home.It’s natural for kids to get a little homesick, even on short trips. Giving them a chance now and then to call, skype, or text with some friends or family back home can ease that stress.
Creating Positive Associations
Get a taste of your destination before you go.If possible, take your child to visit a store or restaurant that has some of the foods typical of your travel destination before you leave. Sampling some of the local cuisine ahead of time can ease some of your child’s stress, since they’ll know a little of what to expect. It they like what they try, it will deepen the positive association.
Talk about what you’re looking forward to when traveling.You are a big influence on your child, and if they hear you emphasize positive aspects of traveling, they’re more likely to buy in to the experience. Tell them about the places and experiences you look forward to, with statements like:
- ”I can’t believe we get to see the Great Wall of China! I’ve wanted to go there ever since I was five.”
- ”Gelato’s one of the best things about Florence. I can’t wait to get some.”
Give the child a gift while abroad.Let your child pick out a toy or other item that you see while traveling, or find one for them. A nice suprise gift will be fun and exciting, and can make them feel better about traveling.
- The gift doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. Even a small memento can create positive associations if it’s something your child likes.
Encourage your child to learn some of the local language.Being surrounded by a foreign language can be one of the most shocking parts about traveling, especially to children. Learning some basic words before you go or while you’re away will help your child feel slightly more oriented. They might even find it exciting and want to learn more!
- Stick to some basic words and phrases like “My name is…,” “Hello,” “Thank you,” and common foods.
- You can study a phrasebook with your child, or look for kid-friendly language learning apps.
Understand their frustrations.While traveling, some of the ordinary rules might be off. If your child gets upset or even throws a minor tantrum, the recognize that this can be due to culture shock. Instead of subjecting your child to the usual consequences, try to be forgiving and understanding.
- Talk to your child to try and identify what made them upset or anxious: “Tommy, I noticed you’ve seemed a little upset since we switched trains. Did something happen?”
- Getting frustrated at your child when they’re just trying to process the experience can cause them to create negative associations with traveling.
Video: Helping Children Cope with Anxiety
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Date: 12.12.2018, 15:24 / Views: 85355