Feel bad that your annual holidays with the kids involve a car trip up the coast to a beachside caravan park – the same one every year?
Well, you shouldn’t. According to one expert, you’re doing exactly the right thing.
British psychologist Dr Oliver James says young kids don’t want adventure when it comes to vacations. In fact, he thinks the opposite is true.
He claims children want to go to the same location – preferably nearby – year after year.
“Between the ages of five and 10 they can become very attached to one place, where they can be sure of what they will like and what they won’t,” he tells The Telegraph.
“Sitting on the same donkey, eating the same ice cream at the same café… These familiar places and activities are the ones that forge their happiest memories.”
Dr James doesn’t believe young kids would appreciate a Moroccan souk or a Peruvian rainforest. He says children find pleasure in very simple things, right up until their teenage years.
He’s been taking his own kids to the same seaside spot every year – except for one year, when he took them to France and they didn’t really appreciate it.
“They’re 12 and 15 now, and we still go back to the same place every summer.”
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According to Dr James, the ideal holiday location is somewhere warm that has a beach “with calm waves and ice cream nearby”.
But not everyone agrees with him. Australian psychologist Dr Kimberley O’Brien from The Quirky Kid Clinic thinks children already have plenty of consistency in their lives.
“Doing very standard, routine things during their break can sometimes lead to more sibling rivalry, more frustration,” she tells Mamamia.
“I think they need as much stimulation as possible to change it up from the classroom and do something different.”
he also says that parents might not want to go to the same place every year – and their enjoyment does matter.
“Parents could find that very frustrating,” she adds.
Dr O’Brien has just taken her own kids on a three-month trip to Asia. She’s seen how much it’s benefited them.
“I had them asking so many questions, developing their confidence, talking to adults and being able to have really lengthy, interesting conversations,” she says.
“I was really impressed with their development.”
She thinks spending money on taking kids overseas is a good investment.
“It gives kids that travel bug and that curiosity to want to see more and to understand different cultures.”