Creative Child

Three Parenting Mistakes Sure to Ruin Your Next Family Vacation

by Deborah Song


Number 2: You don’t set clear expectations in advance.

Tell your kids, well in advanced, what is expected of them. It’s important to explain what you need from them. For example:

  • They need to use their words instead of whining
  • They can’t hit or yell at their siblings
  • Their toys are their own responsibilities.

Every family has their own set of rules. Whatever they are, it’s important to lay them out in clear concise terms - in the context of consequences.

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Number 3: They call your bluff.

It’s critical you follow through on what you say. You can’t teach limits on behavior with empty words. Or they will start to view vacations as a loophole for acceptable bad behavior. If you’re in need of a good disciplinary plan, Dr. Cale recommends the three-strike rule.

The first two offenses result in a five-minute time out where complete silence is observed. Whether this is on a quiet bench or back at your car where your child is free to have his tantrums, your child will be motivated not to misbehave again. If he acts out again after the third strike, return back to the hotel, home, or wherever your base is. As inconvenient as this may seem, you’ll be gaining much more in a child who will not likely misbehave in public again.

Related Article: Communicating Positively With Children

Deborah Song is the founder of, a cruelty-free company committed to creating travel accessories that help travelers journey with ease, efficiency and elegance. She loves to travel the globe in pursuit of good food, wider life perspectives and great adventure stories with her kids. Deborah is a Canadian-born, mompreneur and Los Angeles-based writer, who obtained her master’s in journalism from New York University. You can find her travel stories at

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