Being a dad is work, but then what isn’t? We have come to attribute being a dad and husband to providing, professing love and protecting the family and the family’s image. We rarely attribute vacationing as one of the roles of a family man. Well … newsflash … it is.
The major concerns I have come across is when I talk to family men about taking a family vacation have always revolved around the cost of family vacations, the time involved and the demands of the job. Gladly the trends are changing to begin to reflect what I consider the true purpose of family vacations; Together time, not extravagance.
Digvijay Pratap, co-founder and managing director of HolidayMe said in an interview; “It is a misconception to believe that holidaying needs huge budgets. A lot can be planned within individual financial resources. Having planned and sold many vacations across continents, we assure prospective customers that budget constraints need not be the reason anymore for cancelling holidays.”
Before you cancel that vacation based on these over flogged reasons think again; it’s not about the money, it’s the experience and the time spent together. You may not be able to give your 10-year-old that trip to the Bahamas that he has so wanted, but when he is 20 years old, it’s the daddy time that he will cherish the most.
So are vacations part of what it takes to be a great father and husband? Well, let’s see if I can convince you.
1. It Helps You Teach The Kids How To Have Fun
There was a father who always sent his son off with these words; “Have fun! Clean fun!” The son later confessed that he was perplexed as to what His dad meant by ‘clean fun.’ Fun for him was what he did with the guys and his parameter for fun was needlessly wide.
Family vacations give you the opportunity to be there with your kids and have fun with your kids, this gives you teaching opportunities often through your actions. Your kids grow up knowing where the limits for fun are.
2. It Strengthens Your Marriage
Nothing says “I love You” to the wife better than time spent away from the hustle and spent creatively. It doesn’t matter whether you are sleeping in hostels or five-star hotels, what matters is that you leave it all behind for a while and prove to your wife and your family that you do it all for them in the first place.
“I do all this work for you and the kids”… words are usually ineffective in conveying that message, Vacations do very well.
3. You Are Teaching Your Kids What Love Means
I had lunch with my uncle and his wife a few months back, My fiancé was also sitting to my left. I had just done some crazy romantic gesture for her birthday and it was the subject of the conversation. My uncle laughed and shrugged then he said these words to my fiancée who was over the moon by then;
“I am not surprised he does such things, his Dad used to do those kinds of things all the time and still does… He learned well.”
We enjoyed a good laugh, but I was quickly transported back to one of my first and favourite memories. Guess what? It was a memory of the family together, out on some fun vacation. My uncle was right, I learned from Him and I learned well.
So stop saying too many “I love you’s”, one crazy fun family vacation is worth a thousand kisses once it comes to family. Love is better shown than spoken of.
4. You Are Creating Great Memories
Memories seem to follow the law of displacement, good memories trump bad memories and vice versa. Family vacations create crazy good memories and these memories become a treasure to you and to the kids.
When you die, they will speak of you in fond terms mostly because the clearest pictures they will have is of the fun times you shared with them. Pat Turner, professor of Human Development & Family Studies at the University of Delaware, calls creating these kinds of memories “family glue.”
5. You Will Be Expanding Your Family’s Perspectives
Navigating a new city, experiencing a foreign country, tasting different foods expands our horizons, give us something to talk about, and can help us become more accepting of different perspectives. This also creates another teaching opportunity for you.
Venturing into new environments can see your kids learn a great deal about issues like racism from how you treat foreigners. It can teach them tolerance and a love for community from the kinds of activities you engage in and how you generally carry yourself.
6. It Builds Character—Yours, Your Spouse’s and The Kids
You will not react to provocations for instance, the same way in front of your kids, as you would in a bar or someplace else. Spending time with your kids helps you model a proper lifestyle for them. You also wouldn’t want to shout at their Mama in their presence, you have to behave yourself a bit more, so would your wife.
This might all be a show in the beginning, but then it reveals a much deeper lesson; you can actually always respond more gracefully. The kids learn too, kids always learn faster by modelling, and vacations are the perfect time for parents to be their perfect model.
7. It is Just Great for Your Health
You can’t be a great dad from the Morgue, you need to stop and take a chill pill sometimes. Vacations have immense health benefits which include, reduced stress, better creativity, and emotional stability.
Time away from work spent in this way betters the home atmosphere, which in turn increases your productivity and creativity in the job, which most likely will increase your ability to provide for the family.
However you choose to look at it, you need a family vacation.