I recently told you about how important it is not to give a child too many toys and suggested some alternative gifts that would also make them happy and help stimulate their imagination to a greater extent than a toy .
One of them was to give experiences to your children, such as trips or walks. Activities that can be shared as a family and that, in addition to having fun, will create unforgettable memories in the lives of your children. On this occasion and continuing with this theme, I want to share with you why it is better to spend on family trips than to buy toys for your children .
Traveling as a family, strengthening ties and creating memories
Getting out of the routine to see a new and different place is a great way to spend time with your family. And although traveling with children is sometimes complicated, being all together in a different place helps to strengthen the bond we have with our children . Traveling together we share unique moments and create new experiences side by side.
We also know that sometimes traveling as a family is not the most economical, since all expenses are multiplied by the number of members attending the trip. But traveling should not be something that leaves us without money in our pockets, since we do not need to travel to the other side of the world or even to another country to enjoy this wonderful family experience .
A short weekend trip to a nearby town or a visit to the city zoo is already something that breaks the routine and monotony of everyday life. The important thing is not to make the best or most expensive trip of their lives, but to give your children new and different experiences .
Why it is better to spend on trips and not on toys
Researching about family travel, I came across an interview by the Telegraph site with Oliver James, one of the most renowned child psychologists in Great Britain, and I found what he had to say on this subject very interesting.
He begins by asking something that probably hasn’t even crossed our minds for some parents: Do you have any idea of the extraordinary proportion of gifts we give children that are not requested or valued? . According to him, the answer varies between one in five and two thirds, depending on the different surveys he has read.
” The whole business of providing material comforts for children – in more and more expensive ways as they get older – is completely, 100 percent, to support the industry that profits from it. Family vacations, on the other hand, they are valued by children, both at the time they occur, and long after they happen in their memories. So if you’re going to spend money on something, it’s very clear which option makes the most sense. ”
Taking a trip will always be more satisfying than buying things. For both adults and children, traveling is an experience that enriches us . The difference is that we value some things, and the children others, and that is the key so that everyone can enjoy the trip.
” Children see the world differently ,” says James. “ Give a two-year-old a gift and she will feel more entertained with the box. It is similar with children and travel. We must allow them to explore their own ways of finding the amazing around them.”
According to him, what children really value about vacations is that rare possibility that they create to have prolonged periods of play with their parents . Vacations physically insulate us from the pressures of daily life, where everyone is rushing to get to meetings or meet deadlines. These are times when everyone is relaxed and can be playful together.
And while there are toys that the whole family can have fun with, he talks about collaborative play, one that is funny, not educational: ” a crucial human experience, especially for children, but also for adults. Without it, the life is very empty and devoid of joy. ”
For him, these moments are as simple as talking about nonsense with parents, sharing an ice cream and the moments in which his interests are really taken into account. That is, those simple moments of joy that are shared and that help us form a bond with our children .
I am sure, for example, that my daughter enjoys more when we play tickle or dance, than to watch a movie or play with a toy together. They are moments in which the two of us truly connect without being distracted by a third element. Her smile and laughter are proof that she enjoys doing this more than anything. And that is just what family vacation trips give us: moments with our children, without distractions from work or housework .
Should we stop buying them toys?
Of course not. There are families that have chosen to do this, but personally I think it is too drastic a measure and more than being a solution to the problem of excess toys, it could have the opposite effect by taking away the right to play with them from children . You just have to do it with measure and consciously.
Sometimes we do not realize how much spending we do on material things and that in the end, more than making our children happy, they may not even benefit them . From my point of view and looking at it in the long term, perhaps if we stopped buying so many toys (or expensive toys) we would reduce expenses and thus we could use that money to give away experiences or trips more frequently with our children.
What is your opinion? Do you agree that travel makes children happier than a toy?
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