Obstacles - My Kids Are Crazy!

slideKids are… well, kids.  It doesn't matter if you're from here or there - kids are the same around the world.  If you are concerned about taking your lovely children across the globe only to feel exasperation when they won't eat dinner - well, that can happen at home too, right?  This reminds me of a lunch we had in Barcelona; we were sitting in a beautiful sunny plaza enjoying a variety of tapas.  The table next to us consisted of a tourist French family (obvious by their usage of the French language, their camera, and the maps on the table) made up of mom, dad, and two young boys.  We exchanged polite smiles with them and otherwise went about enjoying our lunch.  It soon became obvious that one of the boys was in a 'mood' - as he spent a great deal of time under the table.  This was (quite obviously) annoying to his parents who kept trying to coax him up to his seat by luring him with French fries and chicken skewers.  I don't remember the details about how or when they finally got him up but I do remember the exasperated expression of the dad.  So, it happens.  And not only to us, it happens to French people too!   The point of this story is that you may experience moments like this, and if so you just roll with it.  It didn't bother us at all, it was actually very reassuring to see that other families occasionally struggle too!

Now, if your child is a complete terror at all times and in all places then perhaps this isn't the trip for you.

playgroundWhat is it that your child really loves to do?  Is it climbing to the top of the jungle gym?  Is it watching sports?  Swimming?  Skiing?  Skipping Rocks?  Going to the zoo?  Whatever it is you can add enjoyment to their trip (and thus yours) by making it a priority to fit their particular interests into your day.  Find a playground, swimming pool, amusement park, sporting event… these are everywhere and a part of every culture.  A tourism office can help you find these things, but it is also very helpful to do some web surfing before you go to get ideas and find what you're looking for.  Before we went to Paris with our small kids I found a book written by a local Parisian mother with a list of kid friendly things to do in the city.  It mentioned an indoor water park (Aquaboulevard) that we never would've heard about otherwise.  We spent a day there (and as we only had 4 full days I must admit that I wondered if we were 'wasting time'), but it was a great experience!  I'm sure we were the only English speaking people there and we had the opportunity to frolic like the locals.  I can assure you that it was the kid's highlight of the entire trip, and when we returned to Paris 2 years later that was the one and only thing that they absolutely said they wanted to do.  (This lead to great bargaining power for the sights that we wanted to see!)

A little give and take goes a very long way... you will have the opportunity to see and do things that you never would have experienced without taking your kids along for the ride!

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