Imagine the skills youth can learn by traveling

Keep in mind what traveling looks like through a child’s eyes and the skills they learn by traveling.

The holidays are here and that may mean you’ll be experiencing travel. It’s amazing how many eye rolls you may encounter when traveling with children. Sure, traveling with children is slower and often times much more complicated than traveling alone or with other adults. However, Michigan State University Extension believes it’s important to keep in mind what traveling looks like through a child’s eyes and how it impacts their future.

It may sound unbelievable, but traveling with children can be so much fun, especially when you consider the adult they are traveling with may very well be making a lasting impact whether that travel is far away via an airplane or just a few hours down the road to grandmother’s house. How so, you ask?

We already know children learn by doing. In other words, they learn through the experiences they encounter. Not only that, but as they learn they are developing skills and making connections for how to handle similar situations in the future.

Consider for a moment the things we may take for granted as we travel that are actual skills youth learn and can apply to situations later:

  • Packing the car or suitcases and making sure you have everything you need: planning and organizing, communication or goal setting.
  • Getting to the airport or an event on time: self-responsibility, decision making or self-discipline.
  • Dealing with the bumps along the way such as long lines at security or getting a speeding ticket: managing feelings, stress management or resiliency.
  • Enjoying the family or friends you traveled to see: sharing, concern for others or social skills.

One of the most important lessons to learn when we travel, whether it’s with our own child or a stranger’s child we happen to encounter, you are most certainly being watched by that child. Those little eyes are always watching, little ears are always listening and those growing brains are taking it all in, learning and mimicking our thoughts, words and deeds. This holiday season as you travel, be sure to consider the skills you are teaching to youth. 

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