I’m not sure if you’ve heard the saying, but rumor on the street is that behavior analysts make the worst parents as well as the worst pet owners.
Lucky for me, I am (Missy) neither. Rebecca, on the other hand, is both! I bring this point up because I am hoping that I will be able to use all of my best behavior analysis skills today. I am packing up my family and dragging them across the country to Austin, Texas to see Rebecca and her family, visit dear friends, and show the girls why I love Austin so much.
Our travel group today will include my other half and his two children ages almost 8 and 10 going on 16. Sadly, my brother is not going with us. He took off a week from his day program in January to go to Florida so he must stay behind. We will miss him. Well, actually, we may not miss him much when we are on the plane. He has autism and an intellectual disability and that makes travel difficult for us all.
Yesterday we wrote about how difficult travel is for families, particularly when traveling with a child with disabilities. I believe strongly that traveling with children is difficult, regardless of their abilities. As such, I know that I will be following our own advice for readers today as we make our trek.
I have a couple of strategies that I use with regularly our girls to help the travel go smoothly. I follow much of the advice from yesterday, minus the visuals. We count down the days, we review the schedule, and we definitely pack snacks. The other strategy that I use has worked well thus far.
We Pack Together
- I sit down with the girls and we brainstorm all of the things that we think we will need on the trip.
- I take notes using simple words in handwriting they can read.
- I break the packing into categories (clothing, toiletries, backpack stuff, and other)
- I make a copy of the notes so that each child has a list
- I send the girls off to their rooms to lay it all out
Why This Works
- First, the girls now feel that this trip belongs to them (at least in part).
- The girls cannot complain about their outfits–they picked them!
- The girls cannot complain about being bored on the plane–they picked out their backpack items
- It keeps the girls out of our hair while we are packing
- All I have to do is check their work and put their items in the bag
See you in Austin!
For our readers in the Austin area, Rebecca and I will be at Central market for coffee and conversation on Wednesday, February 22 at 9am. We are looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.