RVing with kids is amazing. It is fantastic for family bonding and exploring new things and people. The transition however isn’t always so amazing. There is a bit of an adjustment period. The emotional adjustment can be quite difficult, especially for children. Here’s what you can expect regarding RVing kids and friendships.
Children like adults, value friendship. They are an important part of well being. The older the child, the more likely they are to have a tough transition leaving their established friendships. The good news is that modern technology helps keep RVing kids connected to their friends back home – Skype, Facetime, Snapchat, etc. Always remember that you can always go back home and visit whenever you want.
The best thing we can do for our children is to talk about the move and how everyone is feeling as much as possible. Talk about it before you start RVing. Once on the road, keep talking about it. Be there for your children. Spend time with them, play with them, watch movies, go hiking together. Do the things that they love. Try to find ways to find other children for them to hang out with. If possible, meet up with other families (here are two groups where you can meet other families: Fulltime Families & RVing Whole Life Unschoolers). You can even travel with other families throughout the year.
During the tough days
Remember, your children have less life skills than you and that they are still learning how to express their emotions. Be patient with them. What is seen as “acting out” may just be them trying to process how they feel. Understand where they are coming from. Treat it as any other move. Be as open with your kids as possible. Share your own feelings and experiences both now and as a child. Explain why you are doing this. Don’t negate what they are feeling or say they are wrong for feeling that way. They need to know they are loved and supported, especially during this transition.
In time, your children will adjust and you will too. Don’t forget to be open and available to your children and their feelings. Be kind and patient. Lastly, take a deep breath, drink a glass of wine, pray for guidance, and light a campfire.
As always, please share your own experiences and any questions you might have.
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