Want wonderful memories of hitting the road on vacation instead of travel horror stories? Try the UPHOLD strategy.

Setting Expectations in Advance and Other Road Trip Tips

Does this scenario sound familiar? Full of anticipation, you embark on a family vacation and two of the kids are squabbling about who gets to sit next to the window, the youngest starts asking “Are we there yet?” every 5 minutes, the food wrappers and empty drink cartons fall out every time the car door opens and no one agrees on what activity to choose upon arrival.

We book the hotel, fill the car with gas, make arrangements of all kinds. But we forget to set expectations with the kids to let them know how they should behave. At WINGS we talk often with our kids about how to uphold their agreements to meet expectations. We use UPHOLD:

  • Understand – Make sure you know exactly what you’re saying you’ll do.
  • Possible: Make sure can actually do what you’re promising.
    Hear/Listen: Make sure you know the details of the agreement (when, what, where)
  • Obstacles: What can get in your way of upholding your agreement? How will you eliminate those things?
  • List: Come up with things you can do to help yourself uphold your agreement.
  • Do: Do everything you can to make it happen.

Here’s an example of using UPHOLD:

Understand: I will not hit or aggravate my sister for the entire trip.
Possible: This might be really hard, and sometimes I forget, so let’s break it up into 2-hour increments. My parent will remind me – and celebrate – when I make my goal.
Hear: I’m going to keep this agreement while I’m in the car on the first day of the trip.
Obstacles: I start getting aggravated when she purposely says something to annoy me, to bump me by accident or makes fun of me.
List: I can listen to my music with earphones and ignore her if she teases or bumps me. We can pick a game we like to play together to avoid arguing. I can tell her about my agreement and see if she’ll agree to help me.
Do: I’m really going to try to do this!

Bookmark and Share