Visit hot countries in spring or autumn when the weather is warn enough for outdoor bathing, but no so hot that your children will be uncomfortable or at risk of getting burned.
Make a holiday checklist of things to do and take, well in advance of your family’s departure. That way, you will give yourself enough time to remember all the vital things you have left off it.
Get the pack to pack. If your children pack their own suitcases, they are far more likely to remember to use (and therefore far less likely to lose) what’s in them. As soon as they can enjoy going to fetch things, ask your young children to help with the packing. As they get older, make packing lists with them, then let them get on with finding, packing and ticking off what has going into their cases. Discreetly make sure that essentials have been remembered, but resist the temptation to repack or substitute clothes you prefer.
Less is more. If you child is going on a trip or a holiday during which they will have sole responsibility for their luggage and possessions, disable them from taking anything valuable or irreplaceable. In fact, make sure that they only pack things you and they can afford to lose. Moreover, don’t overpack. Most kids will be happy to wear the same clothes again and again!
When they need it and there is no one else around to make them feel self-conscious. Tuck them into bed, cuddle them, stroke their hair and whisper your love to them. Soothe away cares just as you did when did when they were little.
Teach baby care, for two main reasons: so as to bring up useful and responsible young adults who could safely babysit, and even more importantly to demonstrate the never ending work involved in caring for an infant.
Don’t pry into your children’s lives. Kids love to keep a secret diary or a box of treasured possessions that they can lock, so let them do so – unless of course you need to know for serious reasons of health or safety, such as if you suspect that they could be taking illegal stuff.
Ask carers do the low-down or your child’s day – it’s useful to know roughly when they slept and what they ate so you don’t feed them the same again at home or try to put them to bed before are tired.
Get all your family together on a regular basis, so you will have opportunities to meet everyone and of course you can get your family photos, too.
Allow freedom of expression in fashion, music, interests and pastimes, So long as our bottom lines are met – your children must be safe kind and conscinetious. Cut them a bit of slack around the things that matter to them but don’t have to matter to you.
Respect privacy. Let the older children open their own post, have private telephone conversations and close the door when they have friends over to play. A respect for your child’s privacy is unlikely to compromise their safety.
Offer wall space. If you have a newly decorated house, put up pin boards in your children’s bedroom so they can customise a bit of wall without getting into trouble. Use brightly coloured map pins that are easy to spot if they fall out.
Have secret signals. If public displays of affection embarrass your child, develop your own code it could be a low five for a kiss and a gentle punch on the arm for a hug. Big kids need affection, but are much more likely to accept it on their own terms.
Make sure that you have your family photos at least once a year, so you will have your memories to cherish forever.