177: Tips for Vacationing with Neurodivergent Kids, with The Behavior Revolution

Picture of hosted by Penny Williams

hosted by Penny Williams

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For most children with ADHD, autism, or anxiety, one of the biggest stressors can be the unknown — unknown place, unknown schedule, unknown future. For this reason, vacation with neurodivergent kids can be challenging. As parents, we have grand expectations of family vacations… we want them to be packed full of memorable moments and ample joy. But the reality is that no one’s family vacations are like that. Every family has challenges. Ours just may have more sometimes.

So join us for some tried-n-true tips on successful family vacations with neurodivergent kids.

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My Guest

THE BEHAVIOR REVOLUTION
We’re Penny and Sarah, parenting coaches who help neurodiverse families like yours understand your child’s neurology and behavior, and shift your parenting to help your child thrive — without the frustration of trying to figure it out on your own. We’re also moms of boys with ADHD and/or autism, so we get it. We live it, too.



 

Transcript

Penny Williams 0:03

What we're really talking about is finding balance, finding balance between structure and downtime between activities that are known to our kids. They know what to expect, and activities that they have no idea what to expect, and trying to stay regulated as much as possible, right? Because when we're regulated, we're calm and connected, and we're doing good. Welcome to the beautifully complex podcast, where I share insights and strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids straight from the trenches. I'm your host, Penny Williams. I'm a parenting coach, author and mindset mama, honored to guide you on the journey of raising your a typical kid. Let's get started.

Welcome back to the beautifully complex Podcast. Today, we are back with the behavior revolution, just Sarah Wayland, and I, for our monthly behavior episode. And we thought it'd be a good idea here at the beginning of the summer, to talk about summer vacation with your neurodivergent kids, some tips and tricks that Sarah and I have learned over the years to sort of stabilize family vacation, try to make it enjoyable for everyone. And a lot of that, of course boils down to our parent mindset, and our expectations. So we're gonna dive right into that, and give you some really actionable items and ideas, to have a family vacation. That's actually fun. Because I know I can remember many, where nobody had fun. Because we had expectations we shouldn't write or we had expectations that just weren't met outside of our kids, and weather and things like that. But I found that the more that I planned, the better things went. And I think Sarah would say the same.

Sarah Wayland 2:08

Oh, definitely. And also, I mean, the expectations of people around me, were important. So that was something else that I I learned to manage other people's responses and expectations as well as my own.

Penny Williams 2:22

Yeah, so let's talk first about setting expectations. Because I think that's really the foundational piece of having a vacation that goes well, you have to have realistic expectations. And we talked about this so much. When we talked about behavior, and we talked about neuro divergent kids, you really have to have doable expectations for your kids. So my first tip would be, do not expect a picture perfect vacation, it is not going to happen. Because they don't happen for anyone. But they especially are not going to be you know, these super rosy ideas of family togetherness, when you have a kid who struggles with not knowing what's coming next, transitioning being in places that are unfamiliar, not having their regular routine and structure, all these things can throw a wrench in a vacation. And so you have to set expectations that are doable for your kid. So one thing could be that you have some downtime, lots, lots of downtime, lots of downtime, you don't plan every minute of every day, which I think is natural for us to want to plan and pack everything in, right, we're going on this trip, we don't get to do it very often. Let's make sure we hit Disney, universal, and the five other parks that are close by right in four days. And really that's just misery for everyone, like nobody could possibly enjoy that sort of schedule. What else do you want to say about that, Sarah?

Sarah Wayland 3:52

Well, one thing we learned to do was to ask our kids what their ideal vacation would look like. So for my kids, the answer was as long as the internet is screaming fast and amazing. It'll be a good vacation. Which, for me, like my ideal vacation is no internet whatsoever. So there was a bit of a conflict there. But I did learn over the years like just find places that had really really good internet. So when we were looking at hotels or looking at places to rent, we always made sure we knew whether the internet was going to be okay because for my kids that was a make or break kind of thing and denying that that's what they needed because I needed something else just ended up really making everybody miserable.

Penny Williams 4:40

Yeah, you have to again I think part of this is knowing your kid. Right and knowing what makes them comfortable. Like for my child gaming is his comfort zone, right is his therapy. It is his medication it like he just feels so much It's better and so much better about himself in that realm. And I could fight it and say, No, we're not playing any games, it's vacation. And then what happens, he's miserable the whole time. And when he gets dysregulated, he doesn't have that tool that helps him regulate and feel better, right? And you just set yourself up for failure, and you're set your kids up for failure, we made sure to take a laptop or take, this will say how old my kids are, but wii were with us, or the older or gaming technologies, and make sure that we had some time where we just hung out wherever we were staying, and had some time for everybody to sort of chill and, and recover. Because when you do go to these crazy fun day long activities, they can be fun, but they can also be extra exhausting, I think especially for hypersensitive kids, right.

Sarah Wayland 5:57

Yeah, you know, it's funny, when I was growing up, my parents planned everything, they were very organized, my mom was amazing. And she planned these incredible vacations. And we would go and there was all every day, there were two or three things we had to do. And so when we came home, we were all exhausted, instead of feeling restored and rejuvenated. And so when I met my husband, I loved traveling with him because he wanted to just like, go somewhere pretty and chill out with a book or something. And so we felt like we had met our soulmates, but then when we had kids, like, if there was all that unstructured time, then that actually was dysregulated for them. Whereas for me, it would just felt like a relief of some of the pressure of the day to day schedule. And so we realized we had to plan downtime, and we definitely even not wanting as much as what my mom would schedule, I want more activities on my vacation than my kids do. One of our best vacations, we actually like the kids would do one thing, and then me and my husband or me or my husband would do two other things, in addition to that one thing. So, it was like they would do 1/3. And we would do three thirds. And that worked out really, really well for us. But we that involved a lot of planning, right? Like, who's gonna watch the kids? Do we really want to do things alone? Or is it better to hang out? Things like that? So yeah, it's really hard.

Penny Williams 7:30

Yeah. And what we're really talking about is finding balance, finding balance between structure and downtime between activities that are known to our kids, they know what to expect, and activities that they have no idea what to expect, and trying to stay regulated as much as possible, right, because when we're regulated, we're calm and connected, and we're doing good. And when we're dysregulated, that's when we start to see all this challenging behavior, meltdowns and arguments, and not wanting to do things when asked and that sort of thing. And so, if we build a balance, then we can do some activities that maybe exhaust us, and we're going to be dysregulated by the end, but then we're building in that time to recover and regulate again. And then you know, we we can see kind of the best outcome, right for the whole vacation. So if we're really pushing our kids, and they're telling us in one way or another by words or by behavior, that it's not going well, they're not feeling good, we're gonna start to see deteriorating behavior. But if we can make sure that we're building in that time to regulate, then things go so much better. And, again, that regulation doesn't necessarily mean calm. You know, my kid needs a whole lot of activity and things that he knows or is good at, to feel regulated. Again, another kid might need to lay down under a cozy blanket in the quiet in the dark to regulate, right. So you have to know your kid, and what they're going to need from you and from the way that you plan that time.

Sarah Wayland 9:12

Yeah, and that point about different activity level being restoring for different people. Like if you have one kid who's a couch potato, and really restores best by not moving around a whole lot and another kid who needs to have lots of activity worked into their day, just as it's challenging at home to get their needs met. It's also challenging when you're on vacation, because you don't know exactly where you can go to get those different needs met.

Penny Williams 9:40

You're going to plan for it right before you go. Yeah, I mean, we used to take weighted blankets we would take before everybody had an iPhone. We had this little battery operated nature sound and white noise machine that we took we would take you know the melatonin and all of the things that are Write that were useful at home to make sure that we had them while we are away. And it was really important to do that. Because I think the more comfortable we can make our kids when we're not in their most comfortable environment of home, then we're setting them up for success. As much as we can keep similar. I think we're setting them up to be able to do well,

Sarah Wayland 10:26

I love that. And you know, one of the things that my kids found really dysregulated is the sort of free flow nature of vacation. So when's breakfast? And when's lunch? And when's dinner? And when can we go swimming? And when can we when is bedtime, because those things all changed during a vacation. And I learned was what you were saying earlier, I did have to have some structure, even if it was an unstructured vacation. So I would have a schedule, I just put a schedule up, say pancakes at 10, or whatever. So they knew, if they wanted pancakes, they needed to get up at 10. But and I actually like learn to post a visual schedule up so they could refer to it and know, when there were planned activities and when downtime was so I actually wrote downtime on the schedule. And then I would put a list of like, what options you had during downtime, do you want to go play foosball in the basement? Or do you want to go for a walk around the neighborhood? Do you want to go play, mini golf, whatever.

Penny Williams 11:32

Yeah. And I was just thinking as you were talking about that, that you could make that picture schedule, or that schedule, together as a group before you even go on vacation. So everybody has a say in it as well. Because we definitely know when we have our kids buy in, things go way better than when we're just dictating to them what they need to do. And when. And I think that's especially important. The older your kids get to, if you're vacationing with teens, they're really going to want to have a say, in what you want them do all week.

Sarah Wayland 12:02

For sure.

Penny Williams 12:03

And when you give them that say they feel good. So they do good. And when you don't you know what happens.

Sarah Wayland 12:09

Yeah. And you know, you were just talking about that. And I was thinking about how, when our kids were little, they actually hated going to the beach, because one kid was super sensitive to the sound of the waves crashing, and he would freak out about that. And the other one hated getting dirty. So playing in the sand was a no go for him. So it was just horrible. Like, everybody loves going to the beach, right, but not my kids. So I we learned after a couple of visits to just not go to the beach. But then now they love it. They love being near the beach and hearing the waves crashing on the shore, and so on. So something that I just wanted to make sure to share with families is that just because they can't do it right now, doesn't mean they won't grow into it later. So you're not giving up on you know, a fun vacation at the beach forever, just right now.

Penny Williams 13:00

That would make me so sad. That's my happy place.

Sarah Wayland 13:04

I know, for so many people.

Penny Williams 13:06

For Luke when he was little that was his happy place. That was the one place where he just beamed and was really engaged, right in his environment and stuff. And he could just run out there and be himself. Right. And it was magical, really, it was magical. And he enjoyed nature. And he didn't need so much structure. Like he was going to go on out there for several hours and just finding something to do boogie boarding or playing in the sand or finding shells or whatever, running up and down the beach because he was the super hyperactive kid. So there's a lot of just running sometimes, right? And now, as a young adult, he doesn't want to go to the beach. It sounds boring to him. So I'm like, wait a minute, that was your happy place. What are you talking about? You know, but kids change and we change to you, even in adulthood. But I think you know, making sure that they feel seen and heard is really important. Yeah, even on vacation, for sure. Like, yes, it's our job to plan. Yes, we pay for it. Yes. You know, we work hard to go on a vacation. But the goal is for everyone to have a good time. Right. And you have to be realistic about what that takes when you have a neurodivergent kid in the family. You just do.

Sarah Wayland 14:27

Yeah. You know, another thing I wanted to mention is that we learned it's not just about once you get there like also the travel getting there. So we live in Maryland and our families are in New Mexico and Texas. And so we really can't drive there for vacation. So we have to fly and the airport's Oh, what a disaster. And so I sensory friendly. Oh my goodness. And there's a whole lot of waiting and sitting around and not being able to do anything fun because you never know When they're going to say they're going to start boarding or whatever. And so we really had to plan like for the whole trip, we stopped actually making connections on flights. Like if we could get a direct flight, we just paid extra. But when we had to make a connection, because my, my younger son, he was always like, we're done, he get off the plane, and you're done. And if you'd done went back onto another plane, he was just like, wait, wait, I already did that. And I'm really done.

So we actually made a social story for him. And my other son actually really benefited to where we had a notebook. And we had pictures of all the different phases of getting through the airport, getting on the plane, what to expect on the plane. And then we had a lot of activities they could do on the plane to stay, okay, and I actually get motion sickness, and my younger son does, too. And so we learned, like, you bring gum, so you can chew gum, and I take Dramamine. And he does now too. He couldn't tolerate it when he was younger. But that was always like planning for what are you going to do if you get sick? Like we always found a little bags to make sure. It wasn't a surprise at the last moment. But you know, just really thinking through every aspect of what flying was going to be like parking the car, getting a rental car and driving on a van to get the rental car, like we all know what those processes are, but our kids don't. And so if you can just give them that social story about how it's likely to go and what might happen, then they they aren't so blindsided, when things don't go well. Because when you're traveling, that's that's the one rule is, it's never going to go the way you plan.

Penny Williams 16:44

Yeah, expect the unexpected, for sure is going to happen. I think in life in general. But especially when you're on a trip, that always seems to be the case, I remember this has nothing really to do with neuro divergence. But we went to the Outer Banks for spring break one year, because we live in in the western half in the mountains. And it was freezing, like literally freezing. And we had to go and buy winter clothes and shoes and socks because we had nothing. Oh, wow. Could be it. And like, it totally threw everything for a loop. Everything we had planned was harder or not possible. You know, it was, it was crazy, but we just had to roll with it. So we got clothes and shoes that weren't and we sat down. We said, okay, what can we do here, when it's really cold, because we're not booking boarding, we're not getting in the water. At times, it was hard to even stand outside because it was so cold and windy. You know, so things just happen. And that's okay. Like that's just part of what a if you can get really upset about it or you can figure out a way. And we figured out a way for that week. And then we decided we're not going on a beach vacation in North Carolina, or South Carolina, in spring break again, because we that happened a couple of times.

And we're like, okay, that just doesn't work. Right? You know, you learn by doing one thing that I thought about when you're talking about the airport and flying and preparing for what's going to happen. What has helped us a bunch is reminding of expectations, reminding what's coming next, okay, we're going to, out to the water, we're going to boogie board for an hour or two, however long you guys feel like doing it. And then we're going to come in and we're going to clean up and we're gonna go to dinner. Right. So they know, like this is step A, and this is step b and this is you know, the trajectory of what the next few hours is going to look like, my son really needed that he needed to know what was coming all the time, for sure. And it really then helped with the transitions because it was basically like a warning for transition. And it was really successful. For the most part. Now, of course, you're gonna have times where it's a non preferred activity, and they're extra tired, or they swallowed too much ocean water, boogie boarding, and they just don't want to do anything else things come up, right? And you you deal with them. But for the most part, just really staying focused on this is what we're doing now. This is what's going to come next. Really, really helps for a lot of kids. Oh, yeah. for grownups. Yeah.

Sarah Wayland 19:23

Well, that's true, isn't it?

Penny Williams 19:25

I need to know what's coming next to you. I'm a planner, but that brings up a good point, too, is that our kids are not us. So what we need may not be what they need. And we have to remember that we have to, we're planning for a bunch of individuals who are going as a group. We're not planning for a bunch of people who are all the same, right? You know, our kids aren't us. And our significant others aren't us either. Like we all have different things that we need and want out of a trip and we have to be really mindful that there's a lot of time different sort of personalities, coming together.

Sarah Wayland 20:03

For sure. You know, you just reminded me of a time when I was, I was in high school and our orchestra actually got, we won some competition, I got to go over to Vienna, Austria, and perform over there as part of this big youth and music conference thing. So they planned this huge, like, it was two weeks of just non stop, go, go go. And towards the end of the second week, I was exhausted, and I was a senior in high school, but I was so exhausted, and they wanted to go to an amusement park. So they had planned this whole amusement park thing. And I just thought, if I go to that, I'm gonna lose my marbles. And so I asked the teacher and the parent chaperones, if I could just stay in my room and sleep. And thank heaven, they let me do that I felt so much better afterwards. But you know, everybody else was okay, with going to that amusement park, they had a great time that was restoring for them. But it was so nice to be able to just sleep and not have to go on a roller coaster, which I couldn't handle at that point.

Penny Williams 21:08

And we assume that kids automatically have a ton of energy, and a ton of stamina. And a lot of kids just don't, they just don't because of faulty neuroception and being triggered by sensory things, and the unknown, and all these things that also come into play. And not every kid has boundless energy. Right, at least not all the time. You know, and I think that's really important to think about too, is like, I would plan something, and it would be exhausting for me. But I was like, Well, it's family vacation, and I'm going to do it for them. Well, most of the time, it was exhausting everybody, it was just my expectation was that, oh, they're kids, they have so much energy, nothing's going to wear them out too much, they'll be able to go go all day. And that's not necessarily true. And even if they want to go all day, it doesn't mean that they're going to do well, if they do go all day, right? That might be a problem in and of itself. Oh my gosh, oh, and then there's the keying down at the end of the day. So many of our kids have sleep issues. So you really have to plan for that as well. How are you going to help your child get good rest while they're not at home, which I kind of talked a little bit about earlier. Take all those tools that you have whatever works at home and try to have it there. I mean, we always had blankies. With us, that was a deal breaker. You could not go anywhere overnight without blinkies. And even when my kids were older, they still wanted that as comfort. And we allowed that, like I know. Yeah, so many parents get upset because kids are older, and they still have their love ease or whatever they cling to. It's really just not a big deal. When they're old enough, they'll decide they don't need it anymore. Whenever that works for them. And, and that could be at age five or 10. Or, 30, who cares? I mean, it really is not going to ruin their life if they're taking a blankie on vacation at 15. I promise because nobody else is going to know but your family. I had my mom's sew a pillow cover out of the same material that Luke's Blinky was in. And when he went on school trips, he used that pillow, he took that pillar with that cover, so that he could be stealthy about it. But he still had that same fabric and was able to feel it and have that security from it in a different way. So you just have to get creative sometimes. But just saying no, you don't need to you're you're getting too old for that or whatever and leaving it behind. You are totally setting yourself up for disaster. There's just no reason for that. No reason for that.

Sarah Wayland 23:48

Right. Right. That's really sweet story. I love that story.

Penny Williams 23:52

Yeah, like you have to think you know, and by that point, like, I think the first school trip overnight was eighth grade. And by that point, I knew him pretty well. Right, I knew that he was going to need it. And I also knew that there were going to be four other eighth grade boys in this room with him. And they were not going to be nice about it. You know, they're just not. And so that's the plan we came up with. Fortunately, there was a lot of extra fabric and my mom had held on to it all those years. But I just thought how do I get creative so he can be comfortable, but he doesn't make himself a target for teasing and social issues. And it worked out just fine. He had his own little pillow and nobody was the wiser. I love it. You know you do what works, right? You do what works? If there's something your kid has at home and they really just can't stand the thought of a week without knowing exactly where it is or being able to put eyes on it or hands on it. And it's not like furniture, something ridiculous. Like, take it with you. It's perfectly fine. And it's not you know, I can just hear parents going oh, you're coddling your child. You're not You're giving them what they need. And they're I think there's a big difference there, knowing your child knowing where they are, knowing what's going to make them feel comfortable in a situation that probably makes them uncomfortable. I mean, for my kid going anywhere unknown was super, super uncomfortable and anxiety provoking. And so I knew that there were things that I needed to do to help him no matter what age he was, like, that just was the way it is. And I was totally okay with that. Because I needed to be for him, like, what is family vacation for us to make great memories with your family and make memories of your kids having fun, right? So why would we not plan to make that go as good as possible?

Why would we not concede some things that maybe are tightly held beliefs that we probably already needed to let go of anyway, do what our kids need from us.

Sarah Wayland 25:55

You know, I just reminded me of another vacation, where my son, so my older son had a Mudkip, pokeymon, plushy, stuffed animal, whatever, then he was very, very attached to Mudkip. And Mudkip came everywhere with us, and we took him on vacation. And it was a vacation with my sister and her family, and then some friends of theirs. And so there were six kids, and they were they were playing all the time. And one of the things that they were playing was like, hide the, the item, and then everybody looks for it until they find it. So one of the kids hid, the mud kept somewhere really good. And no one could find it for days. And my son was beside himself, it was so awful. We were like scouring eBay to try to find other to order and have it delivered to this house, we could not find another bucket. And my son was beside himself. He was so so sad. Now, I'll tell you the end of the story. So you don't feel too bad. But we found it the last day of vacation in a laundry basket. Oh my gosh. So just forever. And yes, but it was truly a horrible vacation, because we just spent the whole vacation with him crying, like for days. And so to your point that things happen that you can't predict, like these things happen. And so what we did is we just tried our best to respond with empathy. And yeah, we're sorry, we tried to distract. So we did some fun things. You know, it was a beach vacation. So that was an added bonus. But, but anyway, but we tried to they do love mini golf. So we played a lot of putt, putt. And those were some things we did.

Penny Williams 27:46

I was gonna say that your story about Mudkip brings up a good point about safety, if our kids feel safe or unsafe. And for your son, he did not feel safe if he did not know where that comfort item was right and right. That's one of the really important pieces of this too is you have to think about what makes my child feel safe. When makes my child feel unsafe. And when they're feeling unsafe. How do we plan for that? What can we do? What can we do to minimize the amount of time that they feel unsafe? And really, the goal is that they always feel safe, right. But unexpected things happen. Yeah, but just understanding you know, at that point in time, that that was his comfort item. And he was probably feeling really unsafe, and you did the best you could to help him feel a little bit more comfortable and more safe. Right. And that's a big point, too, when we talk about behavior, and we're always talking about safe versus unsafe. And that certainly comes with us on vacation, too.

Sarah Wayland 28:48

Yeah, it's such a good point. And I think the other point about that is sometimes with all the best planning in the world, things still go wrong. And that is something you're going to have to figure out like, how, how am I going to deal with this, we almost left that vacation early because it was so awful. And you know, we were thinking maybe we should just drive home and you know, figure out what to do. But we didn't end up doing that he did end up getting through it. But I'm sure he does not remember that vacation fondly.

Penny Williams 29:18

Yeah. But you know, his brain did know that he could do hard things when he got through it. Right? Like, right, we also have to challenge our kids a little bit. Yep. So that they can grow and be more resilient and know that they can do things that are unknown, and then they will be okay. In the end. It brings up the point to you of making plans with contingency plans. So you know if this happens, and this is something in our house, that's really common because I have anxiety My daughter has anxiety and the one thing that's always helped me the most is okay, if everything goes wrong. You know, if this thing that my brain is freaking out about actually happened, what do I do and I plan for that ahead of time is then I'm not so afraid of that thing happening, like, I'm so afraid of it happening, but not to the point that it's ruining everything, that it's possible that it might happen, even if it's this microscopic possibility, right? Smart. And so we make plans for when plans don't work, sometimes we make plans for okay, this is what I'm really worried about. If that actually happens, what can I do, and then you know, that just eases the anxiety. Some, of course, you can't foresee everything, right. And you can't plan for everything. But as much as you can. Like, for instance, if you're doing an outdoor vacation, and it could rain, right, it could storm, it could ruin some of your outdoor plans, making a plan for that ahead of time, or like something one of my kids probably would have been worried about as being stuck somewhere outside and it starts storming. And so we would make a plan, we would watch the weather, we would look at the hour by hour before we went out to do this thing, to do our best to make sure that you know, we would be safe and comfortable. And knowing that if it did start story or something, we would turn around and we would get out of there and leave, right. And that was our contingency plan and the way that we would manage it. But you know, there's a lot of things that you can do. And you know, it's funny, because it's not funny, but it brings up for me, people in our lives who don't understand anxiety, who really just don't have anxiety about much of anything throughout their lives. And they just don't get the need for that level of planning. So parents, if you're one of those people, trust me, if your kid has any anxiety, they need that level of planning, like or if your spouse or your significant other. Anybody on your trip has anxiety, they're going to need an extra level of planning. And I think some people feel like it ruins spontaneity, or it takes some of the fun out of stuff. I've heard that before.

But again, it has to come back to when everybody needs to feel safe.

Sarah Wayland 32:14

Right. And when I told you about that social story we put together for our kids for flying, like things that can go wrong. When you're flying, you miss your flight, TSA takes forever, and you have to run to the gate, you miss the connection, they cancel your flight, and you can't go like these things have all happened to me at some point. Yeah. And so I'm always thinking, what's my plan B? What's my plan C? What's my plan D, what's my plan E. You know, and thinking about how I'm going to handle it. But I've missed enough flights in my life, because connections were late or whatever that I've realized, like, there's always another flight at some point. Or I can rent a car and drive the rest of the way or whatever. Like, there's always some option, I remind myself that there are things I can control, like, my reaction to the situation. And there are things I can't control, like I missed the flight because my other connecting flight was late. That's something I have zero control over. And so I just have to figure out what I'm going to do, if that happens.

Penny Williams 33:18

That brings up another good point, too, is managing our own anxieties as parents, and not projecting those onto our kids. And if you miss your connecting flight, and you freak out, how do you think your kid is going to manage it. But if you're able to stay calm, because you know, there's always another way, then you're helping your kid co regulate, and stay calm, or calmer, at least, and be able to handle that situation better. So we have to really be mindful, even on vacation of the example that we're setting and the energy that we're putting out what are we showing our kids to do in those situations. And so often we get caught up, and we don't think about that. But if you're screaming at the ticket agent, about your flight, your kid behind you is going to get keyed up and worried and upset.

Sarah Wayland 34:14

Yeah, absolutely. My sister in law did this brilliant thing, which is when things did not go as planned. She would say, oh, it's an adventure. I wonder what's going to happen. And then she would like she would adopt that mindset of being excited about him. I wonder what's going to happen now? What are we going to do if this happens? What are we going to do if that happens? So she would just get into that sort of curiosity mode, which was so great.

Penny Williams 34:39

Yeah. And curiosity is such a good thing to take on vacation. Like think of all the things you could explore and be curious about, rather than be afraid of or worried about. Yeah, that's a really good tool. We've covered a lot and I think that we've given some really solid tip some actionable items for parents that can help take are been there done that wisdom and pain and use it to your advantage and trade and have a better vacation and maybe, but I think you know, for the most part, be open minded, understand your kids experience and be willing to be curious and creative. That's really kind of the meat of all of it. Anything else you want to add? Sarah, before we wrap up?

Sarah Wayland 35:29

No, we've covered a lot of territory here. And I've I've certainly given you some of my best tips that I use with my kids. For us, the secret really has been including them on the planning, because then they have things in there. They know they're excited about.

Penny Williams 35:43

Yeah, yeah, something to look forward to. It's a really good thing too. Well, for everyone listening, you can go to the show notes for this episode at parentingADHDand autism.com/ 177 for episode 177. I know Sarah has a good article on her website that will link up that's about traveling with your kids who are neurodivergent. So you can find resources like that there in the show notes. And with that, we will end the episode, Sarah and I will see you as the behavior revolution in a month. And I will see everyone next week. Bye. Thanks for joining me on the beautifully complex podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, please subscribe and share. And don't forget to check out my online courses and parent coaching at parentingADHDandautism.com and at the behaviorrevolution.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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I'm Penny Williams.

I help stuck and struggling parents (educators, too) make the pivots necessary to unlock success and joy for neurodivergent kids and teens, themselves, and their families. I'm honored to be part of your journey!

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Join me as I help parents, caregivers, and educators like you harness the realization that we are all beautifully complex and marvelously imperfect. Each week I deliver insights and actionable strategies on parenting neurodivergent kids — those with ADHD, autism, anxiety, learning disabilities…

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