If you want a child to learn how to love traveling in order to reap its many rewards, it’s important to first get them to like it. This means not imposing your travel style and interests on a child, who will likely have their own ideas about what makes a trip enjoyable.
Your kid may not be able to verbally articulate their lack of interest in a long day at the museum or hours of people-watching at a cafe, but they will express it in moods, tantrums and restlessness. Rather than automatically dismissing this as bad behavior, consider it a cue to ask about their travel desires.
In respecting their interests, also don’t forget to share yours. Early on, I started pointing out to my child every time we saw art, a passion of mine, in our travels — a sculpture, a mural, a photograph, a painting. To my delight, he began to recognize them on his own.
Cultivating mutual respect — honoring your kid’s interests, while teaching them to understand yours — can deliver all sorts of important life lessons, including an appreciation not only for differences, but for teamwork and the independence of ideas.