Take the Kids

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Issue 3 · Winter 2015/16
· Illustration Ben Kirchner

Scott Dunn’s childcare expert Charlotte Radford shares her tips for globetrotting parents

Issue 3 · Winter 2015/16
· Illustration Ben Kirchner

Scott Dunn’s childcare expert Charlotte Radford shares her tips for globetrotting parents

We’re taking our two children, aged 8 and 11, skiing for the first time, and I’m slightly dreading dealing with getting two kids kitted out and onto the slopes each morning. Also, our 8-year-old is very nervous, especially about the idea of being in ski school by herself. Any ideas?

 

I was lucky enough to go skiing with my 3-year-old last March and although I had similar concerns, going with Scott Dunn definitely took the hassle out of the whole experience. Scott Dunn has a team of drivers and its own fleet of vehicles – we ferry our guests to the slopes, which makes life a lot easier when you’re dealing with small children. We also have great childcare available. The Scott Dunn nanny will come to the chalet in the morning and take over getting the children ready for the day’s skiing, so the parents can focus on organising themselves. The nanny will then take the children off to the slopes in one of our vehicles and make sure they’re happily settled in for their lesson.

If you’re really worried about your child joining in with a large group, you could think about trying them out with private lessons to begin with, but generally speaking we rarely encounter any problems with this. We work with some fantastic ski schools and the instructors speak excellent English – or are English – and they make the lessons a lot of fun. It’s part of their job to make all the children feel comfortable. Doing full days in ski school can be quite exhausting though, especially for young children. In the afternoons they could participate instead in other activities with Scott Dunn’s childcare staff, such as snow-shoeing, ice-skating or arts and crafts. Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up a little rather than expecting them to ski all day, every day.

 

This Christmas we’re travelling as a family to India. Our children are 10 and 12 and they’re very excited, but I’m wondering how to prepare them for the difficult things we might encounter. I don’t want them to be upset, but equally I want them to understand the realities of the country.

India is a wonderfully vibrant country and a really exciting place for your children to visit. However, the cities in particular can be crowded and you may encounter sights, smells and tastes that can be quite overwhelming. You are also likely to see quite extreme poverty in places, so preparing your children in advance is definitely wise.

Before you travel, I would invest in some educational books to flick through with your children. You could perhaps sit down with a map of your destination and talk about what you might see. Focus on the cultural aspects – the different languages, religions, festivals and foods.

In countries where there is real poverty it always helps to be taken around by a professional guide. When you go to places that aren’t main tourism sites, foreigners are likely to attract a certain amount of attention. Scott Dunn works with excellent local guides who are very knowledgeable and can let you know which places to avoid.

Wherever you go in India, you will at some point encounter begging, and you’ll see malnourished families. Your children’s response could be, “Why can’t we help them?” We advise selecting a charity at home to donate money to. It’s also a sensible idea to carry coloured pens and paper as a good alternative to give children who are begging. The most important point is to make sure you discuss what you see with your children. At 10 and 12 they are old enough to engage in quite in-depth conversations that will help them process anything they encounter. Overall, India is an amazing country, and going there can provide a life-changing experience for you and your children.


If you would like Travel Nanny to answer your question in the next issue of Days Like This, email travelnanny@dayslikethismagazine.com

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