More than fun in the sun: vacations can be good teaching tools for kids

Peyton Family
Courtesy of Lindy Vincent l-r) Chase, Dylan, Peyton, Lindy and Anton Vincent enjoying Maui, Hawaii, March 2017 during spring break. Photo courtesy of Lindy Vincent

I don’t know about y’all, but I have one girlfriend who just makes me sick: Lindy Vincent. She does with ease everything that it takes me real effort to complete. She works out without sweating, while I can’t walk around the block without needing oxygen and a paramedic.

I can’t get my kids to mind me, but her children, Chase (18), Dylan (16), and Peyton (11) are well-behaved and always polite. She and her husband Anton recently celebrated 20 years of blissful marriage. Meanwhile, my man keeps a bag packed by the door just in case he needs to “make a run.”

But I keep hanging around her ’cause she gives me #SquadGoals. You see, Lindy is the type of sista that I can always learn from. Listening to her talk, I always glean a little bit of knowledge that helps me to improve as a mother, wife, and friend. She always makes me a better person.

But, as I said, she also makes me sick because those damn Vincents are always doing it up big! Last year, for example, I was trying to find her to wish her a Merry Christmas, but her family had jetted off to a tropical getaway.

Then, when I called in the spring to see if they wanted to join us for a backyard BBQ, she was using her passport yet again. They have taken their kids to Mexico, Jamaica, Maui, and the Bahamas, just to name a few places. And I thought I was doing something taking the kids to Valley Fair!

When Lindy was stateside again, I demanded to know why she keeps trying to make me look bad to my kids. Well, don’t you know, in true Lindy Vincent fashion, she taught me how to use vacations as teaching tools for my own babies. An excerpt of our conversation appears below.

Courtesy of Lindy Vincent Peyton Vincent enjoying the sights in Maui, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Lindy Vincent.

Sheletta Brundidge: Have y’all always jetted off to exotic getaways?

Lindy Vincent: Well, we decided when we got married [that] we would go to warm vacations twice a year. Once at Christmas time and once during spring break so we could break up the cold winter. It has to be warm. That’s the only stipulation. We’re not going to Iceland.

SB: But vacations aren’t just about fun in the sun for the kids, is it? You make it part of their growth and development?

LV: It’s very important. We’ve taken them all over the place. We want them to know the world is a big place and they need to know how to present themselves in different environments. We want to expose them as much as possible. We don’t want them to think Minnesota is the end-all-be-all. No, let’s hop on a plane and go to Jamaica or the Bahamas.

SB: What’s the goal for your kids when they go to new places?

LV: Be adventurous. Get out of your comfort zone — that is so important. We’ve gone to Mexico and the kids have had to learn the language. And it helps them mature. My kids are very daring. They like to go zip-lining.

We went to the Bahamas last year and they went on the 500-story water slide, multiple times. Stuff like that. They will do anything. We went ATV riding in Maui. They’ve been jet-skiing. They’ve swam with dolphins. We are going to expose them to stuff and then let them have fun while they are there.

Courtesy of Lindy Vincent Peyton Vincent in Maui, Hawaii. Photo courtesy of Lindy Vincent

SB: So that exposure is what it’s all about, right?

LV: At the heart of things, you’re raising your children to know how to navigate in the world. So, when we go out to these different places, they may have to order food at a restaurant and nobody speaks English. So, they have to be able to talk to the waiter to understand what’s involved. They have to come out of themselves and get comfortable. That’s helped them mature and have more of a world perspective.

It has really impacted Chase, my oldest. She is in her first year of college. She’s worldly. She’s been on four mission trips. She goes places and feels very comfortable because she knows how to navigate the world and work with people. She’s going into public policy and that’s tied into the adventures we’ve had as a family.

SB: Girl that sounds good for them Vincent babies because they know how to act in a hotel room. The Brundidge babies are not so well-behaved. They gon’ eat all the food out the mini-bar, use the bed as a trampoline, and go swimming in the tub!

LV: Girl, you’re funny. We train the kids early — don’t open bar snacks. Leave that alone. They know.

About Sheletta Brundidge

Sheletta Brundidge is contributing writer at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. She can be reached at shelettab@gmail.com. You can also catch her as co-host of the Two Haute Mamas podcast online at WCCO Radio. You can listen to the show on her website at twohautemamas.com.

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