J Simens.com

The Real Truth about Family Vacation

Many of my friends are on family vacations now and I have been getting reports back via email, Facebook and blogs about how their time is going with their extended families. They seem to run the whole range of feelings. I think it is important to look at emotions from a formula perspective so they can be pulled apart and thought about.

Did you know optimism is a mixture of anticipation and joy?

Sounds like a great way to spend time with family. The opposite emotion to optimism is disappointment. Family vacations for expat children can be at both extremes. I would love every parent to ask their child after a vacation, “Was any part of our recent trip a disappointment for you?”  This way you can have an open dialogue on what it means to be in ‘your family’ and how it feels.

Love is the most common word or expression that seems to come up around family time (if you are lucky).

Love is made up of Joy and Trust.

This I get!  But I seldom thought of the opposite of love as being remorse. This might be an emotion that as parents we try to shield our child from. As some global families get older, I hear more comments about regrets of spending less time with grandparents. Sometimes when a parent or grandparent dies the feelings of guilt surface over not having spent as much time with that person before they died.

Remorse is not a bad thing to feel as long as you have the complete picture and it is a genuine emotion you have. Sometimes other family members feel that the expat family should feel remorse about their time away from families but that is their concern or belief. It is not a necessary one you or your kids have to own up for.

I do believe that remorse is one emotion that parents seldom talk to their children about. I encourage you to think about this emotion and see if you can help your child understand it.

Remorse is:

  1. a sense of deep regret and guilt for some misdeed
  2. compunction; pity; compassion

Optimism is Anticipation + Joy. The opposite emotion is Disappointment.

Love is Joy + Trust. The opposite emotion is Remorse



  • October 28, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    One of my goals in life is to learn as much as I can and this blog definitely teached me some things.