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Suffering from a broken family? Go on a road trip

By Heather Protz Subscribe to RSS | March 1st 2012 | Views:
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A workaholic mother, an alcoholic father, an introverted sister, a broody younger brother, and a prissy older sister-a picture perfect (dysfunctional) family. Well, there's nothing a road trip can't fix. Squashed between your family in an ancient wagon worthy enough to be run over by a heavy load truck, you'll be having the time of your life trying to prevent any bloodshed from happening. I wasn't being caustically sarcastic; it's more of the truth isn't it? Don't accuse of me of contradicting my own words. That will be the best case scenario in starting a road trip and especially if it involves an incessantly disagreeing family. A road trip won't produce a faultless, perfect family, but it would definitely bring them closer.

You could go anywhere- the Nevada skies, Seattle or even cross the border to Mexico. The destination is never a problem, getting there will be. You can't expect clear blue skies and paved roads all the time. You've got to brave the weather and ride on beaten up, bumpy trails. Now that's the outside, on the inside, there will be fights over who's turn is it to drive next; cries of I wanted that bag of potato chips and darn it, don't drool on my shoulder. Don't expect a peace of mind either. It will be nasty and miserable.

So will it fix your family? It will. Please don't imagine a dramatic climax, where everyone admit their faults and suddenly develop a superglue bond when they get back. It's not going to be that simple. But you will get a better understanding about your family members, and start seeing them under a new light. In a road trip, there's always an opportunity to divide responsibilities, share difficulties and come about solving them together. There is always an opportunity (plenty of them in fact), but it's up to you to use them.

It doesn't stop there; you have to use them the right way. Suppose you run out of gas in the middle of a lifeless freeway. When I say lifeless, I mean an absence of anything green. So you'll be sitting under the hot sun waiting for help or trying to get some. Don't be surprised when there are no protests initially. Your family is probably exhausted from complaining against the road trip, that they've reached a point where they don't care. This behavior will be present in the adolescent species, specifically the bratty kind. 10 minutes after sweating out the much needed water, you'll start hearing several rephrasings of "I told you so...” from your spouse. Your teenager will leave the vehicle on an angry burst, and your kid will need a toilet, 'right now.'

You could have been saved from this if only you had remembered to fill gas, when you passed the gas station. If only you hadn’t started on this ridiculous trip at all. Why won’t anyone else take the responsibility of reminding about these simple things? That’s the right question. Don’t go informing that to your family the wrong way. This means that vomiting out your frustrations in a very angry tone is a strict no-no. Try to subtly push the idea of sharing responsibilities into their minds, using the situation as an example. Don’t try to project the situation in a lighter shade either. Let them know that this is pretty serious and it’s not okay for you to be handling this alone. Let them know about the importance of collectivism when it comes to the functioning of a family.

There won’t be just one or two unfortunate events like the above for you to utilize in bringing your family together. At the risk of not being clichéd, RV’s are not the best mode of transport for a road trip. Sure, RV means lesser breakdowns and built in toilet facilities. Furthermore, you can stop on the way; park your vehicle at some RV park and rest away. Now, these RV parks may be connected to a FiOS bundle-TV, High-speed Internet and a phone. Very comfortable, but that would only increase the distance between your family-they’ve got plenty of amazing distractions. What you need is a faulty vehicle, a faulty path and a whole lot of misfortune to set right your family. We learn best from our mistakes after all.

Heather Protz - About Author:
Heather is a cheery, enthusiastic college student. As an education major, she likes to research about the best suited learning methods. she is interested in cooking, pottery, creative visualization, and loves to source out some great offers like the one on

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