Papousse’s Meet the Parents series offers a behind the scenes look at adventurous parents who are inspiring other families to explore. Truth, Love, Parenting. is a parenting blog written by Drew Tupper, a husband, father, and teacher based in Victoria, BC. Drew is an advocate and educator for thriving families and healthy children. He and his wife also take their kids on fun adventures around Vancouver Island and beyond. We recently caught up with Drew to learn more about his peaceful parenting approach and tips for keeping your cool on the road.
1. We’ve been loving your peaceful approach to parenting on your new blog Truth, Love, Parenting. What prompted you to start sharing your experiences and tips for other parents?
I used to be an angry Daddy. I definitely didn’t start out as a peaceful parent, I transitioned to it. I was also loving, of course, but my default in difficult times was anger and frustration. It began as a self-improvement project and has taken off into a blog, public speaking, and a coaching practice. After adopting peaceful parenting strategies not only do we have a happier home, my kids are better behaved. There is an old way of thinking that assumes you need to be really firm and hard on your kids in order for them to behave. Not true. So, how could I not share this? How could I not help other people understand that they can have a happier home with more helpful children?
2. You mentioned you spent much of last summer travelling in a van with your kids. How do they like van camping? What worked well? Were there any challenges?
My kids are absolutely in love with the van camping, almost too much. They get excited and goofy which makes putting them to bed a challenge. We have a weirdo Japanese import called a Mazda Bongo Friendee. It is similar to a Westy. It too has a pop-top and can comfortably sleep 4. We travelled around Vancouver Island from Victoria to Quadra and Cortes Island and everywhere in between. The Discovery and Gulf Island are some of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, and I’ve been on beautiful beaches in Koh Pi Pi Thailand, Sardegna Italy, and Mallorca Spain. Vancouver Islanders are absolutely blessed!
About other challenges, there is something about fresh air and sunshine that just sorts everything out. I’m sure there were some challenges but they don’t seem all that serious in the summer. What works well is going with the flow. Having the camper van helps with this. If all else fails, and we don’t get to our destination, we can pull over somewhere and sleep.
3. Do you have any tips for keeping things relaxed while travelling?
It’s all about preparation and expectations. Either be really well prepared or don’t set your expectations too high, one or the other. Like I mentioned, we tend to go with the flow and let the day/vacation unfold in a natural way, as the spirit moves us.
4. What are a few of your favourite places to camp around Vancouver Island?
Parksville, Saltspring Island, Quadra Island, Cortes Island, Denman Island, Hornby Island.
5. What destination is at the top of your list for a family vacation?
My dream is to take a year off and travel around with the kids. I’d love to go to lots of places. I am a sucker for Europe. I love it…the people, the food, the beauty, the architecture. But places I haven’t been which are on the list: India, South America and Africa.