Are your kids driving you mad this summer? You’re not alone.
The average time until a child tantrums on car journeys is one hour and ten minutes, says Nottingham Trent University.
Parenting expert and mum-of-two Tanith Carey said: “By understanding where kids are developmentally, you can make journeys more pleasant for the whole family.”
Katy Docherty brings you a travel checklist for before and during your journey.
BEFORE YOU SET OFF
Prepare the road: View getting snacks and entertainment for the kids as being every bit as important as filling up the car.
In the days before you set off explain to your child that they will be in the car for a long time to get somewhere as a treat for the the whole family.
This will help them imagine what it will be like and also delay their gratification.
Set out at night: Think about a night or pre-dawn start so your child sleeps for hours of the trip.
Plan some exercise: It’s a huge adjustment for active kids to be restrained in a car seat for hours.
Before you set off, look out for places to stop at parks, service stations or playgrounds along the way.
Talk about seat-belts: Lots of kids simply hate being restrained by their seat belts for long periods.
Get ready by explaining in the days beforehand that wearing seatbelts is the law.
Role-play car journeys in which children tell their toys why they must wear them.
Once they have internalised the rules, young children are more likely to stick to them.
Pack one towel in the back seat for every child: IT can be used as a blanket, a mop for any spills, or on toddlers’ laps to help toys stay put.
You can also tuck one end into the window and hang it as a curtain to keep out the sun.
If children get hot and sweaty, you can also moisten it with water to help keep them cool on hot days.
Take off their shoes: Asking a small person to keep still for so long is a really big ask.
If you expect they WILL want to spend some energy kicking the back of your seat, take off their shoes at the start of the journey, which will also make them more comfy.
21:04, 22 Aug 2022