Traveling with Kids By Car
With the holiday season fast approaching, many families will be traveling with their children. With that comes great opportunities for bonding as well as possible annoyance in handling children who misbehave during long car rides.
Here are a few suggestions to improve the quality of a long car ride with children:
1) Identify potential issues that likely could occur (i.e, siblings fighting with each other, children complaining about choice of radio station). Plan solutions ahead of time to implement when these issues occur.
2) Have children listen to ipods, play video games, or use other electronic devices to keep them occupied.
3) Sing songs, play the license plate game (where you have to be the first one to name a license plate from a new state that you see), GHOST (for older children- where you take turns giving a letter and try to make the other person finish the word that is four or more letters), or other interactive games.
4) Especially for older children, use the time in the car to have in depth conversations. With most people’s busy schedules, car rides provide a rare opportunity to spend several hours with your whole family together. Obviously, it is best not to use the car ride to address topics of a sensitive nature (i.e., behavioral issues, significant academic difficulties), since children and adults alike could become upset and not have an ability to easily exit the conversation to calm down.
I hope these suggestions are useful. By planning ahead and having a variety of items to keep children occupied, it can make long car rides easier and more enjoyable.
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*Disclaimer: The previous information is intended as general guidance based on my professional opinion, does not constitute an established professional relationship, and should not replace the recommendations of a psychologist or other licensed professional with whom you initiate or maintain a professional relationship*