When traveling with your children, especially on long car trips, make sure that they have plenty of activities to occupy themselves with. This is essential if they are prone to squabbling. Traveling with the entire family on long car trips can be quite tedious when the family includes bickering kids. You cannot do anything about the other irritants on the roads, but those inside your car, you can handle!
1. Personal Entertainment
Get them their own music players, books, video games or an iPad so that they can do whatever they want without bothering each other, and irritating you. Load the iPads with their favorites games and activities, with the condition that they shouldn’t bother you while driving unless it is an emergency. Also ensure that you have plenty of chargers in the car so that they can recharge as you go, to avoid fights over who gets to recharge first.
2. Playing Games
On the road, games can be quite popular and engaging. Games like I-Spy, word building games, puzzles, quizzes, and similar diversions can be a lot of fun with the entire family joining in. Movies, celebrities and sports trivia make for fun quizzes, and you can form teams with the parents and the children split up to make evenly matched groups. The children from the winning team can choose the food for the next meal, or get first dibs on the sleeping arrangements when you stop for the night. These kinds of prizes will get them into the spirit of the game, and you will truly have a fun family outing!
3. Let them Drive
If any of your children are old enough to drive, make a deal with the eldest one: if they don’t get into a fight with their siblings throughout the day, not even once, then they can drive for one hour the next day! Believe me, this can be a very powerful deterrent and a motivating factor, especially as they get to show off their driving skills in front of their younger siblings, rubbing their faces in the fact that they are not allowed to do so yet.
4. Following Rules
Be strict in enforcing rules. Treat the children as if they are adults. Tell them that they are responsible for their own entertainment on the road, and if they complain of boredom, even once, their music players or iPads will be confiscated. STICK TO SUCH THREATS RUTHLESSLY. This will show them that you mean business. They will try to push their luck, just to see if they can; do not give in to sulks, tantrums or crying jags. This will demonstrate a weakness on your part and they will milk it for all they can. If you promise a punishment, be firm without being cruel in enforcing it. This is the only way to get your children to behave on long car trips. You will spend hours having family fun!
Mike is a father of two, who enjoys discussing parenting issues. Over the last 4 years, Mike has been an active forum contributor and a regular blogger at toysparadise.com.au. Aside from writing, Mike enjoys spending time with his family and friends.