Kids are a blessing in life. But when they are given the control of the back seat of a car for a long time, their sole responsibility is to drive the parent mad.
So here are few tips for parents to avoid quarrels and moaning.
Have your kids participate in trip planning
Road maps are becoming obsolete with the introduction of smart phone and other GPS systems. So to involve your kids, it’s a great idea to use a road map to see which route you should take. First, search on Google to identify landmarks along the way. Next, prepare a quiz on the locations which will crop up along the way, e.g. names of places, road signs and secondary roads. Also tell them that they will be rewarded if they answer correctly. This will keep them busy and teach them how to read a map.
Set clear rules
All kids perform better with clear boundaries and feel secure if they are asked not to cross them. So before leaving home, tell your child what will be expected of them. Involve them in the process to help them feel them more accountable. Set a clear schedule, and do not deviate from it, for example tell the kids that there will be a stop for lunch at noon and that each person will enjoy an hour of their choice of music.
Ask your kids to start a travel diary before leaving home. On your way, keep asking them to make notes of the things they see on the way, such as the provinces, cities and regions you are driving through. Depending on how old your kids are, ask them to take their camera along and take photos to put into the diary later on and show their friends. Make sure you show an interest in their work as a travel diary is nothing less than a beautiful memory.
Car games can be great fun for kids. They are an alternative to being glued to a screen all day long and are a great way to involve them in an activity for some time. Pack other toys too, which will keep them focused and peaceful.
Make frequent stops
Kids love to move about and can feel uneasy sitting in the same place for too long. So plan where you will stop off along the way; near a park or green space. As soon as you sense signs of fatigue, just stop the car and play Frisbee so that the kids can burn off some energy. Don’t forget to take some photos before hitting the road again.
Children often complain when they feel you are forcing them to do something. So give them the lead and ask them to tell you which places they feel like visiting. Show them travel pamphlets and tourism magazines to help them in their choices. Children will behave properly if you involve them in the decision-making process. The idea is not to let them take total control of the trip, it is just to help them participate and feel a valued part of the adventure.
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