Encouraging Children to Get Along in the Car

If you have more than one child, you understand the struggle it can be to make sure they are loving each other the way they should, instead of torturing each other the way they want to. This is especially true when you are in a confined space like a car or an airplane. I have three kids, and two of them are girls that are only two and a half years apart. They love each other, but they really know how to get on each other’s nerves. If you have perfect children, please feel free to skip this post, but if you have normal children, lol, read on.

Vehicular nap time is a must!!
Vehicular nap time is a must!!

The first thing that needs to happen on a regular basis is that you enforce the rules you make outside of extenuating circumstances. Creating this type of routine will help your kids know how to react when they are outside of the their comfort zone. Hopefully this will help them understand that they need to obey when you are traveling. Hopefully, no guarantees.

Here are out “Creative Rules for the Car, Plane, Train, and Bus”

-No Arguing

….Consequence: Complete silence for five minutes. The fun music or movie is switched off and there is no talking allowed. This works wonderfully when you are driving and they want to tell each other about every interesting thing they see out of their window.

-No Poking or Hitting

….Consequence: The poker/hitter must sit on their hands and remain quiet for five minutes.

-No Saying Mean Things

….Consequence: They must say five nice things about the sibling they said something mean about, and lose a fun privilege during the trip.

It also helps to remember that bad behavior is amplified when children are cranky. This is why we institute

Vehicular Nap Time!

We make sure our kids have the proper things that will help them fall asleep, such as a travel pillow and warm sweater if the weather is cold out. Then we tell them that if they take a nap, they will get to do something extra on our trip. Only the kids that actually fall asleep (no faking!) will get to do this extra activity. The consequence for not taking a nap is that they will have to go to bed early, or sit in the stroller instead of walking if we are out.

You also need to have distractions like music, games, toys, drawing, anything you think will entertain them. Check out this post for a list of ideas of what to bring on your next trip.

We spend a lot of our parenting efforts making sure our children understand that we are to love one another. Since this is such a huge part of our lives, our children expect us to question bad behavior towards each other. This does not mean they don’t argue or bicker, but at least they know we refuse to accept that type of behavior.

Plus it is really nerve wrecking to have to listen to arguing between young children when you are in the car with them for hours. So for your sanity’s sake, avoid it as much as possible.

Happy Travels!!

Kristin Spencer

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