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Category — Travel Advice

Dear RoadTripMom: Back Seat Bickering

QUESTION: What’s your favorite tactic for dealing with kids who start bickering in the back seat?

Generally, the thing I recommend the most is to just change the activity. Make some suggestions to the kids from the ideas that you have hopefully prepared before the trip! More specifically though, my favorite tactic when nothing else seems to end the bickering is to put on some new music and start singing loudly! …..Very loudly!

The kids will either start singing along with me, or they will unite with each other to try to make the parents STOP singing! Either way, the bickering is over. It definitely helps to have a sense of humor about it. Sometimes I have even used it as a (humorous) consequence. For example, “You kids need to start another activity instead of bickering, or else I will be forced to start singing!” It works every time.

April 6, 2008   1 Comment

Advice: Flat Tire Fun (Not!)

Some good advice I got from my father once — Be familiar with your spare before you hit the road! (ok, I got it more than once — I get it every time I got a new vehicle.)

Imagine being at the side of the road on a busy Interstate highway with a flat tire…. …alone…. in the dark.

I found myself in this situation recently. I was alone and about 50 miles from home in the countryside on a dark interstate highway on a short 200 mile road trip. It was 7 pm in January so it was pitch dark and very cold. My tire went flat. I pulled off the road as far as I possibly could. Changing a tire by the side of the road is very dangerous and very scary. But I knew what to do. Do you? Read more Flat Tire help for some great advice so you don’t get stuck!

February 27, 2008   5 Comments

Advice: Back Seat Couch Potatoes?

Dear Road Trip Mom:
What is your viewpoint on electronics as a diversion?

So many parents pacify their kids these days with car-installed, or portable DVD players and/or handheld video games. Could kids be making better use of their time, or do you believe such devices have earned a place in roadtrip entertainment?

I do think these devices have a place in roadtrip entertainment, but mostly as a break from other activities.

You just can’t expect children to be actively engaged and play games for hours upon hours. At some point, they just want to take a break and rest. This is when a DVD player is appropriate in my opinion. Kick back and watch a movie, then everyone will be refreshed ready to be involved again.

A family car trip is one of the best opportunities parents have to spend a lot of time really talking with their children, and it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be wasted. One of my website readers once wrote to me and said, “The trip there is half the fun because our vacation starts the minute we get in the car.”

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February 14, 2008   3 Comments