Author Topic: Minimizing distractions with your kids in the car  (Read 3411 times)

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Offline ndcw

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Minimizing distractions with your kids in the car
« on: January 27, 2014, 12:49:41 PM »
Hi guys, I just wanted to post on this forum and get some discussion going on this. What other ways do you guys minimize distractions with your kids in the car?

Media will have us believe that all dads are lax disciplinarians who are more interested in being cool and fun than they are in teaching their children how to live safely and follow rules. The real world, however, tells a different story. Fathers actively engage their children in life lessons on everything from respecting others to what to do if they ever get lost. The most important lessons we teach our children are those that benefit others as well, and that extends to issues of safety.
For example, teaching your children how to properly behave while in a moving car can keep you from becoming distracted, and it can literally save lives. Distracted driving car accidents were the cause of 3,328 deaths and approximately 421,000 injuries in 2012.
Of course, kids being kids, unfortunately they are going to act up on occasion. So, here are a few tips on what you can do to further reduce distractions for yourself while your kids are in the car with you.

Safety First
We all know that it’s illegal to ride in a vehicle without wearing a seat belt. However, they also serve as great natural restraints for ‘busy’ children. Don’t allow your kids to unlock their seat belts for any reason while the car is on the road. If they need to get something out of reach, just pull over, dad. It will only take a minute, but it could save your child’s life. Plus, if you make this a ‘no exceptions’ rule, the kids will stay in their place without question or hassle, and that will lead to fewer distractions for you.

Plan Ahead
It seems obvious, but planning ahead for a road trip can greatly reduce the number of distractions your children cause once you head out. By allowing your children to be involved in said planning, you will empower them, and they will be more likely to take ownership of events once you do hit the road. For example, if you have a DVD player in the car, stock up on movies (letting your kids help select titles), and make sure that the oldest one knows how to effectively navigate the player’s controls. That way, you won’t constantly be fielding questions about its operation, and the children themselves can negotiate which movies to watch (taking turns, of course!).

In Car Activities
Of course, movies aren’t going to hold the attention of every child, so they also need car sensible activities they can readily grab and use without having to distract you. Help each child prepare a travel bag of quiet games, toys and activities to keep them settled, but busy. Instruct each child ahead of time that they must choose items for which they will not need any help. For instance, puzzle books and pencils, coloring books and crayons, electronic game devices and headphones, as well as mp3 players are all good for road travel. Toys that require physical activity or are naturally distracting, such as airplanes (they could throw them), noise making vehicles, and balls should all stay at home.

Keep it Clean
Since a common form of distraction involves children handing their dads items such as empty wrappers and juice boxes, be sure that there is a garbage bag within reach of the children. Instruct them that they are to place all garbage in the bag, and are not to hand you anything, garbage or not, while you are driving.

Stop for Breaks
Inevitably, dad, despite your best efforts, the kids are going to get restless. Children have a lot of energy, and when they can’t use it, sometimes that energy manifests itself at inopportune times, such as while you’re on the road. So, take that potentially dangerous scenario out of the equation altogether by taking regular roadside breaks. Stop at rest stops along the way, or let them just stretch their legs at the gas station when you stop for fuel. Find pockets of space (parks, grocery store) where your children can walk about for a few minutes, and try taking them for a short walk after roadside meals or bathroom breaks. A quick leg stretch will go a long way in helping you retain your sanity, and it will also help decrease the potential for in car distractions.

Dads, as you can see, there are some common sense methods you can use to help reduce the potential for distractions while you’re driving with your kids in the car. The faux image the media portrays of the lackadaisical dad is far from the reality. Fathers are champions for their children, and part of that involves teaching them the rules of life, as well as the rules of the road.

Like I said at the beginning, I'd like to get a discussion going and see how you guys do things!  ~o)
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 12:52:56 PM by ndcw »

Offline Keith

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Re: Minimizing distractions with your kids in the car
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2014, 08:11:05 AM »
I'm more old school.  If I have to pull this car over I'm going to take my belt to the kids.  That usually calms them down.  Old school still works.

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Offline itsallbs

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Re: Minimizing distractions with your kids in the car
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 03:03:09 PM »
Thanks Nik!

Offline ndcw

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Re: Minimizing distractions with your kids in the car
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 03:16:31 PM »


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