This is a sponsored post, bought to you by Improv Traffic School
You can turn off your mobile, set all of your temperature and radio controls, and eat your snack before you hit the road, but if you have kids in tow, you can pretty much plan on being distracted at some point in your drive. Whether it’s demanding your attention, begging for some water, or fighting with each other, your children are the biggest obstacle you have to overcome while driving, without a doubt.
So what can you do about it?
First, you need to realise just how important it is that you don’t give into their demands. Even if it seems like no big deal to just grab those crisps from the glove box and pass them back, it could end up being a fatal mistake. Any time your eyes are not on the road or your hands are not on the wheel, you are not able to respond as fast as you need to in a crisis situation. Always keep this mind and resist the urge to tend to your child’s every need. When you are driving, keeping them safe is the most important need they have. Remember, you can’t predict when an accident is about to happen, so you never want to risk it.
Talk it out
But you can’t just ignore your kids either. Instead, explain to them why you cannot meet their needs at this particular moment. If they understand that you have to keep them safe, but you can get them what they need at the next traffic light, they will likely understand. Even young children can grasp this concept surprisingly well if you put it in terms they understand.
Another notable choice is to plan ahead. If you can provide your children with enough entertainment to keep them busy throughout the length of your drive, you won’t even have to worry about talking it out. There are a lot of great activities for kids to take in the car (computer tablets mounted to the seat in front of them, handheld video games, books, favourite figurines, food, etc.), just make sure they don’t require any supervision. It is also a good idea to avoid anything too heavy or sharp just in case you do get into an accident. If you are headed on a long road trip, make sure to pack a large variety of items that you can switch around at service station breaks to appease their limited attention spans.
Break into Song
When all else fails, break into song. If you have babies, the sound of your voice partnered with a soothing rhythm can help calm them down. If your kids are a little older, they will either join in or at least stop and listen to you. Not a big singer? Start a game of I Spy or 20 Questions. The goal is to entertain them without having to look away from the road or take your hands off the wheel.
Photo credit – Horia Varlan