With DVD screens attached to anything that will support them these days, and numerous mind numbing gaming devices, both portable and able to be plugged straight into your vehicle. It might seem easier to just whack a movie in or hand the kids a game and turn that journey to the Fun Park or nature reserve into a peaceful, quiet ride in the four wheeled cone of silence. Seize this chance to put the electronic baby sitter away for a bit. Whilst safely strapped in to the seats of the vehicle parents are provided with a captive audience, the perfect opportunity to engage with the kids.
With a little innovation positive parenting memories can be made that both parents and the children will remember for the rest of their lives. A phrase so often heard is “Children need Quality time with their parents”, so what better time to do it than when everyone is seated and has each others attention. Remember not to waste this time, as often the journey can be more fun than the destination. It can pan out that way on the next road trip with these handy tips.
Hints and Tips
• Engage in conversation with the kids; ask them about their life, what has been happening in their world lately. Ask them how school is going, or sport or any other interest. This will spark a conversation. No matter how trivial the conversation seems it will means heaps to the children that their parents care enough to listen to what has been happening in their lives. Just being there to listen is one of the greatest gifts a parent can give their children.
• Before the trip plan a few travelling games to play with the kids on the journey. Eye Spy is a good old faithful. Depending on the age of the children this game can be expanded into a more engaging game such as spotting weird number plates, or old cars, dents in specific spots of other cars. The sky is the limit! Write a list of things on paper for the kids to spot and give them a pencil to mark them off as they see them.
• If going on a long trip remember to pack some healthy snacks and refreshments for the journey. Hunger or thirst can soon turn a happy outing sour, so keep on top of things parents.
• Sing! Ok, Ok so some singing voices should be best kept in the shower. But a sing along is a fun way to pass some time. Good voices, bad voices, either way plenty of entertainment will be had by someone in the car, even if it’s the kids laughing at Dad’s singing ability or lack thereof.
Just remember to have fun with the family and enjoy time spent with them, it will be memories like these that will resurface years later at family parties or gatherings “Remember when we did (insert remembered experience here)? That was so awesome!” There will be plenty of time for the Play station, Xbox or DVD’s at home. Keep them out of the car and connect with your kids on the next day out.