How to Help Your Kids Cope with Boredom in the Car

Whether you are on an extended road trip or just on your way to the grocery store, it’s common for children to get bored during the ride. This can lead to undesirable behaviors like making loud, annoying noises, fighting, and kicking your seat. If this is an issue you deal with on a regular basis, here are some tips that can help you and your child find relief.

Give Them Something to Do

A lot of parents hand over a cell phone or tablet in order to keep their child busy. However, you should be careful about doing that because this only teaches your children to be dependent on devices for entertainment. Force them to do other things by providing non-screen entertainment. This can include notebooks and pencils for drawing, puzzle books, stories, travel board games, etc. You can let one of your children pick the music for the ride. Take turns choosing the songs you listen to each time you go out.

When Toys and Activities Fail

When you're in the car, you're probably driving, and you need to focus on the road to keep your kids safe. If they absolutely need your attention while you are driving, pull over. Otherwise, reaching into the backseat while driving can cause you to wreck. Children are fully capable of keeping themselves entertained. Give them what they need and let them be. Make sure that your children understand what your expectations are of them. They shouldn't be fighting or causing a distraction that will make it unsafe for you to be driving.

Boredom Isn't a Bad Thing

Don’t feel bad if you’re children are complaining that they are bored. Having this free time can teach them to use their imagination and entertain themselves without external intervention. Imagination is an essential part of developing creativity, and learning how to entertain oneself is an essential skill for becoming an independent adult later. By letting your kids get bored, you prepare them for life.

Be realistic with your children’s behavior while in the car. There’s a big difference between a child’s need for entertainment while accompanying you on errands and a road trip. Kids don’t need much to survive a 15-minute drive. However, they can and will get pretty antsy when stuck in a carseat for hours. Just make sure that you bring a good variety of activities, and bring some healthy snacks for munching. When blood sugar gets low, everyone gets fussy. This is true even for adults!

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