Many busy parents find that stress levels are at their highest when travelling in the car – trying to navigate from A to B can be an arduous task with demanding small children in the back, particularly when the noise levels are on a permanent high.
Gem Motoring Assist has recently launched a charter to promote happy, safer, family journeys in the car which contains a list of do’s and don’ts for kids aimed at making driving a less stressful experience for parents across the country.
The charter encourages children who travel in cars to make a promise that for at least one month they will refrain from a range of unpleasant, distracting and possibly dangerous activities.
David Williams MBE, chief executive of GEM Motoring Assist, says: “That means a whole month of no fighting in the back, no annoying each other, no sticky sweets smeared on seats, and no constant cries of ‘are we nearly there?’
Trusted Dealers is getting behind the charter in a bid to promote safer, more enjoyable journeys not just for parents but for kids too. The charter includes the following do’s and don’ts, which if stuck to, are designed to make life a lot less stressful.
Do go to the toilet before setting off
Don’t fight each other on journeys
Don’t kick the back of the driver or front passenger seat
Do tell Mum or Dad in plenty of time if you feel unwell on a journey
Do check the soles of your shoes before you get into the car, and clean them if necessary
Don’t provoke or annoy any travelling companions
Don’t ask for loo breaks when you don’t really need them
Don’t leave sticky sweets on car seats
Don’t hide old banana skins under the foot mats
Don’t get out of the car without the permission of a grown-up, even if you just want to wander into the shop during a fuel stop
Don’t ask ‘Are we nearly there?’ every 10 minutes
Don’t produce unsavoury odours and blame someone else
GEM encourages mums and dads to not only reward their children for good behaviour but also to do their bit towards making road journeys more tolerable for their little ones. A few further tips are suggested below for how to keep your kids entertained in the back.
For long journeys, choose and fill a goodie bag for each child with age-appropriate activities and novelties to help time pass more smoothly
Pack plenty of small, non-sticky snacks and drinks. Avoid too many sweets
Build in worthwhile stops every couple of hours for a good run-around. Try to choose interesting or fun venues, even if this requires a short diversion from your route
Make the kids as comfortable as possible. Pack blankets and favourite stuffed animals if they fancy a snooze
Give the children £1 each in 20p coins at the start of the journey. Each time one of them asks ‘Are we nearly there?’, you collect 20p and put it in the drinks/snacks kitty
Encourage games for everyone. Favourites such as ‘I spy’ and ‘Red car blue car’ can keep kids happy for… well, quite a long time
Have a decent sized re-sealable container to hand in case carsickness threatens to strike