Whether you have one child or three, you know the struggle every parent experiences when they try to get anywhere with the kids in the car. As adorable as your little humans may be, kids are notoriously restless when they’re trapped in a moving vehicle. That can translate into a lot of behavior that parents find distracting while they’re driving.
Short of putting a second adult in your front passenger seat everywhere you go to help contain the chaos, what can you do to keep the distractions to a minimum? Here are some tips:
Handle food issues in advance
Unless you’re headed out to dinner, feed the kids before you leave on any trip – and put a bag full of kid-friendly snacks and a bottle or two of water in the backseat.
Be prepared for messes
Whether it’s facial tissues or a wrapper from a breakfast bar, you shouldn’t be reaching over your shoulder to grab any trash. Have a small trash bag, a box of wipes and some paper towels in the back of the car for their use.
Add comfort items
Kids also get antsy when they’re tired or cold. Make sure that your kids have a spare blanket or two available, and let them bring their favorite stuffed toy along on a longer trip.
Kids start to act up when they’re bored, so do your best to provide them with some entertainment for the trip. Coloring books and crayons, reading books, portable DVD players and tablets with and a few pre-loaded games can keep them occupied.
Unfortunately, while you can take steps to avoid kid-related distractions when you’re driving, there are plenty of other distracted drivers around. If you end up in a wreck through no fault of your own, you may have legal recourse to recover your losses.