Do you have any road trips planned this year?
Road trips are great for building family memories and a unique family culture. However, it’s also a time when the entire family is confined to a very small space. Limited square feet, multiple bodies, and restricted movement can be the perfect formula for irritability and strife, even when you think you have stocked the car beautifully and planned the perfect activities and diversion for your crew.
While traveling with our five kiddos, especially as they grew into the more adult-sized bodies, we had our share of car turmoil. Oftentimes I used those moments to assess character flaws, training needs, and my own lack of patience.
Road Trip Tool Kit
Here are some of the things that helped alleviate tension on our road trips.
Having a captive audience, I administered a short lecture in kindness and understanding. Note the emphasis on short! Quick, to-the-point reminders are typically more effective than long, drawn-out monologues that get easily tuned out.
Depending on the situation, we tried to be considerate and make frequent stops to alleviate the tension. Sometimes, time is short and there is not enough leeway for long stops. But even a few minutes out of the car can make a big difference on everyone’s sanity.
If the trip involved multiple days of travel, I found a time each day to hop to the back of the vehicle and sit between two kids for some read-aloud time. Sometimes it’s not the long car drive, but the many hours without parental involvement that causes frustration – even for older kids! Yes, the front seat and mobile technology tend to take mom into another world.