Driving can be stressful without children, especially when there are road works, idiot drivers on their phones, slow drivers and traffic jams these are enough to put your stress levels through the roof. Jennings Motor have put together a Road Rage Gauge tool to test your road rage which is very interesting, I took the quiz and my results came back that I was 33% angrier than the average road user with a score of 82/100. I wouldn't say that I get stressed when driving but I do find myself on the odd occasion with road rage shouting at another car because they've not indicated or have been in the wrong lane. As parents we all know how stressful car journeys can be with children, more importantly on long drives so here are some ways that you can have a stress free car journey with a toddler.
Don't stress - As silly as that may sound, the best thing to do is not show that you are stressed to your toddler. They will be able to sense that you are and this can make them play up even more. Try and get a good nights sleep the night before travelling so you are fresh to go in the morning.
Switch it up - If there is another adult who can drive that is travelling with you take it in turns to sit in the back seat with your toddler. This can make the journey more interesting and your toddler won't get bored sat by them selves.
Be prepared - Ensure that you are all packed and ready to go the night before so you're not running around in the morning looking for a pair of shoes or your child's favourite toy. It's also a good idea to work the road trip around their nap time or even drive through the night if possible. This will give you some stress free time to drive in peace and also means your toddler will be refreshed for the rest of the journey.
Take plenty of breaks - Allow enough time for breaks throughout the journey. There's only so much time a toddler will sit still for, so it's a good idea to stop a couple of times every few hours to allow them to stretch their legs. Also be prepared to stop more often if they are currently potty training.
Entertainment - Pack plenty of activities for the car such as flashcards, books, interactive books, their favourite toys, playdoh, megasketchers, anything you can think of that doesn't require getting messy. A in car DVD player or iPad is also a great way of keeping them quiet for a couple of hours. Try not to give in and let them watch it straight away otherwise they may get bored later on.
Snacks - When on the road you want to keep messy food to a minimum. You don't want to find smeared yoghurt all over the back seat now do you? It's a good idea to pack portable foods which aren't too messy and favourites such as cheese string, crackers, apple, grapes, raisins, fruit in cartons, cheese sandwiches, crisps, rice cakes, cookies, puffed corn snacks, fruit bars etc. In hot weather try not to fill your toddler up or feed them to keep them satisfied, young children can become hot very quickly and overfilling them with food can cause them to be sick out no where. It's always a good idea to ration food and also ensure they have enough fluids in them at all times.
You can do the quiz below to test your road rage:
Brought to you by Jennings Motor Group