No More Back Seat Drama
Almost all parents experience kids getting rowdy or downright out of control while passengers in the car.
If your kids are anything like the rest of ours, you have grown frustrated and may have shouted, “Mary, stop poking your brother.” “Joe, quit pulling your sisters hair.” “Someone please give the baby his blanket and pacifier.”
You might have had a few times when you stopped the car in a parking lot to scold them into submission only to have them act up the minute you are back on the road.
Kids don’t understand that the car can be a deadly weapon. What can be done? The following article gives a very easy answer to get kids to be cooperative travelers.
Power Educating includes journaling with all articles. Journaling will help you with positive changes you are looking for.
Journal a story about yourself as a child riding in a car with your siblings or other relatives.
Sample JournalEntry: My mom has very long arms. She would yell quickly followed by her arm reaching back and swinging around trying to hit all of us and never knowing who was getting wacked.There were a few incidents of us arguing in the car but most of the time we all got along – or maybe I am too old to remember much. If I remember the hand swatting at us there must have been some of that happening
Journal about the behavior you want to change specifically while riding in the car.
Do you worry about your kids being safe when in someone else’s car? Write about it.
Sample Journal Entry: I want the kids to keep their seatbelts buckled at all times. I want them to be nice to one another. If one of my kids is in a bad mood I want them to keep it to themselves. They need to respect that the car can be a dangerous place and they should not distract me when I am driving. I prefer the kids have no electronics on when we are together as a family. I have great memories of family trips in the car and I want to give that to my kids. Every day we talked in the car. Mom brought up subjects from the news for us to discuss or asked us about our days. There are conversation starters in the Family Dinner Hour section on this website.
Remember a few rules about rules.
- Be sure your kids know the rule you are going to be putting a consequence to.
- Do not remind kids of the rule – they already know it and by saying it over and over we give kids power. If your kids pretend that they don’t know the rules ignore that. You know what you have taught your kids and they know it, too.
- No Yelling
- Change your behavior by remaining calm and taking the time to be in complete control of yourself. The quieter we parents are the more kids worry about consequences. Even saying you are thinking about what they did. You might get lucky and have a confession!
- Remember why we have rules.
- Never make a rule that you can’t enforce. (You can only control your behavior. Kids will control their behavior when it gives them a win.)
- Consistency matters! At the same time you can’t expect anybody else to hold them accountable the exact way you are. Never humiliate kids.
- Never lose (Choose battles you can win.)
I have a very easy and fun way to keep your kids behaving properly in the car. The following is a no stress way to handle the car arguments once and for all.
Every time a parent wants to implement a new standard of behavior (rule) for the kids it is essential to begin by identifying the specific behavior to be changed (journal about the behavior to be changed.). Prepare your attack ahead of time and have fun with the following ideas. Ultimately you will tweek the ideas to fit your personality.
Consistency is the key to making any behavior modification work. You can only be consistent when you are driving the car, not when anyone else is driving.
You can only change yourself. You can’t change anybody else so do not attempt to create rules for the other parent. It is easier for kids when both parents follow the same rules (Family members who drive kids in this case). You have decided to drive more peacefully so try this idea.
I use this method with all kids who are passengers in my car. (Even when they are not my own kids.)