After a gruelling year, parents generally look forward to ending it with a relaxing holiday with the kids and the drive to the destination is supposed to be part of the fun… This delusion generally ends before the car makes it around the first corner from your home and, according to a survey conducted by Ford Europe, most of the pain and aggravation during road trips is caused by the parents, not the kids! “Parents drive kids mad on trips with their terrible singing, nose picking and shouting at other drivers,” reveals the survey. Yes, this is out of the mouth of babes.
The survey was conducted with 2 000 kids in Europe to understand their travelling needs in cars and the results are pretty telling, with 66% saying that their parents are annoying. “Most parents lose their temper or swear in front of kids, particularly in France”. Excuse the French, should we say.
So here are three ways to ensure that your children are happy on a road trip:
- Stop with your terrible singing. If you haven’t won a music award, there’s a chance your children aren’t enjoying it either.
- If you’re guilty of nose picking. Stop it.
- If you find that you have a temper while driving, then perhaps start singing. At least that way you’ll only be guilty of one offence.
There are things you can do for your kids to be happy travellers. The study reveals that 26% of parents give their children smartphones to play with, while 20% allow them to watch a film or TV show. A snack is another way of keeping them busy, with 29% of UK parents choosing that option.
Here are other options of entertaining your little ones:
TAKE A SHO’T LEFT
Look for kid-friendly places on route to your destination, so you can have pitstops on the way. Piggly Wiggly Farm stall in Howick (en route to Durban), Harries Pancakes in Graskop (en route to Kruger National Park), Smitswinkel Farm Stall (along Route 62 in Klein Karoo) and Butterfly World (in the Winelands) are some great places you can visit. You can also check out the Sho’t Left website for other great ideas.
ARE WE THERE YET GAME?
The famous question of “are we there yet?” is put to good use where kids can answer it for themselves. Give your kids a map and as soon as they spot a city name or highway, ask them to find it on the map. The kids can mark it off the printed Google Maps with crayons or pens so they can see how far they are.
THE SILENT GAME
The child who can keep quiet the longest is the winner. Give your kids the phone with a timer then countdown to start the game. Who ever laughs or talks first will be out of the game. If you’re lucky, it might even get to the point where they doze off.
Using the letters on the number plates that they see, kids can make up words. For example DSP can mean: Dairy Scones Popcorn. This could be a name of a dish they could possibly make when you reach your destination.