How to encourage your child to travel by car
Vomiting, crying, screaming, protests before even entering the car, throwing things, being upset … there are many reasons why children do not like traveling by car. Due to their bad mood, discomfort or rebellious attitude, very often we are forced to cancel a set appointment or explain ourselves from being late. But this is not the situation with no solution. In today’s post we will try to introduce this subject and suggest some actions that can help you find the answer to the question: ‘how to encourage your child to travel by car?’.
Start with encouraging your child – try to come up with a reward system. The rewards may consist of a set of stickers or stamps collected over a certain period of time. For every 5 collected items there might be a sweet surprise waiting. The opportunity to win something gives a prospect of success and motivates the child to act. Especially when the prize is a bar of delicious, milk chocolate.
A child who has something to do, would have no time to think about negative things. Another very absorbing element is a story/fairy tale. It is widely known that an interesting plot is not only a good, but also a time-consuming entertainment. You just need a screen attached to the headrest of the front seat. A toddler who focuses entirely on the action happening on the screen, will surely be less grumpy than the one that was almost forced into a car and is totally bored.
If your child is an artistic soul, prepare a CD with his favorite songs. Sing along while driving. This will not only occupy your toddler, but it will also relax the atmosphere inside the vehicle. What is more, singing together is a great bonding activity as doing something together strengthens your relationship.
If your toddler seems to be terrified with even the prospect of a trip by car, explore it with a new friend – a stuffed toy, who also is afraid to travel by car and therefore requires care. Show your child that he/she is taller and older than the toy and should therefore be brave. It will interest the child and make him/her feel that he/she has been trusted with a very important and responsible task and he/she needs to cope with this task.
You can also reminisce about the times when the child was younger, play word games or try to tell interesting facts about the destination.
New decor elements
To encourage your child to travel by car, you can also try to slightly change the environment. Buy a new rug or a new seat cover. Put a very soft pillow or a new sunscreen with your child’s favorite cartoon character. Explain to your child that these changes have been made especially for him/her to prepare the car for the journey. What is more, try to provide the child with a convenient and comfortable clothing. If you’re going on an important ceremony and you have the opportunity to redress the toddler at your destination, do it there rather than before the journey. Do not let the child feel any discomfort. While wearing uncomfortable clothes the child’s dissatisfaction and frustration only increase.
Finally, try to keep your emotions under control – do not shout at your child and do not force him/her to do anything he/she does not feel like to. Try to make the car journey an intriguing adventure and encourage them to treat it like that. This way, you may be able to change the child’s way of thinking and his/her attitude towards car travelling. If you don’t, you might make the toddler think that the car rides are evil.